Friday, July 06, 2012

Acquired: Donald Antrim Bundle

Thanks to the good folks at Five Chapters, I won a set of the new Picador re-issues of Donald Antrim's three novels: The Verificationist, Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better World, The Hundred Brothers.  These new editions sport new covers and new introduction by some real literary powerhouses.  What kind of literary power am I talking about?  Check these names: Jonathan Franzen, Jeffrey Eugenides, and Forever Overhead favorite George Saunders. So these are pretty much 110% awesome.

They're all relatively short novels - each less than 200 pages.  Check out the pictures below and read the publisher's summaries.  I'm looking forward to reading these!  Antrim has been associated with David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen, so this is some of that lit shiz.

The Hundred Brothers
The Hundred Brothers by Donald Antrim
There’s Rob, Bob, Tom, Paul, Ralph, and Noah; Nick, Dennis, Bertram, Russell, and Virgil. The doctor, the documentary filmmaker, and the sculptor in burning steal; the eldest, the youngest, and the celebrated “perfect” brother, Benedict. In Donald Antrim’s mordantly funny novel The Hundred Brothers, our narrator and his colossal fraternity of ninety-eight brothers (one couldn’t make it) have assembled in the crumbling library of their family’s estate for a little sinister fun. Executed with the invention and intelligence of Barthelme and Pynchon, Antrim’s taxonomy of male specimens is in equal proportions disturbing and absurdly hilarious.
This edition has a new introduction by Jonathan Franzen.

Elect Mr. Robinson For a Better World
In Pete Robinson’s seaside suburban town, things have, well, fallen into disrepair. The voters have de-funded schools, the mayor has been drawn and quartered by an angry mob of townsmen, and Turtle Pond Park is stocked with claymore mines. Pete Robinson, third grade teacher with a 1:32 scale model of an Inquisition dungeon in his basement, wants to open a new school, and in his effort to do so he stumbles upon another idea: he needs to run for mayor. Uniquely hilarious, this novel is a horrifyingly insightful tale of a world not so very different from the one in which we live.
This edition has a new introduction by Jeffrey Eugenides.

The Verificationist
One April night, a group of psychologists from the Krakower Institute meet at a pancake house, where they order breakfast foods and engage in shop talk and the occasional flirtation. At the center of this maelstrom of pyschobabble and unrequited lust sits Tom, program coordinator for the Young Women of Strength, who has been known to sob uncontrollably at meetings. When Tom tries to initiate a food fight, a rival psychologist bear hugs him into submission, resulting in an out-of-body experience that leaves our Tom hovering over his colleagues. In the hands of Donald Antrim, this unique perspective becomes an exuberantly funny riff on our culture that does nothing less than expose the core of emotions underlying the most basic of human needs.
This edition has a new introduction by George Saunders.

Another big THANK YOU to Five Chapters.  If you're not familiar with these guys, they publish a short story in five parts each week. If you like short stories, I want to encourage you to check them out.

If you're interested in any of these books you can click the covers below to get more information at Powells.    

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