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Elliot Allagash: A Novelby Simon Rich
Synopses & Reviews
Simon Rich dazzled readers with his absurdist sense of humor in his hilarious collections Ant Farm and Free-Range Chickens. Now comes Rich’s rollicking debut novel, which explores the strangest, most twisted, and comically fraught terrain of them all: high school.
Seymour Herson is the least popular student at Glendale, a private school in Manhattan. He’s painfully shy, physically inept, and his new nick-name, “chunk style,” is in danger of entering common usage. But Seymour’s solitary existence comes to a swift end when he meets the new transfer student: Elliot Allagash, evil heir of America’s largest fortune.
Elliot’s rampant delinquency has already gotten him expelled from dozens of prep schools around the country. But despite his best efforts, he can’t get himself thrown out of Glendale; his father has simply donated too much money. Bitter and bored, Elliot decides to amuse himself by taking up a challenging and expensive new hobby: transforming Seymour into the most popular student in the school.
An unlikely friendship develops between the two loners as Elliot introduces Seymour to new concepts, like power, sabotage, and vengeance. With Elliot as his diabolical strategist and investor, Seymour scores a spot on the basketball team, becomes class president, and ruthlessly destroys his enemies. Yet despitethe glow of newfound popularity, Seymour feels increasingly uneasy with Elliot’s wily designs. For an Allagash victory is dishonorable at its best, and ruinous at its worst.
Cunningly playful and wickedly funny, Elliot Allagash is a tale about all of the incredible things that money can buy, and the one or two things that it can’t.
Simon Rich has written for The New Yorker, GQ, Mad, The Harvard Lampoon and other magazines. He is the
Dubbed a cruel nickname for his plus-sized body, obedient eighth grader Seymour resigns himself to a lonely life before meeting an arrogant heir who uses his considerable resources to transform Seymour's image, with unexpected results.
My parents always took my side when I was a kid, no matter how much I screwed up. When I smashed my brand new Sega Genesis during a temper tantrum, they blamed the game Sonic the Hedgehog for getting me riled up. When I lost my passport at the airport, they blamed themselves for entrusting it to me. So when I told them what Elliot had done to me, I was pretty surprised by their reaction.
Maybe it was an accident, my father said. Accidents happen all the time.
I don't think it was an accident, I said.
Are you sure you didn't imagine it? my mother asked. You have such an amazing imagination.
I struggled to resist the compliment.
No, I said. It wasn't my imagination. This thing definitely happened.
It was Monopoly night and even though my father had rolled a seven, he hadn't yet moved his wheelbarrow. It jus
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