By Adam Rapp
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As late summer 1951 descends on Elmira, New York, Myra Larkin, thirteen, the oldest child of a large Catholic family, meets a young man she believes to be Mickey Mantle. He chats her up at a local diner and gives her a ride home. The matter consumes her until later that night, when a triple homicide occurs just down the street, opening a specter of violence that will haunt the Larkins for half a century.
As the siblings leave home and fan across the country, each pursues a shard of the American dream. Myra serves as a prison nurse while raising her son, Ronan. Her middle sisters, Lexy and Fiona, find themselves on opposite sides of class and power. Alec, once an altar boy, is banished from the house and drifts into oblivion. As he becomes an increasingly alienated loner, his mother begins to receive postcards full of ominous portent. What they reveal, and what they require, will shatter a family and lead to devastating reckoning.
Through one family’s pursuit of the American dream, Wolf at the Table explores our consistent proximity to violence and its effects over time. Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp writes with gorgeous acuity, cutting to the heart of each character as he reveals the devastating reality beneath the veneer of good society.
"Prolific writer and playwright Rapp delivers this haunting novel following the Larkin family over 60 years, as their lives intertwine with violence and mental illness . . . This literary page-turner will invite a variety of readers."Booklist
“Beautifully told . . . A gothic tale of murder, madness, and intergenerational conflict . . . Wolf at the Table channels the spirit of Cormac McCarthy . . . Rapp can write up a storm . . . He is a sharp and witty observer, and his narrative commands attention.”Kirkus
“Wolf at the Table is a masterful novel—strange and affecting, and immersive reading. Adam Rapp peers into the dark heart of America with shrewd and eerie grace, the likes of which I have not encountered since Kosiński.”Richard Ford, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Independence Day and Canada
Praise for Know Your Beholder
"More often than any book I can easily recall, Rapp's novel had me laughing like a fool, embarrassing myself each time I unthinkingly brought it out in public. Perhaps more surprisingly, that humor felt entirely natural—born organically from the idiosyncrasies of the characters themselves rather than foisted on them... Rapp mostly dredges comedy from Francis' peculiar ways of seeing the world and from the mundanely weird people who populate it."NPR
"Rapp's novel is surprisingly high-spirited, comic without diminishing the emotional depth of his motley crew. That''s largely thanks to Rapp's gift for figurative language."Washington Post
"Rapp is such a skillful and evocative writer he can make magic out of the ordinary stuff of daily life... Know Your Beholder has a surprisingly satisfying finish on multiple levels... It's nothing less than masterful."Cleveland Plain Dealer
"Know Your Beholder is funny and sad, smart and moving, dark and hopeful. Adam Rapp writes with a lyrical acumen and wit that are not just impressive, but immensely engaging."Jonathan Tropper, New York Times bestselling author of This Is Where I Leave You and One Last Thing Before I Go
"Know Your Beholder is a message from the heart and from the beard, a message from the new weird America to every guy who's ever spent too much time in his bathrobe and every women who's ever considered what that guy would look like if he actually got himself together and shaved. Adam Rapp knows about laughing to keep from crying. He's a melancholy Lenny Bruce of the sentence and his imagination is never less than intense."Hari Kunzru, author of the national bestseller The Impressionist
- On Sale
- Mar 19, 2024
- Page Count
- 480 pages
- Little, Brown and Company