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Abbott Awaits: A Novel (Yellow Shoe Fiction) Paperback – March 1, 2011
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''Chris Bachelder's Abbott Awaits is a remarkable novel about a man, his daughter, his wife, his house, his yard, his neighborhood, his internet addiction, his plumbing, and most of all, his mind, which is brilliant, which is another way of saying that Bachelder is brilliant. Not since John Cheever has an American male fiction writer written so ingeniously, so beautifully, so heartbreakingly about the pain and sweetness of domestic life.'' --Brock Clarke, author of Exley and An Arsonist s Guide to Writers Homes in New England
''Chris Bachelder has been a real force in American fiction, his work by turns savage, brilliant, generous, forlorn, and hilarious. Abbott Awaits is another triumph, a sly and soaring novel about fear and tenderness and family, with not a lovely word wasted.'' --Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask
''Let's face it--some people are just funnier and smarter than you and me, and Chris Bachelder is one of them. With Abbott Awaits, he s pretty much invented his own genre, which I'm tempted to call 'Existential Domestic Cosmology,' the kind of thing that would happen if Beckett and Whitman regarded the universe from the perspective of Homer Simpson or Ward Cleaver. On every page there's something to laugh about and something to ponder.'' --Keith Lee Morris, author of The Dart League King
''Bachelder takes on the minutia of domesticity and turns it into something enchanting and wise. Entering each short chapter is like opening a Joseph Cornell box filled with the strangeness of the commonplace. Abbott Awaits is a wonder.'' --Jill Ciment, author of Heroic Measures
Chris Bachelder has moxie: who else could write a novel about the everyday life of a man awaiting his second child and make it both startling and feverish with dread? Abbott Awaits is a lucid, tender work, full of the sort of sardonic wit that will make you poke your spouse awake at night so that you can read long passages aloud. Real life is in these pages, infuriating and gorgeous, mundane and sublime. I read it with wincing recognition and finished it feeling absurdly grateful for my own everyday life. --Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton
Chris Bachelder is putting together a startling, innovative body of work, and Abbott Awaits is his best book yet. One could call this novel many things: a domestic thriller; a Nicholson Baker-esque frolic through one man's quiet, crowded consciousness; a piercing examination of marriage and parenthood. Bachelder's prose is funny, cruel, devastating, knowing, and alive. I have never been happier that I do not have children after reading a novel, and yet, somehow, I have also never been sadder. --Tom Bissell, author of Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter
About the Author
Chris Bachelder is the author of the novels U.S.! and Bear v. Shark. He grew up in Virginia and now teaches in the writing program at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, where he lives with his wife and two daughters.
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Top Customer Reviews
Although quite different in style and subject matter, there's an eccentricity and playfulness to Chris Bachelder's storytelling that reminded me of Kurt Vonnegut. Other comparisons also come to mind. Like Seinfeld, Bachelder chronicles the mundane and makes it funny.Read more ›
There were passages in the book in which I had the Borgesian sense that Bachelder was actually narrating my family's daily life as we lived it. He put words to all of my gut feelings about this stage of parenthood. Even now, 18 months after I first ripped through it, scenes and images from this little novella can hit with me full, painfully funny force in the midst of daily life. (I can honestly say that I will never again be able to tune out a preschooler's rendition of "My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean.")
I urge this book upon every friend who announces a pregnancy -- especially the fathers-to-be! I am disappointed to see that it currently has only 6 reviews, and I hope it finds a wider audience.
The segment entitled Abbott Hogs the Mood made me laugh, while Abbott's Folk Remedy and Abbott's Inadvertent Research on Prepositions were among the more tender illustrations.
Each segment is short, making it an even quicker read than one would expect at 180 pages, but it does not need to be read all at once. The structure of the book sets it up so you can read one section or several, and then set the book aside for a while until you want to pick it up again. I don't think a reader will lose the thread if it takes a month or two to read.
Endearing characters too. The husband (and wife who often features more prominently for her presence in the book than her dialogue) is easy to relate to as he over-agonizes about & navigates another middle-class day, riding the pendulum between the boredom and frustration of mundane daily existence & the joy and wonder at the luck of having a loving, peaceful life.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great contemporary author, known for his quirky fiction, writes a heartfelt book about the challenges, frustrations, and joys of young fatherhood. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Tall John 617
Chris Bachelder is awesome. All of his work is awesome. And he's a nice guys.Published on July 4, 2014 by djr
Seriously. It's a real shame this wasn't better promoted. It captures what it's like to be a human in our age! Read morePublished on March 11, 2014 by Sarah