Among the Ten Thousand Things: A Novel
Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: July 2015
Duration: 9 hours 6 minutes
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE ANDTHE HUFFINGTON POST -For fans of Jennifer Egan, Jonathan Franzen, Lorrie Moore, and Curtis Sittenfeld, Among the Ten Thousand Things is a dazzling first novel, a portrait of an American family on the cusp of irrevocable change, and a startlingly original story of love and time lost.
Jack Shanley is a well-known New York artist, charming and vain, who doesn"t mean to plunge his family into crisis. His wife, Deb, gladly left behind a difficult career as a dancer to raise the two children she adores. In the ensuing years, she has mostly avoided coming face-to-face with the weaknesses of the man she married. But then an anonymously sent package arrives in the mail: a cardboard box containing sheaves of printed emails chronicling Jack"s secret life. The package is addressed to Deb, but it"s delivered into the wrong hands: her children"s.
With this vertiginous opening begins a debut that is by turns funny, wise, and indescribably moving. As the Shanleys spin apart into separate orbits, leaving New York in an attempt to regain their bearings, fifteen-year-old Simon feels the allure of adult freedoms for the first time, while eleven-year-old Kay wanders precariously into a grown-up world she can"t possibly understand. Writing with extraordinary precision, humor, and beauty, Julia Pierpont has crafted a timeless, hugely enjoyable novel about the bonds of family life-their brittleness, and their resilience.
Praise for Among the Ten Thousand Things
"A luscious, smart summer novel . . . about a family blown apart and yet still painfully tethered together, written by a blazingly talented young author whose prose is so assured and whose observations are so precise and deeply felt that it"s almost an insult to bring up her age."-Helen Schulman, The New York Times Book Review
"[An] excellent, insightful first novel . . . a gripping portrait of the disintegration of the Shanley family . . . Pierpont brings this family of four to life in sharply observed detail. . . . An acute observer of social comedy, Ms. Pierpont has a keen eye for the absurd."-Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal
"Pierpont"s language is heart-stopping. . . . Technically, of course, this is a domestic drama. But between Pierpont"s literary finesse and her captivating characters, it reads like a page-turner. [Grade:] A"-Entertainment Weekly
"There are going to be as many ingenious twists and turns in this literary novel as there are in a top-notch work of suspense like Gone Girl."-Maureen Corrigan, NPR"s Fresh Air
"Tender, delicately perceptive . . . Pierpont"s voice is wry and confident, and she is a fine anthropologist of New York life."-The Washington Post
"Bracing . . . Pierpont"s killer ending reveals the long reach of the affair"s consequences (sorry, no plot spoilers). Consider this a twisty, gripping story-that packs an emotional wallop."-O: The Oprah Magazine
"Adebut so honest and mature that it will resonate with even the most action-hungry readers-perhaps against reason. Her story is the one we"ll be talking about this summer, and well beyond."-Meredith Turits, Vanity Fair
"Pierpont displays a precocious gift for language and observation. . . . She captures the minutiae of loneliness that pushes us away from each other and sometimes brings us back."-San Francisco Chronicle
From the Hardcover edition.