From Publishers Weekly
In Goodwillie's debut novel (after his memoir, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time
), an incisive depiction of radicalism's seductive roots, the central characters are a good girl gone bad and a would-be journalist turned blogger who wants to do good. Paige Roderick, laid off from her think tank job and devastated by the Iraq War death of her beloved brother, is an easy mark for a shadowy cabal of home-grown terrorists who recruit her from the ranks of weekend environmental warriors. Separately, Aidan Cole, a failed journalism student turned Manhattan gossip blogger, is drawn into her radical orbit (and into a romance) by a phantom from America's radical past: a former member of the Weather Underground. Part political thriller and part on-the-run love story, Goodwillie's glimpse of the lapsed idealism that might be fueling America's subversive underground falls somewhere between Bret Easton Ellis's Glamorama
and John Updike's Terrorist
. The mix of mocking the jaded hip—the Gawker-like blogging empire that Aidan works for serves as a frequent punching bag—and exploring cultural and social unrest results in a comic and unsettling two-pronged dissection of a subset of contemporary America. (Apr.)
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A bomb, a New York City blogger, and a beautiful homegrown terrorist form the unholy trinity that powers this fresh, knowing look at the American cultural and political landscape. In the year 2010, a bomb detonates in Barneys—it was set off on the wrong floor and was supposed to destroy the headquarters of a secretive company that makes billions parlaying the influence of its board members to obtain lucrative oil deals. Then blogger Aidan Cole receives a photo of a glamorous young woman who is identified as the person who planted the bomb. Aidan, a jaded hipster, has finally found a hard news story worth pursuing, but when he tracks the radical to her hiding place, he finds they have more in common than he ever imagined. The well of their mutual disillusionment runs deep, for she has lost a brother to a senseless war and he has lost faith in the rewards of a career-driven life. In this thriller-cum-political-manifesto, Goodwillie provides an unnerving, completely credible portrait of the roots of domestic terrorism and the frequently soulless quality of modern American life. --Joanne Wilkinson