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The Future Won't Be Long: A Novel Hardcover – August 15, 2017
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Praise for The Future Won’t Be Long
“Brilliant. . . . The chapters, alternating between the perspectives of Baby and Adeline, visit a pornographic movie house on Third Avenue; the Jones Diner, famous for its $1.50 cheeseburger deluxe; the homeless shantytown in Tompkins Square Park; the Tower Records at Broadway and Fourth Street. Baby succumbs to the underworld of nightclubs, becoming a fixture at the Limelight and the Palladium and ingesting every fashionable drug that ever made the rounds in Manhattan. Eighties ‘nihilit’ phenom Bret Easton Ellis is duly brought on for a cameo and ruthlessly mocked, as is Brooklyn Heights poohbah Norman Mailer. Writing with encyclopedic authority and striking equilibrium, Mr. Kobek punctures the glamour of these cultural signifiers by threading his narrative with grisly real-life crimes. . . . But there’s one other constant in the novel, and that’s the friendship that Baby and Adeline sustain through their succession of boyfriends and jobs and mental breakdowns. Mr. Kobek sensitively traces the convoluted paths they take toward forging their careers. . . . You can’t stop time’s passage, this absorbing novel reminds us. You can only find someone to love to help you survive it.”
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
“Have you been pining for tales of drug-fueled big-city debauchery set in the pre-digital era, when MTV was king, people still used landlines and hookups were orchestrated on dance floors instead of dating apps? Look no further.”
—The Washington Post
“Hard not to recommend. . . . Full of delightfully cynical aphorisms. . . . At the heart of The Future Won’t Be Long is the friendship between Baby and Adeline—at once loving and destructive and convincingly drawn by Kobek.”
—Kevin Nguyen, GQ.com
“One of the best New York City novels I have read, a wise and funny book that captures the city from the mid-'80s to mid-'90s.”
“A swirling, name-dropping, drug-fueled, hypersaturated whirlwind of a novel set against the New York City of the 1980s and '90s, Kobek’s latest is a gritty coming-of-age story with quiet heart. . . . An ode to a city—and an era—long gone.”
“Ambitious. . . . Kobek crafts an electric tale, and the wilds of New York City during this intense time period provide a gritty, undeniably magnetic context.”
“Set primarily in Manhattan in the tumultuous decade spanning the years 1986 to 1996, the picaresque novel refracts the coming of age of its two main characters through their alternating narrative viewpoints and the events and personalities that defined the city at that time. . . . Kobek (I Hate the Internet) has a great eye for detail, and his descriptions of his characters’ peregrinations through New York’s neighborhoods and nightlife read with the authenticity of genuine experience. Punctuated with gentle humor and awash with genuine fondness for its characters, this novel breezes giddily through the disorder and shifting landscape of their lives, bearing out Baby’s contention that ‘Good or ill, there’s always change coming.’”
“Kobek follows his brilliant 2016 book, I Hate the Internet with a hilarious novel set in the 1980s and ’90s New York City art scene. It follows Adeline (a rich art student) and Baby (a Midwest expat) over their decade of friendship. Kobek’s writing is a dryly ironic cocktail of observations about sex, tech, friendship and other absurdities of modern life. He’s not for everyone. But if he is for you, he’ll be one of your favorite authors.”
—The Omaha World-Herald
“New York, like the future, isn’t what it used to be—which is why Jarett Kobek lives in California and writes like a dream. His new novel is a marvel of wit, grit, and deep city memory—perfect for any reader in search of a Horatio Alger into toilet sex and ketamine.”
—Joshua Cohen, author of The Book of Numbers and Moving Kings
“The Future Won’t Be Long arrives with the lightning strike clarity that usually comes on the dance floor at 4am when the chaos of the world makes beautiful and profound sense. Kobek brilliantly gathers the best and worst of club land, the grit and grime of the East Village and the art and aspirations of its inhabitants and delivers a novel so evocative of time and place that you’ll be pretty certain you were there.”
—Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street
“Jarett Kobek’s writing is both groundbreaking and skyrocketing. The Future Won’t Be Long is a punky, heartbreaking and hilarious epic on America going nowhere, going crazy, going bad. Read this book. It's brilliant.”
—Dorthe Nors, author of the Man Booker International Prize Finalist Mirror, Shoulder, Signal
“The Great New York City Novel has been loudly attempted and proclaimed so many times, one is tempted to assume it simply couldn’t exist. Yet, with piercing intelligence, vitality, hilarity, and a rather startling sweetness, Jarett Kobek has done it. The Future Won’t Be Long is staggering, exhilarating, and the single best portrait of Lower Manhattan achieved since American Psycho.”
—Matthew Specktor, author of American Dream Machine
Praise for Jarett Kobek’s I Hate the Internet
“A grainy political and cultural rant, a sustained shriek about power and morality in a new global era. It’s a glimpse at a lively mind at full boil. . . . [An] entertaining novel of ideas . . . This book has soul as well as nerve. It suggests that, as the author writes, ‘the whole world was on a script of loss and people only received their pages moments before they read their lines.’”
—Dwight Garner, The New York Times
“I just got an early copy of [Kobek’s] newest, I Hate the Internet, and devoured it—he’s as riotous as Houellebecq, and you don’t need a translator, only fireproof gloves for turning the pages.”
—Jonathan Lethem, The Scofield
“This is a relentless, cruel, hilariously inflamed satire of a loop of economic mystification and the reemergence of the credibility of the notion of Original Sin in the technological utopia of the present-day Bay Area and the world being remade in its image.”
—Greil Marcus, Pitchfork
About the Author
Jarett Kobek is a Turkish American writer living in California. He is the author of the novella ATTA (2011) and the novel I Hate the Internet (2016), an international bestseller that has appeared, or is scheduled to appear, in seven languages.
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For me, then, the book is like a stack of postcards that you and a friend pick up and remember. The places of the East Village, of New York City in that period. Where you shopped. Where you are. What you, too, read in the Voice on a Wednesday, or in the New York Native on Monday. Or the free bar publications. I didn't go to the clubs. I didn't use drugs. But all of us read about all of it, so could imagine it.
What is missing here, for me, is two lives that are more than cartoon characters, cardboard figures: the point of fiction.
The author truly has a unique writing style which might appeal to some but turn off others. I enjoyed the first 100 or so pages getting to know Adeline and Baby but the middle half of the book turned into a chore to read. I thought the story dragged on a little too much during these parts. The last 100 pages did pick up and I was interested again in the characters and their story lines.
The Club Kid scene of the 1980s and 1990s is thoroughly explored in this book so I recommend this book to anyone that is interested in that subject.
I received a free copy of this book Viking but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinions.