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Altruists Library Binding – Large Print, 25 September 2019

4.0 out of 5 stars 78 ratings

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Review

"[An] intelligent, funny, and remarkably assured first novel. . . . [Andrew Ridker establishes] himself as a big, promising talent. . . . Hilarious. . . . [Ridker] writes sentences with the lively, poetic zing of one as attuned to the sounds of words as to their meanings. . . . Astute and highly entertaining. . . . Ridker's ambitious blend of global perspective and intimate human comedy seems likely to evoke comparisons to the work of Jonathan Franzen and Nathan Hill. . . . The warm ending opens up the possibility of a bright future . . . which is precisely what this outstanding debut suggests for its talented author."
--Stephen McCauley, The New York Times Book Review

"With humor and warmth, Ridker explores the meaning of family and its inevitable baggage. The Altruists may not paint the prettiest picture, but it's a relatable, unforgettable view of regular people making mistakes and somehow finding their way back to each other."
--People (Book of the Week)

"Tragedy begets comedy in Ridker's strikingly assured debut about a family undone by grief. Ridker spins delicate moral dilemmas in a novel that grows more complex and more uproarious by the page, culminating in an unforgettable climax."
--Entertainment Weekly (The Must List)

"A satisfyingly sprawling family epic. . . . The characters are so true to life that it's almost incidental that, without becoming preachy or navel-gazing, the book also raises interesting questions about morality and goodness."
--Keziah Weir, Vanity Fair

"In this début novel, two millennial New Yorkers, Ethan and Maggie, return home to St. Louis to reconnect with their irascible father, Arthur. . . . An incisive inquiry into the point at which self-interest ends and compassion begins."
--The New Yorker

"Andrew Ridker, still in his twenties, has uncorked a lively, tragicomic debut novel. . . . Ridker elevates his book with a sharp eye for the absurdities of contemporary American culture. . . . [A] skillful balancing act between sympathy and satire is on full, fabulous display. . . . The Altruists boasts numerous charms, ranging from worthy ethical issues treated with an effective wryness to its rare, fond celebration of steamy St. Louis. Its ending is well-earned, and so are its life lessons, adding up to an unusually promising debut."
--Heller McAlpin, NPR.org

"A witty look at baby boomers and millennials and the things money can't buy."
--Real Simple

"A widowed father and his adult children find their way after years of getting on one another's nerves. With prickly, strangely endearing characters and sharp writing, this novel is tender and hilarious. "
--Good Housekeeping

"The Altruists [is] alive to the contradictions between morality and comfort that exist everywhere under global structures of capitalism and politics."
--Katy Waldman, NewYorker.com

"An ambitious family drama. . . . The Altruists has a sense of humor. Mr. Ridker has a gift for comic asides. . . . The fun is in the dysfunction."
--Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal

"Ridker writes with such good humor and graceful irony that he manages to portray Arthur and his kids as people you want to care about, even if you wouldn't invite them to your house. . . . Ridker's genius is making a generally unlikable character fun to read and gossip about. Quite an accomplishment in a first novel."
--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"[A] winning family saga."
--Southern Living

"Ridker . . . says the major theme he wanted to explore was what it means to be a good person, where values come from in terms of inheritance and in terms of what we choose for ourselves as adults. That he does it so well and with such humor his first time out means the author has chosen well for himself."
--St. Louis Magazine

"[The Altruists's] ability to capture some of the difficulties faced by people in [their] twenties and thirties in contemporary America is striking and powerful."
--Rabbi Michael Lerner, Tikkun

"Tender and intimate. . . . Stunningly intricate and touching. . . . [A] call for universal generosity in a time of change, grief, and nationwide emotional tension."
--The Daily Mississippian

"Ingenious. . . . Funny as hell. . . . The book belongs to the tradition of trenchant atomizations of the modern American family--the territory of Jonathan Franzen . . . and Ridker is just as good. . . . A brilliant, pitiless, and hilarious dissection of an American family in crisis."
--Shelf Awareness for Readers

"A whip-smart, wickedly funny and psychologically acute novel about the cost of doing good. It manages to satirise its characters' folly and egotism, while keeping us wholly on their side. The finale--a car crash of a family reunion--hits the sweet spot between hilarity and pathos. . . . There's something to impress on every page."
--The Daily Mail (UK)

"[The Altruists's] wickedly dark sense of humor combines with a complex plot to create a compelling debut."
--Zyzzyva

"Reading Andrew Ridker's debut novel, you soon realize you're in the presence of a new talent. In The Altruists he has conjured up the sort of dysfunctional family situation ideal for bitter humour. . . . The Altruists is intricately plotted to drip-feed us revelations. . . . Ridker writes in crisp, sometimes side-splitting prose."
--Ben Cooke, The Times (UK)

"Ridker meticulously peels away the scabs that have grown over the wounds of the surviving Alters, laying bare, with compassion and piercing wit, the long-simmering antagonisms that haunt both father and children. At the same time, he gently hints at a way forward for this decidedly imperfect, but oddly appealing, family. A painfully honest, but tender, examination of how love goes awry in the places it should flourish."
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"The hype around The Altruists and Ridker, an Iowa Writer's Workshop alum, is warranted. . . . [A] darkly funny, heartfelt tale. . . . The lesson Arthur and his children learn by the novel's end is not financial in nature but moral. It proves to be priceless."
--BookPage

"[A] smashing debut. . . . Ridker tells his tale with humor, insight, and depth, making this a novel that will resonate with readers."
--Publishers Weekly

"Beautifully written, with witty, pitch-perfect dialogue and fascinating characters, Ridker's impressive, deeply satisfying debut is an extraordinarily insightful look at a family broken apart by loss and struggling to find a way back to each other and themselves."
--Booklist

"The somewhat dysfunctional Alter family is tenderly dissected in this debut . . . [A] smart novel with an impressive balance between satire and heart."
--The Sunday Times (UK)

"Ridker's debut is at once humorous and poignant."
--Library Journal

"Sparkling. . . . Brilliant prose adorns this gem of a novel, making it a delight to read."
--Little Village

"A comedy of errors. . . . Funny. . . . Very satisfying."
--Rabbi Rachel Esserman, The Reporter

"Andrew Ridker has a lot to say about the way we live now. The result is one of those super-brilliant, super-funny novels one enjoys in the manner of a squirrel with an especially delicious acorn. I found myself trying to get out of every activity and responsibility just to come back to this novel."
--Gary Shteyngart, author of Super Sad True Love Story

"It's frankly a little unfair that a writer so young should be this talented. Not only does Andrew Ridker have a sharp eye for the absurdities and contradictions of 21st century America, but he also delivers a heartfelt and compassionate story about a family shattered by loss, now finding their awkward way back to each other. I cared so much for these people, their traumas and betrayals, their public humiliations and private failures. The Altruists is a truly remarkable debut."
--Nathan Hill, author of The Nix

"Andrew Ridker's expansive, big-hearted debut novel The Altruists is a hilarious and moving portrait of family, and a page-turning investigation of the blurry lines between right, wrong, and selfish."
--Julie Buntin, author of Marlena

"This book will inspire readers to sacrifice comfort and find meaning--Turn off (the comfort), Tune out (the babble of groupthink), Drop in (to duty and responsibility)--or else! Thank you to Andrew Ridker for this excellent debut novel. It is culturally significant and a sign of the times."
--Atticus Lish, author of Preparation for the Next Life

"The Altruists is a superb exploration of isolation, loneliness, and infidelity--in the broadest, most interesting application of the word. Every chapter is crafted with the care of a perfect short story, and the characters within it are so fully formed I could almost feel their breathing. How tremendous (and a little annoying) that a novel this striking could come from a writer so young."
--Kristen Radtke, author of Imagine Wanting Only This

"The Altruists is as rich and generous as the title suggests--a boisterous, funny, real-damn-smart novel about the agonies of family secrets and guilt. Andrew Ridker has got it all--magnetic style, oceans of intellect, and true affection for his hilariously neurotic characters. This book will have you doubled over and crying every sort of tear."
--Tony Tulathimutte, author of Private Citizens

About the Author

Andrew Ridker was born in 1991. His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Boston Review, The Believer, and St. Louis Magazine; and he is the editor of Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics. He is the recipient of an Iowa Arts Fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. The Altruists is his first novel.

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Thorndike Press Large Print; Large type / Large print edition (25 September 2019)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1432867989
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1432867980
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 14.73 x 2.54 x 21.84 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.0 out of 5 stars 78 ratings

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Andrew Ridker's first novel, The Altruists, was published in eighteen countries. The Altruists was a New York Times Editors’ Choice, a Paris Review staff pick, an Amazon Editors’ Pick, and the People Book of the Week. It won the Friends of American Writers Award and was longlisted for the Prix du Meilleur livre étranger and the Yasnaya Polyana Literary Prize. He is the editor of Privacy Policy: The Anthology of Surveillance Poetics and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, Le Monde, Bookforum, The Paris Review Daily, Guernica, Boston Review, and elsewhere He is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop.

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Amazon Kunde
5.0 out of 5 stars Could not put it down, highly recommand
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 14 April 2019
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gammyjill
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written first novel...
Reviewed in the United States on 10 March 2019
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Jonker
3.0 out of 5 stars Another baby Franzen
Reviewed in the United States on 24 March 2019
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Brett Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious and moving
Reviewed in the United States on 6 March 2019
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Adam L. Rosen
3.0 out of 5 stars I guess it's worth reading...
Reviewed in the United States on 11 May 2019
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