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The Locals: A Novel

The Locals: A Novel at Amazon.com


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ISBN: 0812993225 - The Locals: A Novel  
Title:The Locals: A Novel
Author:Jonathan Dee
Publisher:Random House
Type:Book / Hardcover
Publication Date:08 August, 2017
ISBN / ISBN-13:0812993225  /  9780812993226
List Price:$28.00
You Save:$8.96
Your Price:$19.04     Purchase

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Editorial Review / Publisher's Information:

Product Description
“Summons up a small American town at precisely the right moment in our history . . . a bold, vital, and view-expanding novel.”—George Saunders

A rural working-class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this inspired novel for our times—fiction in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jennifer Egan.


A WASHINGTON POST NOTABLE BOOK

Mark Firth is a contractor and home restorer in Howland, Massachusetts, who feels opportunity passing his family by. After being swindled by a financial advisor, what future can Mark promise his wife, Karen, and their young daughter, Haley? He finds himself envying the wealthy weekenders in his community whose houses sit empty all winter.

Philip Hadi used to be one of these people. But in the nervous days after 9/11 he flees New York and hires Mark to turn his Howland home into a year-round “secure location” from which he can manage billions of dollars of other people’s money. The collision of these two men’s very different worlds—rural vs. urban, middle class vs. wealthy—is the engine of Jonathan Dee’s powerful new novel.

Inspired by Hadi, Mark looks around for a surefire investment: the mid-decade housing boom. Over Karen’s objections, and teaming up with his troubled brother, Gerry, Mark starts buying up local property with cheap debt. Then the town’s first selectman dies suddenly, and Hadi volunteers for office. He soon begins subtly transforming Howland in his image—with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family.

Here are the dramas of twenty-first-century America—rising inequality, working class decline, a new authoritarianism—played out in the classic setting of some of our greatest novels: the small town. The Locals is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time.

Praise for The Locals

“After 9/11, New York hedge fund billionaire Philip Hadi retreats to his summer home in the Berkshires. In thrall to his new town, he runs for office to keep it sleepy, sweet and free from tax hikes. Is he benevolent, arrogant or both? No one gets off the moral hook in this propulsive, brilliantly observed study.”People (Book of the Week)
 
“Thoughtful . . . [Jonathan Dee’s] prescient sensitivity has never been more unnerving. . . . Amid the heat of today’s vicious political climate, The Locals is a smoke alarm. Listen up.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

Amazon.com Review
An Amazon Best Book of August 2017: Back in 2012, Jonathan Dee wrote, “Only bad literature proselytizes…Great literature sees, without advocacy and without pity.” His new novel, The Locals, is indeed great, partly because it fulfills the requirements of that dictum. Dee doesn’t proselytize, but does “see” very clearly the intersecting lives of the residents of Howland, a fictional town in the Berkshires. After 9/11, a wealthy New York financier moves in, and in short order becomes the town’s First Selectman, eschewing a salary, repealing taxes, and behaving, in both popular and unpopular ways, like the prince of a blue-collar fiefdom. Dee, an extraordinary mimic, inhabits the quirky voice of one character, and then another. Those shifts of perspective give a polyphonic, democratic feel to this novel. Social isolation, real-estate speculation and the promise of love: it’s America in a microcosm, but it’s to Dee’s credit that his readers are never entirely sure how he thinks any of us could do better. --Sarah Harrison Smith, Amazon Book Review

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