From Publishers Weekly
The title of Listi's debut diagnoses the novel's malady: a jangly, unfocused plot that caroms off pop cultural flotsam in an attempt to evoke the potpourri of postmodern existence. This lurching ride begins as 20-something Wayne Fencer, a defeated day-trader and idling pizza delivery boy with a B.F.A. in avant-garde filmmaking, attends the funeral of an ex-girlfriend in San Francisco who has committed suicide. Wayne can find few words of condolence and instead strafes the reader with a fusillade of facts on suicide, death and mourning, a distancing device that Listi relies on throughout the novel. The news that Wayne's ex aborted his child in college sends the narrative machinery sputtering to life, with Listi shuttling his hero across the country (after jaunts to Mexico and Cuba) in a neo-beatnik search for meaning. Wayne's encounters trigger all manner of intrusive digression, from boldface definitions of key words (e.g. "pheramone," "megalopolis," "absinthe") to bulky movie plot summaries that detract from the novel's story. With this Trivial Pursuit–like tic, Listi aims to capture the fragmented worldview of a coolly detached generation, but a few wedges are missing. (Feb.)
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"It's not easy writing lightly about heavy things, but Brad Listi makes it look effortless.... Attention. Deficit. Disorder.
is a wild American picaresque."
-- Stewart O'Nan
The Good Wife, A Prayer for the Dying, The Night Country, and coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Faithful