Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Meeks Paperback – July 20, 2010
Start a new series - Up to 50% off
These featured First in Series titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"The novel is a postmodern parable about American passion and paranoia, like The Great Gatsby as told by Don DeLillo." --The New York Observer
"The satire here has plenty of bite, but instead of winking at the reader, Holmes evokes her world with luminous prose." --Los Angeles Times
A highly imaginative debut finds a stark Darwinian logic in a rigidly hierarchical society. . . . Holmes has fashioned a terrifying and utterly convincing world in which the perfect human being is one stripped of all illusions.”Publishers Weekly
Meeks is a feat of desolating literary spellcraft, irresistible for its bleak hilarity and the sere brilliance of Julia Holmes’s prose.”Wells Tower (author of Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned)
The world of Meeks is cruel, cold, and weird, suffocating in laws so strange they very nearly resemble our own. Julia Holmes is that rare artist who, with invention and mythology, reveals nothing less than the most secret inner workings of the real world we overlook every day. A masterful debut by a writer of the most forceful originality.”Ben Marcus (author of Notable American Women)
Oh bachelors, poor bachelors, pining for their pale suitsthese needy men, so poignant in their search for wives, will break your heart in twain. Splendid and limping, hilarious and painful, a quiet perfection in its idiosyncrasy, the powerful alternate reality of Meeks is also an unforgettable truth. You’ll never see marriage the same way again.”Lydia Millet (author of Oh Pure and Radiant Heart)
The life of a bachelor is always hard, but in Meeks it’s truly desperate: if you don’t have the right suit then it’s either the Brothers of Mercy or the factories. Julia Holmes’s lucid prose tightens the noose of this curious world around your readerly neck before you even know what’s hit you. An invisible enemy, a pageant, a fashion system whose signification would stymie Roland Barthes, and a society that demands everyone rush quickly to fill their odd social slot, makes Meeks a unique (and uniquely imaginative) nightmare and a severely engrossing read.”Brian Evenson (author of Fugue State)
Pity the young gentleman set loose in this world of cruel tailors, perpetual war, large-scale civic pastry and the untold rivalries of the Bachelor House! With her uncommonly assured first novel, Julia Holmes channels the surreal paranoia of Poe and the dark-comic melodrama of a lost Guy Maddin script. The strangest, most compelling debut you’ll read this year.”Mark Binelli (author of Sacco and Vanzetti Must Die!)
The satire here has plenty of bite, but instead of winking at the reader, Holmes evokes her world with luminous prose.”—Los Angeles Times
Top Customer Reviews
Meeks is the first dystopian novel that I've ever read, and I'm glad I started the genre with an exceptionally good title. For in this imaginary world (if indeed it is imaginary rather than futuristic), nothing is as it seems. The complexities of life are narrowed down to the need for a good pale suit to woo in, and an appetite for lovely and varied cakes.
Two main characters alternate in the novel: Ben and Meeks. Ben is desperate to find a pale suit, because that's what all the suitable bachelors wear in the city park, flirting with women and insuring their actual health and future by finding a wife. You see, there's a deadline...an unmarried man is either forced to become a civil servant (who can only wear gray smocks) or be killed. This desire to be married doesn't appear to have anything to do with romance, instead it's just a means to continue living and enjoying the sweets that the ladies provide in abundance. That, and the ability to wear lovely seasonal sweaters in pale colors (all the happy married men wear them prominently). But all Ben has is a cheap black suit, and despite his efforts, he can't get a pale one. He resides temporarily in a home for bachelors, where suitable "manly" hobbies are assigned to the residents. His fear is tenable: "what if he was becoming, or had become, an unlovable man? What if the toxin of failure was already coursing through his veins, what if he was already stinking of defeat?"
The character of Meeks is a bit more complicated. He really doesn't know who he is, and his namesake, Captain Meeks, is rather ambiguous.Read more ›
This book reminds me of Albert Camus' novel, The Stranger (which I didn't really get either). I think if you liked that book, you will like this one. Me, not so much.
". . . the official exhortation to pursue one's own happiness or be put to the task of generating happiness for others, or worse-to be not in the picture."
It is also about a park-dwelling, delusional man (name-sake of the state's founder!) who aspires to wearing a policeman's uniform, carrying a gun and defending a state that has never held a place for him.
The setting is a sort of steam-punk dystopia--evoking a cold, minimalist future that in many ways harks back to Victorian ideals and early 19C concerns. The lushly rendered, highly stylized setting serves as a striking contrast to a poverty of human connection that will feel hauntingly familiar to modern readers. The result is an uncanny sense of familiarity and strangeness, as if you have been given the rare opportunity to step out of your life and watch it from afar. The writing is spare and beautiful and highly readable.
This dystopian novel is not about whys, hows or wherefores and is not going to satisfy those readers who like taking things apart in order to see how they work. This is a novel of ideas, yes, but also of gut-wrenching feelings, personal and social failings and, ultimately loss.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
One of the best books I've ever read, and unlike anything I've read before. an Imaginative tour de force.Published 1 month ago by Une Verre du Vin
A short dystopian novel, simple and striking and melancholy.Published 16 months ago by Nancy K. Tamarisk
The title of this review is a direct quote from the book, and nicely summarizes my thoughts as I read it. I just didn't follow what this book was about. Read morePublished on September 19, 2011 by Robert G.
Easily as good as any novel by Beckett. 'Meeks' carves out unused spaces in your brain and claims them forever. Holmes is a writer's writer.Published on September 4, 2011 by oliver broudy