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Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World (Paperback)
Taxpayers have defunded the public school system; neighbors are erecting punji pits and defense walls around their homes in a sort of cold war against their suburban neighbors; a cult (centered around fish) has stepped in to lend comfort and purpose to a depressed and scared community. Not only strange and prescient but also lyrical, I love this novel so much that I taught myself to recite its opening paragraph from memory.
Picked by Andrew in Fort Greene— From Staff Picks
"A dark, suburban fantasy . . . richly funny, even whimsical, and bizarrely familiar." "The New" "Yorker"
In the seaside community of Donald Antrim's "Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, "the citizens are restless. The mayor has fired stinger missiles into the Botanical Garden reflecting pool, and his public execution was a messy affair. As these hawkish suburbanites fortify their houses with deadly moats and land mines, a former third-grade teacher named Pete Robinson steps forward with a tenuous bid to replace the mayor. But can anyone satisfy the terrible will of the people? By turns funny and phantasmagorical, fiercely intelligent and imaginative, Donald Antrim's story of suburban civics turned macabre is a new American classic.
About the Author
Donald Antrim is the critically acclaimed author of Elect Mr. Robinson for a Better World, The Hundred Brothers, and The Verificationist, as well The Afterlife, a memoir about his mother. A regular contributor to The New Yorker, he has also been the recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Grant and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Public Library. He lives in New York City.
"Entertaining and mischievously imagined . . . Antrim is a wonderful, truly original comic writer." —San Francisco Chronicle"A slice of sulfurous whimsy… You are draw in because of the depth of human feeling that Antrim smuggles in… almost below the radar level." —The New York Times "The author’s surreal vision is both imaginative and wholly his own . . . A striking literary discovery." —The Boston Globe