From Publishers Weekly
The passions that animate writers take zany shape in this playful metafictional debut novel by the author of the short story collection Kissing You.
Evan Ulmer, an anxious writer desperate for literary success, is sick of having his stories rejected by busy publishers. Growing impatient, he abducts Robert Partnow, an esteemed book editor he read about in Publisher's Weekly
, and locks him up in a basement designed for maximum comfort. There, Partnow is forced to listen to the many failures of the struggling writer, and captor and captive gradually develop a wary relationship based on honesty and loneliness. Meanwhile, the zealous media coverage of Partnow's disappearance brings to light a few of the editor's own failings and forces the duo to reevaluate their respective positions. When Ulmer isn't talking shop with his hostage, he's falling for Promise, an affection-starved writer with similar pen-in-hand ambitions. It's a nudge from Promise that finally turns the tables on Ulmer, ushering in the startling, satisfying denouement. In deadpan, witty prose embroidered with nervous detail, Hayes offers a deft, pointed look at the writing life and the fine line between ambition and delusion.
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Evan Ulmer, a struggling writer, finds himself doing the unthinkable. He buys a gun, abducts a book editor named Robert Partnow, and keeps him locked in the basement of his home in upstate New York. Ulmer creates for Partnow a fortress-prison equipped with a TV, portable toilet, and treadmill, but it becomes increasingly evident to captor and captive alike that Ulmer has no real plans for his abductee. Evan is a self-absorbed writer who seems only to write for the possibility of fame. He shares these dreams and his career disappointments with Bob, and he finds they have more in common than expected. A burgeoning romance with a plucky girl, also a writer, whom he meets at the public library forces Evan to face the enormity of the crime he has undertaken: What was
he thinking? Tight, clever turns of phrase and a surprisingly light touch give this first novel a fresh feel even as it reprises a familiar theme--the absurdities of the publishing world and the agonies of rejection. Misha StoneCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved