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Who is Rich? by Matthew Klam
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Who is Rich?

by Matthew Klam

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Rich Fischer a cartoonist and married with two children leaves for a summer teaching assignment with an odd but elite collection of faculty and students. Concupiscence overtakes him and pushes him into an adulterous affair that ever seems to be over. This piece of fiction is amoral, at times witty and humorous and filled with vapid characters searching for their true selves.

I received an electronic copy in return for an honest review. ( )
  mcdenis | May 24, 2017 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812997980, Hardcover)

A provocative and hilarious satire of love, sex, money, and politics in our new gilded age—the long-awaited first novel from the the acclaimed author of Sam the Cat

Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous forty-two-year-old cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a cartooning class at a week long summer arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It’s a place where every year students—nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time—show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of Nobel Prize–winning playwrights, actors, and historians; drunkards and perverts; members of the cultural elite; unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars, a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional. One of the attendees is a forty-one-year-old painting student named Amy O’Donnell. Amy is a mother of three, unhappily married to a brutish Wall Street titan who runs a multibillion-dollar investment fund and commutes to work via helicopter. Rich and Amy met at the conference a year ago, shared a moment of passion, then spent the winter exchanging inappropriate texts and emails and counting the days until they could see each other again. Now they’re back.

Once more, Rich finds himself in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family’s nights without him, and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his mercenary existence as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival, or his own very real desire for love and human contact. He can’t decide whether Amy is going to rescue or destroy him.

Who Is Rich? is a warped and exhilarating tale of love and adultery, a study in midlife alienation, erotic pleasure, envy, and bitterness in the new gilded age that goes far beyond the humor and satire to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance.

Advance praise for Who Is Rich?

“It’s amazing to wait so long for a book, and for it to be everything you wanted. The most singular quality of Matthew Klam’s writing is how alive it is. I loved every page of this book. It got into my bloodstream—and kind of destroyed me.”—Curtis Sittenfeld

“By turns fierce, disturbing, and outright hilarious, Who Is Rich? is much more than a novel of midlife crisis; it’s a frank exploration of what it feels like to struggle as an artist and a man. Klam writes like a surgeon, with the sharpest of scalpels, and cuts to the bone.”—Jonathan Tropper

“I’ve been eagerly awaiting another book by Matthew Klam—and here it is, and it’s a stunner. This, his first novel, is funny, dark, big, and bold. I read it straight through, with great pleasure and awe at all he knows about art, money, family, sex, kids, mortality, and shame. Not to be missed.”—Meg Wolitzer

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 24 Jan 2017 17:27:00 -0500)

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