Synopses & Reviews
tells the story of Eli Schwartz as he endures the loss of his home, the indifference of his parents, the success of his older brother, and the cruel and frequent dismissal of the opposite sex. He is a loser par excellencepasty, soft, and highwho struggles to become a new person in a world where nothing is new.
Into this scene of apathy rolls Seymour J. Kahn. Former star of the small screen and current paraplegic sex addict, Kahn has purchased Elis old family home. The two begin a dangerous friendship, one that distracts from their circumstances but speeds their descent into utter debasement and, inevitably, YouTube stardom.
By storys end, through unlikely acts of courage and kindness, roles will be reversed, reputations resurrected, and charges (hopefully) dropped. Adam Wilson writes mischief that moves the heart, and Flatscreen marks the wondrous debut of a truth-telling comic voice.
"Well past high school and still living off the 'Daddy Guilt Fund,' Eli Schwartz, the narrator of this rollicking debut novel, is the classic couch-bound failure-to-launch whiling away his 20s 'denying real time, like an anthropologist attempting to study a distant, extinct species, wondering what went wrong.' Eli's simple passions pop culture, cooking, and watching the Food Network render his life a pleasant stupor suddenly interrupted when his mother sells the house to one 'Seymour J. Kahn: actor, cripple.' The once accomplished and beloved but now elderly and wheelchair-bound Seymour acts as a time-lapsed version of Eli ('I recognize my own kind,' he says upon meeting him). And under the old man's terrible tutelage, Eli awakens to a wholly incongruous lifestyle of hillbilly heroin and gunplay. Comedy and pathos abound in Seymour's absurdist world, and in Eli's fantasies of a better life that come in the form of hilariously familiar cinematic scenarios in which, for instance, the screwup becomes the star chef. Fans of Jack Pendarvis and Sam Lipsyte will enjoy Wilson's fresh, fantastical perspective and the ways in which his vessel, Eli, proves too wry to allow the cliches to play out. Agent: Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary Agency." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Despite a veneer of the ironic and snarky, the novel offers a foundation of genuine caring, affection, andyeslove. An auspicious debut that promises, in Wilson, a standout addition to a new generation of writers." Booklist (Starred Review)
About the Author
Adam Wilson is the editor of the Faster Times. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Paris Review, and Bookforum, among other publications. He teaches creative writing at New York University and lives in Brooklyn.