A Calling for Charlie Barnes
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From the Booker-shortlisted author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour comes a hilarious novel about fathers, sons, thwarted dreams and confronting the reality of who we really are
‘This is a fine American novel about family, love, and a decent but flawed man trying to be better. In dark times like these, I can’t recommend this book too highly. It’s strong’ Stephen King on Twitter
Charlie Barnes is a mid-century man devoted to his newspaper and his landline. But Charlie is about to get dragged into our troubled age by his storyteller son, who has a different idea of him than he has of himself. Then there are his other children, his ex-wives, present wife, business clients, friends and acquaintances, all of whom have their competing opinions of Charlie.
He certainly seems simple enough: he’s a striver, a romantic, and a thoroughgoing capitalist. But suddenly blindsided by the Great Recession and a dose of bad news, he might have to rethink his life from top to bottom, and on short notice. What makes a man real? What makes him good? And how does the story we tell about ourselves line up with the lives that we actually live?
‘Funny, moving, and formally a work of genius, A Calling for Charlie Barnes is quite literally the book Joshua Ferris was born to write’ Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire
‘Dazzling. Mind-blowing. About as much fun as you can have without risking arrest’ Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
‘Wonderful: fast and deep, urgent and brilliant . . . A hilarious, intimate, and scathing takedown of so many American vanities’ Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia
Funny, moving, and formally a work of genius, A Calling for Charlie Barnes is quite literally the book Joshua Ferris was born to write. -- Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire Brilliant, funny, heartbreaking -- Ferris has taken the Updike-Roth model and set it spinning with masterly narrative fireworks. Family, memory, ambition and death, all told with dervishing glee. Not just a daredevil of a novel, but something truly new -- Andrew Sean Greer, author of Less Dazzling. Mind-blowing. About as much fun as you can have without risking arrest * Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls * A deeply funny, very moving book . . . Ferris's hijinks are serious; his play is profound. There is magic in these pages -- Ayad Akhtar, author of Homeland Elegies A Calling for Charlie Barnes is wonderful: fast and deep, urgent and brilliant . . . A hilarious, intimate, and scathing takedown of so many American vanities -- Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia Joshua Ferris has proved his astonishing ability to spin gold from ordinary air . . . As brave and adept as any writer out there * New York Times Book Review on To Rise Again at a Decent Hour * Not too many authors have written the Great American Office Novel... Then We Came to the End feels like a readymade classic of the genre. . . . A truly affecting novel about work, trust, love, and loneliness * Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times on Then We Came to the End * Dismayingly funny in the way that only really serious books can be * Guardian, on 'To Rise Again at a Decent Hour' * Brilliant, funny, stomach-turningly accurate * Observer, on 'Then We Came to the End' * Very funny, intense and exhilarating * The Times, on 'Then We Came to the End' *
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