You Don’t Have To Live Like This
From one of Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists comes a darkly comic and brutally insightful vision of contemporary America in the wake of the global financial crisis.
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A SUNDAY TIMES TOP 100 NOVEL OF THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
Ten years out of Yale and drifting through a teaching career, Greg Marnier heads for his college reunion, jetlagged and drunk. There he bumps into an old friend, Robert James, now wealthy and influential from dotcom success. He has a plan: to buy up several abandoned neighbourhoods in Detroit and build a new America from their ruins. For a small investment, Greg can turn himself into a twentieth-century pioneer. But for every urban misfit who’s come for a fresh start, there’s a native Detroiter whose patch is being swallowed up by these new young colonials. Soon, the realities of life on America’s urban frontier become all too apparent . . .
Intense and very funny.
Is Benjamin Markovits contemporary fiction's best kept secret? .... [his] seventh novel is as profound a meditation on contemporary America as you're likely to read this year.
It is a remarkable novel ... This is fiction writing that is alive in your hand.
Multi-stranded and gripping . . . So engrossing, so satisfyingly complex.
Reads like a season of The Wire scripted by J M Coetzee . . . Like the lives it describes, this novel contains multitudes.
You Don't Have to Live Like This is a very smart book, with vividly drawn characters and densely-woven themes ... at its heart is the vexatious question of race.
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