The bend of the world : a novel

by Bacharach, Jacob.

Format: Print Book 2014
Availability: Available at 13 Libraries 14 of 17 copies
Available (13)
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Carnegie Library of McKeesport Fiction F BAC
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Monroeville Public Library Fiction BACHARACH Jacob
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Mt. Lebanon Public Library Fiction BACHARACH Jacob
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CLP - Main Library Pennsylvania Dept. - Warehouse PENNA r FICTION Bacharach
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CLP - Squirrel Hill Fiction Collection CHECKED OUT
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Summary
In the most audacious literary debut to come out of the Steel City since The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, we meet Peter Morrison, twenty-nine and comfortably adrift in a state of not-quite-adulthood, less concerned about the general direction of his life than with his suspicion that all his closest relationships are the products of inertia. He and his girlfriend float along in the same general direction, while his parents are acting funny, though his rich, hypochondriac grandmother is still good for admission to the better parties. He spends his days clocking into Global Solutions (a firm whose purpose remains unnervingly ambiguous) and his weekends listening to the half-imagined rants of his childhood best friend, Johnny. An addict and conspiracy theorist, Johnny believes Pittsburgh is a "nexus of intense magical convergence" and is playing host to a cabal of dubious politicians, evil corporate schemes, ancient occult rites, and otherwise inexplicable phenomena, such as the fact that people really do keep seeing UFOs hovering over the city.Against this strange background, Peter meets Mark and Helen, a slightly older couple, new to town, whose wealth and glamour never fully conceal the suggestion of something sinister, and with whom he becomes quickly infatuated. Mark is a corporate lawyer in the process of negotiating a buyout of Global Solutions, and initiates Peter into the real, mundane (maybe) conspiracies of corporations and careers, while Helen--a beautiful and once prominent artist--is both the echo and the promise of the sort of woman Peter always imagined, or was always told he ought to find for himself.As Peter climbs the corporate ladder, Johnny is pulled into the orbit of a mysterious local author, Winston Pringle, whose lunatic book of conspiracies seems to be coming true. As Johnny falls farther down the rabbit hole, the surreal begins to seep into the mundane, and the settled rhythm of Peter's routine is disrupted by a series of close encounters of third, fourth, and fifth kinds. By the time Peter sets out to save his friend from Pringle's evil machinations (and pharmacological interventions), his familiar life threatens to transform into that most terrifying possibility: a surprise.In The Bend of the World Philip K. Dick meets Michael Chabon, and Jacob Bacharach creates an appropriately hilarious, bizarre, and keenly observed portrait of life on the edge of thirty in the adolescent years of twenty-first-century America.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "UFOs have been spotted in the sky over Pittsburgh. Legislation has been introduced locally to make it legal to hunt Bigfoots uh, Bigfeet. Peter's company has been acquired by an impersonal, international corporation, and his new boss, who always sports a Visitor badge, may be a sociopath . . . or an alien from another dimension. Peter's best friend, Johnny, is up to his eyebrows in the occult, having fallen in with the seedy author of a celebrated work of science fiction . . . or science fact? Is it the end of the world? Or is it the bend of the world? There's more world beyond the horizon, Peter tells his boss, and the two have a good laugh. Will readers? Well, Bacharach's surreal novel is inarguably amusing, a trippy exercise in ontology. But because alcohol is imbibed and drugs are ingested, the truth is both clear and unclear. So what is reality and what is imagined or, better, hallucinated? Ultimately, it's left to the reader to decide, for it's ambiguity that rules Peter's world.--Cart, Michael Copyright 2014 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Peter Morrison, the narrator of Bacharach's debut, lives an untaxing life. He's just shy of 30, and is a manager at Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Global Solutions where he surfs the Web all day from his cube. He's dating Lauren Sara, a disaffected art student whose sculptures mostly resemble chairs. But then Peter's idle world is shaken up. UFO sightings crop up all over Pittsburgh, and Peter sees one too, though he may have just been wasted. A shadowy Danish company may take over Global Solutions, leaving Peter's cushy gig in question. And then there's Johnny, Peter's lifelong friend, who is spiraling out of control, with drug addictions and a fondness for conspiracy theories threatening to drive him into the arms of a local cult leader. To these tensions, Bacharach adds a playful satire of the Pittsburgh art scene, as well as recurrent references to Nazism, bigotry, and bigfoot. In the midst of all this chaos, Peter occasionally sneaks time to consider forging a more meaningful life for himself, though seldom makes much progress before getting dragged somewhere new-strip clubs, camping-all of which results in a fast-moving, scattered read. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Middle-aged men -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh -- Fiction.
Social skills -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Psychological fiction.
Publisher New York :2014
Edition First edition.
Language English
Description 308 pages : illustrations, map ; 22 cm
ISBN 9780871406828 (hardcover)
0871406829 (hardcover)
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