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Publisher's Summary

A charming yet scathing portrait of young adulthood at the opening of the 21st century, All the Sad Young Literary Men charts the lives of Sam, Mark, and Keith as they overthink their college years, underthink their love lives, and struggle through the encouragement of the women who love and despise them to find a semblance of maturity, responsibility, and even literary fame.

Heartbroken in his university town, Mark tries to focus his attention on his graduate work concerning Russian revolt, only to be lured again and again to the free pornography on the library computers. Sam binds himself to the task of crafting "the first great Zionist epic" even though he speaks no Hebrew, has never visited Israel, and is not a practicing Jew. Keith, thwarted by inherited notions of greatness and memories of his broken family, finds solace in the arms of the selfless woman who most reminds him of his past.

At every turn, at each character's misstep, All the Sad Young Literary Men radiates with comedic warmth and biting honesty and signals the arrival of a brave and trenchant new writer.

©2008 Keith Gessen; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Gessen strikes a marvelous balance between pitilessness and affection toward these young men and manages the impressive feat of being simultaneously savage and tender. A fiercely intelligent, darkly funny first novel." (Kirkus Reviews)

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Boring, Self-Indulgent Whine of a Novel

This novel is UNBEARABLE. Especially as an audiobook. I had to force myself to listen to it, hoping it would finally get interesting but no such luck. If you would like a dissertation on the Israel/Palestine conflict, this book is for you. If you would like plot, character development, humour or substance, than skip this title. It is actually painful to get through this--I don't know why I thought a book about sad literary men would be interesting, but as an English professor I thought it would at least be relevant and en pointe. It is not. Do not waste your time on this.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful