Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

The Futurist: A Novel

by

The Futurist: A Novel Cover

 

Review-A-Day

"I have seen your future. Or at least a small part of your summer. You're reading a debut novel by James P. Othmer, and you're laughing, and then you're feeling deeply unsettled about the state of the world....[A] funny, thoughtful satire of corporate life, mass media and political manipulation." Ron Charles, The Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Who is The Futurist?

He once fired a man on Take Your Daughter to Work Day.

He once was asked by the New York Times to write an Op-Ed piece on the death of literacy in America and had his assistant ghostwrite it.

He once began his week ringing the bell at the New York Stock Exchange and ended it giving a speech about the future of greed to a group of seminary students.

He once wrote the introduction to a book he never read, Beehive Management: How Life in the Honeycomb Translates to Winning in the Workplace.

He once was an adviser for HeresWhatIDoMom.com, a company that made videos that explained people's nebulous jobs to their confused parents.

He once took batting practice with the New York Mets, pretending not to notice the eight-year-old boy with leukemia from the Make-A-Wish Foundation whom the PR director let him cut in front of because he had a plane to catch.

He once gave a rousing motivational talk at the base of a spouting fountain before the West Coast sales force of an erectile dysfunction pharmaceutical maker.

Yates is a Futurist. Which is to say he makes a very good living flying around the world dispensing premonitory wisdom, aka prepackaged bullshit, to world governments, corporations, and global leadership conferences. He is an optimist by trade and a cynic by choice. He's the kind of man who can give a lecture on successive days to a leading pesticide manufacturer and the Organic Farmers of America, and receive standing ovations at both.

But just as the American Empire is beginning to fray around the edges, so too is Yates's carefully scripted existence. On the way to the Futureworld Conference in Johannesburg, he opens a handwritten note from his girlfriend, saying she's left him for a sixth-grade history teacher. Then he witnesses a soccer riot in which a number of South Africans are killed, to the chagrin of the South African PR people at Futureworld. Sparked by a heroic devastation of his minibar and inspired by the rookie hooker sent to his hotel room courtesy of his hosts, Yates delivers a spectacularly career-ending speech at Futureworld, which leads to a sound beating, a meeting with some quasi-governmental creeps, and a hazy mission to go around the world answering the question: Why does everyone hate us?

Thus begins an absolutely original novel that is fueled by equal parts subversive satire, genuine physical fear, and heartfelt moral anguish. From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, The Futurist manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.

It's the novel we all deserve.

Review:

"As Young & Rubicam ad exec Othmer's satirical first novel opens, famed pop pundit J.P. Yates, having emptied his hotel minibar, experiences an epiphany: he's a fake. After years of peddling insights to any group willing to pay him well — one week he assures a Bible college's graduates that God has a future, the next he assures adult video distributors that porn has a future — he stuns attendees at a Futureworld conference in South Africa by declaring himself 'founding father of the Coalition of the Clueless.' Ironically, his career takes off: he's more in demand than ever and is even recruited to travel the world asking why everyone hates the U.S. Othmer takes amusing swipes at the likes of (real-life) futurist Faith Popcorn, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and billionaires Ted Turner and Bill Gates, but the real target of this blistering tale is the American government's post-9/11 arrogance, come home to roost in the fictional Middle East nation of Bas'ar, where press release can't substitutes for untenable reality. A short story excerpted from the novel was a National Magazine Award finalist; this spirited dissection of the contemporary cultural and political zeitgeist is a stylish winner in its own intelligently weird right. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"A shrewd, funny and sometimes brutal vision of troubled times." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[Othmer] never lets his book get away from him, pushing right up to the edge of satire but never over it....The Futurist is at turns glib, trenchant, cynical, heartfelt, daffy, and harrowing — often on the same page. (Grade: A-)" Entertainment Weekly

Review:

"The eye-poppingly talented Mr. Othmer samples geopolitical sound bites, pop corporate chitchat, and slogans from every cultural microniche, then orchestrates them to create a hilarious, hypersmart, nostalgic wail of a novel." Heidi Julavits

Review:

"[A] story that sometimes feels...like just another portrait of midlife crisis." Booklist

Review:

"Mr. Othmer has overloaded his story with hectic elements, to the point where it becomes too busy and diffuse to sustain interest in its latter half." Janet Maslin, The New York Times

Synopsis:

Yates is a Futurist. Which is to say, he makes a very good living flying around the world dispensing premonitory wisdom, a.k.a. prepackaged bullshit, to world governments, corporations, and global leadership conferences. He is an optimist by trade and a cynic by choice. He's the kind of man who can give a lecture, on successive days, to a leading pesticide manufacturer and to the Organic Farmers of America, and receive standing ovations at both.

But just as the American Empire is beginning to fray around the edges, so too is Yates's carefully scripted existence. On the way to the Futureworld Conference in Johannesburg he opens a handwritten note from his girlfriend, informing him she's left him for a fifth-grade history teacher. Then he witnesses a soccer riot in which five South Africans are killed, to the chagrin of the South African P.R. people at Futureworld. Fueled by a heroic devastation of his minibar and inspired by the rookie hooker sent to his hotel room by his hosts, Yates composes a spectacularly career-ending speech at Futureworld, the delivery of which leads to a sound beating, a meeting with some quasi-governmental creeps, and a hazy mission to go around the world answering the question: Why does everyone hate us?

Thus begins an absolutely original novel that is fueled by equal parts corrosively funny satire, genuine physical fear, and heartfelt moral anguish. From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, THE FUTURIST manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.

Finally, a novel that gives the minibar its due.

Synopsis:

From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, "The Futurist" manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.

About the Author

James P. Othmer is an Executive Creative Director at advertising giant Young & Rubicam. His short story, "The Futurist," which is an excerpt from this novel, appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and was a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction. He lives in upstate New York with his wife and children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Larry, August 31, 2006 (view all comments by Larry)
An entertaining, provocative, and cynical look at the state of the current world affairs. Well written and humorous.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(9 of 18 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385517225
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Doubleday
Author:
James P. Othmer
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Forecasting
Subject:
Americans
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st
Publication Date:
June 6, 2006
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
272
Dimensions:
9.5 x 6.5 x 1 in 1.175 lb

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Futurist: A Novel
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 272 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385517225 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "As Young & Rubicam ad exec Othmer's satirical first novel opens, famed pop pundit J.P. Yates, having emptied his hotel minibar, experiences an epiphany: he's a fake. After years of peddling insights to any group willing to pay him well — one week he assures a Bible college's graduates that God has a future, the next he assures adult video distributors that porn has a future — he stuns attendees at a Futureworld conference in South Africa by declaring himself 'founding father of the Coalition of the Clueless.' Ironically, his career takes off: he's more in demand than ever and is even recruited to travel the world asking why everyone hates the U.S. Othmer takes amusing swipes at the likes of (real-life) futurist Faith Popcorn, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman and billionaires Ted Turner and Bill Gates, but the real target of this blistering tale is the American government's post-9/11 arrogance, come home to roost in the fictional Middle East nation of Bas'ar, where press release can't substitutes for untenable reality. A short story excerpted from the novel was a National Magazine Award finalist; this spirited dissection of the contemporary cultural and political zeitgeist is a stylish winner in its own intelligently weird right. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "I have seen your future. Or at least a small part of your summer. You're reading a debut novel by James P. Othmer, and you're laughing, and then you're feeling deeply unsettled about the state of the world....[A] funny, thoughtful satire of corporate life, mass media and political manipulation." (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review" by , "A shrewd, funny and sometimes brutal vision of troubled times."
"Review" by , "[Othmer] never lets his book get away from him, pushing right up to the edge of satire but never over it....The Futurist is at turns glib, trenchant, cynical, heartfelt, daffy, and harrowing — often on the same page. (Grade: A-)"
"Review" by , "The eye-poppingly talented Mr. Othmer samples geopolitical sound bites, pop corporate chitchat, and slogans from every cultural microniche, then orchestrates them to create a hilarious, hypersmart, nostalgic wail of a novel."
"Review" by , "[A] story that sometimes feels...like just another portrait of midlife crisis."
"Review" by , "Mr. Othmer has overloaded his story with hectic elements, to the point where it becomes too busy and diffuse to sustain interest in its latter half."
"Synopsis" by , Yates is a Futurist. Which is to say, he makes a very good living flying around the world dispensing premonitory wisdom, a.k.a. prepackaged bullshit, to world governments, corporations, and global leadership conferences. He is an optimist by trade and a cynic by choice. He's the kind of man who can give a lecture, on successive days, to a leading pesticide manufacturer and to the Organic Farmers of America, and receive standing ovations at both.

But just as the American Empire is beginning to fray around the edges, so too is Yates's carefully scripted existence. On the way to the Futureworld Conference in Johannesburg he opens a handwritten note from his girlfriend, informing him she's left him for a fifth-grade history teacher. Then he witnesses a soccer riot in which five South Africans are killed, to the chagrin of the South African P.R. people at Futureworld. Fueled by a heroic devastation of his minibar and inspired by the rookie hooker sent to his hotel room by his hosts, Yates composes a spectacularly career-ending speech at Futureworld, the delivery of which leads to a sound beating, a meeting with some quasi-governmental creeps, and a hazy mission to go around the world answering the question: Why does everyone hate us?

Thus begins an absolutely original novel that is fueled by equal parts corrosively funny satire, genuine physical fear, and heartfelt moral anguish. From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, THE FUTURIST manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.

Finally, a novel that gives the minibar its due.

"Synopsis" by , From the hideously ugly Greenlander nymphomaniacal artist to the gay male model spy to the British corporate magnate with a taste for South Pacific virgin sacrifice rituals, "The Futurist" manages to be wildly entertaining and deadly serious at the same time.
spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.