The main character, Guy Forget, is a twenty-something drifter with brains, good looks, and absolutely no ambition except to get rich without having to work. His best friend, Billy, is a professional dog walker who ties the dogs to the rear bumper of his run-down car and drives very slowly. Along the way we meet, among others, Guy's Midwestern parents, his theoretical-physicist brother, his girlfriend Violet McKnight, and his secret nemesis, Sven Transvoort, who hates Guy with unusual passion for reasons that are not immediately clear.
While the story of The Failure is fairly straightforward, the manner of its telling is anything but; it begins at the end, and proceeds in similarly nonlinear fashion to a conclusion that will surprise either nobody or everybody, depending on whos been paying attention. Using elements of pop culture, tech jargon, and noirish satire, the book attempts to answer the question not enough people ask themselves on a regular basis: Am I a failure?
James Greer is the author of Artificial Light (a selection of Dennis Cooper's Little House on the Bowery Series), which won a California Book Award for Best Debut Novel, and the nonfiction book Guided By Voices: A Brief History (Grove), a biography about a band for which he once played bass guitar. He is currently working on a rock musical about Cleopatra starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. He lives in Los Angeles.
5.25 x 8.25
March 1, 2010
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