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J R by William Gaddis

J R

Best Seller
J R by William Gaddis
Paperback $24.95
Oct 20, 2020 | ISBN 9781681374680

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  • Oct 20, 2020 | ISBN 9781681374680

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  • Oct 20, 2020 | ISBN 9781681374697

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Praise

“Just as it’s possible to read The Recognitions narrowly as a satire of midcentury bohemia, J R operates on one level as a send-up of American capitalism. . . . But the book is more profoundly a portrait of a world that has given up on transcendent values. . . . The coherence of the vision, the order that Gaddis imposes on the chaos of his material through sheer force of artistic will, offers the closest thing to redemption this world allows, and gives the book, finally, a poignant hopefulness. . . . I count my second time through [The Recognitions and J R]—like my first—among the great literary experiences of my life.” —Christopher Beha, Harper’s Magazine

“No other novel I know of catches up so much of contemporary reality, or renders it so exactly, and with such telling detail.” —George Stade, The New York Times Book Review

“J R
 is a wild, rollicking success. It deserves the buzz and marketing budget typically reserved for writers who receive seven-figure advances. It deserves an army of dedicated readers who will, with near-religious devotion, take the time to unlock the wonders and mysteries of this hilarious, brilliant, and punishing satire of American capitalism. More than almost anything being published by young or established writers today, J R is the novel of our age.” —Lee Konstantinou, Los Angeles Review of Books

“Their surfaces will seem daunting but look beyond these novels’ haughty, hefty façades. Once you get to know them inside, they’re much more fun than they look. They will make you laugh out loud. They will absorb you. They will keep you coming back for more. . . . while Gaddis’ characters spend a lot of time saying nothing, they are always intriguingly human characters worth knowing over and over again. Which is what makes these perfect lockdown preoccupations. . . . Everything you need to know about life is bubbling away under the covers of these two world-size books.” —Scott Bradfield, Los Angeles Times

“I read J R, and it seemed to me, at first, that Gaddis was working against his own gifts for narration and physical description, leaving the great world behind to enter the pigeon-coop clutter of minds intent on deal-making and soul-swindling. This was not self-denial, I began to understand, but a writer of uncommon courage and insight discovering a method that would allow him to realize his sense of what the great world had become. J R in fact is a realistic novel—so unforgivingly real that we may fail to recognize it as such.” —Don DeLillo

“William Gaddis is pure prodigy. His novels are massive in ambition and dazzling in execution. They are fierce with integrity.” —Mary McCarthy

“Gaddis’s work encourages us both to watch the show and to consider the man behind the curtain, the life that both exceeds and requires the novel. J R is not really “about” an eleven-year-old who dupes everyone; it is about the outrage of a larger consciousness at the dehumanization of corporate life.” —Greg Gerke, Kenyon Review

“He [Gaddis] is an heir to Eliot, whose quests, imposters and enervated landscapes haunt his novels, as well as the great Russians—Dostoevsky, Gogol, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Turgenev—with whom he shared the hope of civilizing a benighted nation.” —Dustin Illingworth, The Point

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