From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. A novel as grim as it is extraordinary, MacKenzie's debut tells the story of two estranged brothers at odds on how to view their Nazi-sympathizer father. Paul Metzger has troubles: a struggling writer with a dying father and an intense longing for his recently ex-wife, he's also estranged from his much older brother. In what ends up being more than a random act of violence, Paul is pummeled while trying to stop two men from assaulting a boy outside his Brooklyn apartment. Shortly after, Paul's father, Frank—an early Nazi sympathizer who retains some notoriety decades later—dies, and Paul receives a lucrative offer to write a book about his father. Meanwhile, Paul's hedge fund brother, Ben, under investigation for insider trading, faces prison time, and one of the goons who beat Paul pursues him across the city. All of this leads to unexpected turns that shed light on the major characters. MacKenzie sets up a New York rampant with alienation and misunderstanding, and his visceral narrative, powered by taut prose and braced with sturdy philosophical and psychological underpinnings, is a winner. (July)
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" In City of Strangers, Ian MacKenzie tells, in direct, beautiful, and convincing language, a story that examines the surface tensions and deeper sources of pressure in today's uncertain world. City of Strangers exhibits a maturity well beyond the writer's years. He is a talent to watch."
-Uzodinma Iweala, author of the national bestseller Beasts of No Nation