The great man theory : a novel

by Wayne, Teddy,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 7 copies
Available (3)
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CLP - Allegheny Regional New Books FICTION Wayne
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CLP - East Liberty New Books FICTION Wayne
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South Park Library New Books F WAYNE TEDDY
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Summary

"At its finest, a worthy successor to those seriocomic novels of Bellow." -Brandon Taylor, The New York Times Book Review

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2022 by Esquire, LitHub, Publisher's Lunch, Dandelion Chandelier, and Chicago Review of Books

From acclaimed, Whiting Award-winning author Teddy Wayne, the hilarious, incisive, yet deeply poignant story of a liberal armchair-revolutionary desperate to save America from itself.

Paul is a recently demoted adjunct instructor of freshman comp, a divorced but doting Brooklyn father, and a self-descĀ­ribed "curmudgeonly crank" cataloging his resentment of the priorities of modern life in a book called The Luddite Manifesto . Outraged by the authoritarian creeps ruining the country, he is determined to better the future for his young daughter, one aggrieved lecture at a time.

Shockingly, others aren't very receptive to Paul's scoldings. His child grows distant, preferring superficial entertainment to her father's terrarium and anti-technological tutelage. His careerist students are less interested than ever in what he has to say, and his last remaining friends appear ready to ditch him. To make up for lost income, he moonlights as a ride-share driver and moves in with his elderly mother, whose third-act changes confound and upset him. As one indignity follows the next, and Paul's disaffection with his circumstances and society mounts, he concocts a dramatic plan to right the world's wrongs and give himself a more significant place in it.

Dyspeptically funny, bubbling over with insights into America's cultural landscape and a certain type of cast-aside man who wants to rectify it, The Great Man Theory is the work of a brilliant, original writer at the height of his powers.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Paul, the snippy academic protagonist of Wayne's alternately crushing and tedious latest (after Apartment), is having a rough go of it. He's toiling as an adjunct, has to move in with his mom in the Bronx, is being pushed away by his tween daughter, and is stalled on writing his book-length treatise, The Luddite Manifesto. Reduced to the indignity of having to buy a smartphone and work as a rideshare driver, he finds purpose after picking up Lauren, the producer of cable TV show Mackey Live (think: The O'Reilly Factor). He hits it off with her after claiming to be a conservative professor disgusted by lefty academia, and before long they're dating. As Paul manipulates Lauren to try to get himself booked on Mackey's show and sabotage it for the good of the country, his life further disintegrates. Wayne's greatest feat is also something of an Achilles heel: he convincingly inhabits Paul, but Paul can be bloviating and vapid. The fact that swaths of his internal monologues are skippable may cause some readers to tune out. This would be a shame, because when Paul bottoms out, his hurt hits as deep and palpable, and, indeed, his "nothing to lose" plan feels fittingly desperate. There's not a dull sentence here, though it's too bad there aren't fewer of them before the sting in the tail arrives. (July)"
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Additional Information
Subjects College teachers -- Fiction.
Divorced fathers -- Fiction.
Humorous fiction.
Publisher New York :Bloomsbury Publishing,2022
Language English
Description 303 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9781635578720
1635578728
Other Classic View