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The Suitors

A Novel

List Price: $23.00

March 14, 2006 | Hardcover | 5.5 x 8.5, 304 Pages | ISBN 9781582433356
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"With his linguistic acrobatics, caustic wit and mix-and-match structure, Ehrenreich shows the stirrings of an original talent..." —Publishers Weekly 

This book is a fresh, frenzied re-imagining of The Odyssey—and the debut of a major new literary talent. Very, very loosely based on The Odyssey, The Suitors is a wildly inventive, painstakingly crafted little novel. Focusing less on the Odysseus character (renamed Payne) than on the Penelope character (now Penny), it follows the eyebrow-raising exploits of her much-maligned, ill-fated suitors. While Payne gallivants around, waging war and otherwise taking his time on the voyage home, Penny—stunning in her beauty while forever sullen in demeanor—finds herself surrounded by a motley crew of ne’er-do-wells eager for nothing but her attention. She, however, cannot be bothered with anything but her memories of Payne. That is, until the mysterious arrival of a man whose origins no one on the scene can quite divine. When Penny starts taking a shine to him, the tenuous calm on the home front quickly starts to unravel. Set in an unforgettable landscape that is not quite suburban America but is nowhere else either, and at a time that is not quite now but neither the past nor the future still, the result is an exuberantly imaginative meditation on love and exile, memory and desire, violence and betrayal, and last but not least, compassion. Full of ideas but with never a dull moment, The Suitors heralds the debut of a major new literary talent.

BEN EHRENREICH is currently a regular writer for L.A. Weekly, and his articles and essays have been published in the New York Times, the Village Voice, The Believer, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. His fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, BOMB Magazine, and other journals. He lives in Los Angeles.

Praise

“With a talent for literary mimicry, he tries on a multiplicity of voices… As the story proceeds and echoes Homer more closely, the novel’s wit ebbs, but for those with a lust for American modernist fiction, Ehrenreich’s will be a journey they’ll gladly take.” —Publishers Weekly 

“Regular LA Weekly contributor Ehrenreich leaves journalistic prose far behind in a richly imagined novel loosely based on Homer’s Odyssey and inspirited by a dazzling display of verbal gifts… Ehrenreich’s odd mixing of psychological insight and full-blooded characterizations with frivolous plot twists and riotous action may not be to everyone’s taste, yet it makes for some delicious occasional black comedy. Any resemblance to Homer’s classic is mostly superficial, but Ehrenreich’s prodigious, Joycean prose establishes him as a writer to watch.” —Booklist 

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