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The Municipalists: A Novel Paperback – 19 March 2019
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"Fried's debut explores issues likely to affect everyone--and pokes predatory capitalism with a sharp stick, attracting readers of darkly absurd science à la Philip K. Dick, Charlie Jane Anders, and Warren Ellis."--Library Journal, Debut of the Month (*Starred Review*) Deeply, constantly funny, and able to transform from a breezy page-turner into a serious exploration of class and trauma in a few well-turned sentences."--Tor.com A wondrous chimera of a book . . . The Municipalists challenges our reliance on new technology and the utopian ideals we hope it enables. And with it, Fried, who is acclaimed for his wildly imaginative short stories, displays his genre-bending talent and creativity in full force.--CrimeReads
Having finished writing this piece, I feel simultaneously disheartened and elated; disheartened at not being able to fully describe the weirdness, the originality, the sheer heart within this book, and elated because thousands of readers are about to experience it for themselves. Why am I still talking? Just read it.--Book of the Month Club
A novel full of people who care deeply about the details, written by someone who understands that the details are what matter. Smart, engaging, poignant and funny (not just book funny--actually funny). Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction, and his debut novel showcases his many talents.--Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe The longer you bask in the glow of Seth Fried's wondrous novel, big concepts like Technology and Work and Friendship begin to take on a curious shape, turn into something so unique that you wonder how one writer has so much imagination, so much insight, so much fun with the world they've created. The Municipalists is the work of a hilarious and empathetic talent.--Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang A thinking person's comic thriller, The Municipalists is a joy ride and a meditation both. Seth Fried is the consummate urban planner of a novelist, providing us with exciting thoroughfares of action as well as quiet gardens of feeling. And the story stars, among other characters, a drunk and vain (but ultimately loveable) computer. What else could a fiction dweller ask for? A wonderful debut novel.--Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask
Seth Fried is the future of fiction.--Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief "Seth Fried is a pure delight to read.--Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!
An important new young writer.--Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply [Seth Fried] will make your heart stop and your jaw drop. You will suffer from bouts of thoughtful silence and seizures of hilarity and may even soil yourself with pleasure. Consider yourself warned.--Ben Percy, author Red Moon "[Fried] somehow manages to transport Conrad's Heart of Darkness to a futuristic mega-city. . . a fun read."--Kirkus Reviews
- Publisher : Penguin; 1st edition (19 March 2019)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 014313373X
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143133735
- Dimensions : 12.83 x 1.65 x 19.56 cm
- Customer Reviews:
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Yes it’s a page turner, entertaining and fun. If you leave it at that you miss what it means for our society, the widening gap between cities and countryside, polarization, how to fix it, how those fixes can go wrong - what to do if you’re caught in this machine. We see two approaches, to tighten the grip further or to become nihilists... which is the answer? Is either the cure? Is there a solution?
If you want a fun read this is it. Just like a city from far off, it looks like a clean breezy skyline. Analyze the material and it’s implications and you find a multilayered, gritty, thoughtful commentary on our modern life.
The characters are the most important part of any story for me, and I loved Henry and OWEN. They contrasted and complimented each other expertly and made a wonderful team. I want to paint fan art of them. The overall levity of what I expected to be serious science fiction really carried the story. There were several times where I could not stop laughing. The moments of connection and friendship between Henry and OWEN were heart-warming, which made Henry's moments of mistrust and betrayal that much more painful, and I was racing through the final chapters looking for my happy ending.
I have a suspicious than Henry might be neurodiverse, because even with his tragic backstory, his preoccupation and exacting memory of city details and train specifications seems very much like a Special Interest. On top of that, his lack of meaningful friendships and inability to relate to people reinforced his neurodiversity. I might be reading it too much into it, but I related with him all the same.
OWEN was wonderfully charming, eccentric, and unpredictable, and the perfect foil to Henry. I loved the innovated ways he used his holograms to his advantage, and puking up lines of code when he was "drunk" and his fainting at the sight of blood was delightfully weird.
I would read another book with these two in a heartbeat. And, beyond my gushing about the characters, the overall "cozy" and playful tone of the book was refreshingly welcome. V for Vendetta with the lightheartedness of a buddy cop movie. I dig it. ❤❤❤