Synopses & Reviews
tells the remarkable true story of a teenage drifter and petty thief named James Hogue who woke up one cold winter morning in a storage shed in Utah and decided to start his life anew. Re-imagining himself as a self-educated ranch hand named Alexi Indris-Santana who read Plato under the stars and could run a mile in under four minutes, Hogue applied and was accepted to Princeton University, where he excelled academically, made the track team, and became a member of the elite Ivy Club.
Echoing both The Great Gatsby and The Talented Mr. Ripley, the story of Hogues life before and after he went to Princeton is both an immensely affecting portrait of a dreamer and a striking indictment of the Ivy League meritocracy” to which Hogue wanted so badly to belong. Drawing elegant parallels between Hogues ambitions and the American myth of self-invention, while also examining his own uneasy identification with his troubled subject, David Samuels has fashioned a powerful metaphor for the corruptions of the American dream, revealing exceptional gifts as a reporter and literary stylist.