Synopses & Reviews
A GQ Best Book of the Month A New York Post Must-Read Book
A Flavorwire Book of the Week A New York Daily News Can't-Put-Down Novel
[Parish] has got chops, and a feel for dialogue, and is a talent in the making.”
Bill Buford, The Wall Street Journal
Read this book in a beach chair. . . . [A] worldy and propulsive debut.” GQ
An exhilarating novel of reinvention, friendship, and ambitionfrom the Jersey Shore to St. Andrews in Scotland
Tom Alison has it all within his reach. Hes smart, handsome, and about to graduate from a prestigious East Coast boarding school. After that its off to the Ivy League and then a job on Wall Street, alongside the power brokers hes been watching from a distance as the working-class son of a single mom. And then the very life his mother worked so hard to escape catches up with him when he gets busted selling drugs.
Lucky for Tom, there are places for boys and girls with ruined reputations. First, he returns to his roots on the Jersey Shore, reconnecting with a hard-living crew and cementing a bond with his new friend Clare Savagethe son of a recently disgraced financier. The two boys spend their summer surfing and partying. When fall arrives, they head to St. Andrews University in Scotland, a haven for Americans in need of a second chance and a favorite of the British ruling class. Tom and Clare escape to Scotland together, but its Tom who discovers a world shaped by even more powerful forces of greed and ambition than the one he left behind. Sucked into a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and status, Tom learns what it takes to break the rulesand how we can be broken by them.
Driven by a cast of young men and women living in an age of riotous prosperity, Down the Shore is an unflinching and unforgettable story of youth steeped in excess. Stan Parish has crafted a gripping novel that masterfully captures the lives of fallen financiers and the people they bring down with themand reminds us that not even an ocean can separate us from our family, our friends, or our past.
"This smoothly written coming-of-age debut by former GQ editor Parish is filled with dynamic but flawed young characters. Acquiring a fat bank account and pursuing hedonistic excess are 18-year-old Tom Alison's main goals in life. He is a graduating high school senior, but his arrest for smalltime dope dealing spurs Columbia University to yank its admission offer. Tom helps his spunky single mother, Diane, run her Princeton, N.J., catering service while waiting to attend St. Andrews University in Scotland and befriends schoolmate Clare Savage, the son of a financier fleeing prosecution for insider trading. Clare decides to follow Tom to St. Andrews, where they have a mutual friend studying fashion design, but before leaving, the two take a side trip to Long Beach Island to visit Tom's best friend, another drug dealer. Once enrolled at St. Andrews as an economics major, Tom, true to form, takes up a hard-partying lifestyle fueled by cocaine binges. When Clare's father, Michael, shows up, Tom sees his big chance to make a connection with the disgraced but still-powerful figure. Readers may not find these characters either sympathetic or particularly interesting, but Parish shows promise as a storyteller, moving the plot along at a good clip. (June)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“Down the Shore
has it all: handsome prep-school guys, drugs, power brokers behaving badly, and sexcapades from Seaside Heights to Scotland.”
"Stan Parish transports readers Down the Shore."
“Read this book in a beach chair. . . . In this worldy and propulsive debut by former GQ editor Stan Parish, about a Jersey kids misadventures with the spawn of the global financial elite, were going to assume that the partying happened, the drug-dealing arrest did not, and the casual sex with wanton rich girls was absolutely 100 percent, down-to-the-last-detail true.”
“Down the Shore is a look at how we screw up, try to redeem ourselves, and inevitably screw up again. . . . For a debut novelist, Parish shows a knack for balancing things, pacing his story, and painting a picture that makes Down the Shore one of the years best debut novels, as well as the type of book that, based on that cover alone, just calls out to be read during the summer.” —Jason Diamond, Flavorwire
“Compelling. . . . Parish deftly lets the issues of identity, culpability, and class ripple around his characters. . . . Invigorating. . . . Down the Shore reads like a long, fast rolling wave, expertly and purposefully ridden right to its gentle, subsiding end.”
—New Jersey Monthly
“A stunning debut. . . A fast-paced novel . . . a beautifully layered, beautifully written work. . . . Scene-after-scene, expositions create complex characters and capture the details of the excess of the years right after the turn of this century while also carrying out timeless and compelling themes of friendship, family and self-discovery. . . . As I was reading, I couldnt help but compare this novel to classic coming-of-age books like A Separate Peace (1959) and The Outsiders (1967), undoubtedly still on the reading list at schools like Lawrenceville. Down the Shore is awash in all the literary qualities of those classics, but captures contemporary culture, making those great works seem dusty and quaint. Parish deftly shows the wonders of the big, wide world of opportunity in which todays privileged young adults live — but also the challenges of having too much too soon, before you have time to know who you really are.”
—Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
“Tom, a Jersey Shore boy who derailed his scholarship to the Ivy League with a drug bust, and Clare, the son of a very wealthy but disgraced financier, become friends and enroll at St. Andrews University in Scotland. Tom has both brains and ambition but the two fall in with a crowd so wild it could sink anyones future. Can he save himself twice?” —The New York Daily News
“Recalls summer in all its glory. . . . [Parishs] knack for imagery results in a compelling debut as memorable as the bygone summer excursions its title recalls.” —Departures.com “Mr. Parishs deft prose and irresistible characters lead us down a path between the American Dream and its waking nightmare.”
“Written by a GQ alum, this book has a little bit of everything. Prep schools, status, surfing, outrageous parties, sex, drugs, and other aspects of the privileged life make for a hell of a tale thats part The Wolf of Wall Street, part The OC.”
“This smoothly written coming-of-age debut by former GQ editor Parish is filled with dynamic but flawed young characters. . . . Parish shows promise as a storyteller, moving the plot along at a good clip.”
“The partying is intense in this first novel, a look at Americas bright young things under a cloud or two.”
“[A] globe-trotting, cocaine-and alcohol-saturated debut novel about wealth, excess, debauchery, and the dream of living the good life. . . . Ambitious . . . for fans of coming-of-age novels.”
"Few novels have shown us inside the lives of disgraced financial titans as brilliantly as Down the Shore does. Stan Parishs mesmerizing novel belongs in the grand tradition of the outsider who makes himself indispensable to the ruling class, learns all their secrets, and then passes himself off as one of them—as if Patricia Highsmiths Ripley had a son he left behind in New Jersey."
—Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
"Down the Shore is both a classic campus novel and an entirely fresh, fast-paced story of modern wealth and excess. I couldn't put it down."
—Cristina Alger, author of The Darlings
"An energized, ambitious tale of youthful excess and desire, studded with secrets and deceptions."
—Michael Hainey, author of After Visiting Friends
"In Down the Shore, Stan Parish has written a fast-paced tale of drugs, crime and surfing, which also manages to be a tender and perceptive novel about class, family, and the tension between ambition and honor."
—Alexander Maksik, author of You Deserve Nothing and A Marker to Measure Drift
"It is the exceptional coming-of-age novel that shows us the truth not only about its hero's maturation, but about the singular age into which he is maturing. Down the Shore is an intimate portrait of a young man, and a sweeping story of the daunting age of global finance. Stan Parish's debut is raw, elegant, incisive, and above all, wise."
—Matthew Sharpe, author of You Were Wrong and Jamestown
An exhilarating debut novel of reinvention, friendship, and ambitionfrom the Jersey shore to Scotland
Tom Alison is weeks away from collecting his diploma at an East Coast boarding school and heading off to the Ivy League. His goal: a job in high finance alongside the power brokers he's been watching from a distance as the working-class son of a single mom. But when he gets caught selling drugs on campus, his life among the children of privilege quickly falls apart.
Tom escapes his ruined reputation with a new friendClaire Savage, the son of a disgraced financierand the two of them flee to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland. But what they find is a world shaped by even more powerful and unforgiving forces of greed, class, and ambition than the one they left behind. As Tom is sucked into a life of sex, drugs, status, and greed, he learns what it takes to break the rulesand how we can be broken by them.
Reminiscent of early Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney, Down the Shore is an unflinching, unforgettable novel of youth and excess.
An exhilarating debut novel of reinvention, friendship, and ambitionfrom the Jersey Shore to Scotland
Driven by a cast of young men and women living in an age of riotous prosperity, Stan Parishs Down the Shore is an unflinching, unforgettable novel of youth and excess. Smart, handsome, and weeks away from earning a diploma from a prestigious East Coast boarding school, Tom Alison has it all within his grasp, until he gets busted selling drugs. His dreams of an Ivy League education and a job on Wall Street now shattered, Tom escapes to the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, where he soon discovers a world shaped by even more powerful forces of greed and ambition than the one he left behind. A deft, gripping, and highly lauded debut, Parish reminds us that not even an ocean can separate us from family, our friends, or our past.
About the Author
Stan Parish was born in Texas and grew up in California and New Jersey. He attended The Lawrenceville School followed by St. Andrews University in Scotland and Wesleyan University, where he graduated with honors in 2006. He is the Deputy Editor of Bloomberg Pursuits
and his writing has appeared in GQ, Esquire, Departures, New Jersey Monthly,
and the New York Times.
He lives in New Jersey and New York.