Charlie Barnes, sixty-eight years old, reasonable man, small-business owner is facing the abyss and it's time to reckon with how he has lived his life so far. What happened to all those great ideas that were snatched from the jaws of success? And what was with all those unsuccessful marriages? Well, who's counting the wives when Barbara, his fifth and most permanent wife, is such a rock solid pillar of society?
Maybe Jake Barnes, son of Charlie and writer of his story is counting. Now that his father seems to be on the way out, Jake begins to wonder what Charlie Barnes's desperate dreams of success have really added up to.
If his father's life was a series of fantasies, then how is it possible for his son to tell the truth about him? And will Jake have to confront the fact that in their ambitions, and their delusions, they might not actually be so very different?
Joshua Ferris's new novel is both a profoundly tender and brutally funny portrayal of a life lost in the American dream.
Penguin Books Ltd
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