Normal view MARC view ISBD view

The altruists / Andrew Ridker.

By: Ridker, Andrew [author.].
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Jonathan Cape, an imprint of Vintage, [2019]Copyright date: ©2019Description: 308 pages ; 22 cm.ISBN: 9781787331686; 9781787331686 .Subject(s): College teachers -- Fiction | Inheritance and succession -- FictionGenre/Form: Domestic fiction.DDC classification: 813/.6 Summary: A vibrant and perceptive novel about a father's plot to win back his children's inheritance. Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can't afford his mortgage, he's exasperated his much-younger girlfriend, and his kids won't speak to him. And then there's the money--the small fortune his late wife Francine kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children. Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother's money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate; and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora's box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories--memories that orbit Francine, the matriarch whose life may hold the key to keeping them together. Spanning New York, Paris, Boston, St. Louis, and a small desert outpost in Zimbabwe, The Altruists is a darkly funny (and ultimately tender) family saga in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides, with shades of Philip Roth and Zadie Smith. It's a novel about money, privilege, politics, campus culture, dating, talk therapy, rural sanitation, infidelity, kink, the American beer industry, and what it means to be a "good person."
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due Barcode Item holds
Fiction Eltham LibraryPlus
Fiction
Fiction RIDK (Browse shelf) Available I2187948
Total holds: 0

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

'Reading Andrew Ridker's debut novel, you soon realise you're in the presence of a new talent.' The Times <br> <br> Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can't afford his mortgage, he's exasperated his new girlfriend, and his kids won't speak to him. And then there's the money - the small fortune his late wife Francine kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children.<br> <br> Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother's money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate; and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora's Box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories.<br> <br> Spanning New York, Paris, Boston, St. Louis, and a small desert outpost in Zimbabwe, The Altruists is a razor-sharp, darkly funny family saga from a sparkling new talent.

A vibrant and perceptive novel about a father's plot to win back his children's inheritance. Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can't afford his mortgage, he's exasperated his much-younger girlfriend, and his kids won't speak to him. And then there's the money--the small fortune his late wife Francine kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children. Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother's money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate; and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora's box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories--memories that orbit Francine, the matriarch whose life may hold the key to keeping them together. Spanning New York, Paris, Boston, St. Louis, and a small desert outpost in Zimbabwe, The Altruists is a darkly funny (and ultimately tender) family saga in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Jeffrey Eugenides, with shades of Philip Roth and Zadie Smith. It's a novel about money, privilege, politics, campus culture, dating, talk therapy, rural sanitation, infidelity, kink, the American beer industry, and what it means to be a "good person."

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

DEBUT The Alter family of St. Louis, MO, is disharmonious and dysfunctional, its individual members seemingly irreconcilable. Family head and engineering instructor Arthur is a well-meaning man whose single foray into do-gooderism ends in fiasco: his project to bring sanitation to underdeveloped Africa succeeds only in spreading deadly sleeping sickness. His recently deceased wife, Francine, has willed her secretly accumulated fortune directly to their two children, a postmortem slap at Arthur for his infidelity. Without that money, Arthur will lose his house, so he naturally concocts a scheme to ingratiate himself with his kids in order to secure their inheritance. What could possibly go wrong? Through a series of sketches and flashbacks, Ridker creates characters who frustrate, engage, and ultimately inspire. Though bitterness and interpersonal incompetence seem the dominant forces driving these protagonists, their fundamental love for one another prevails. Ridker's debut is at once humorous and poignant; without the author's skill and regard for his creations, this story could easily have slumped into the depressed mode of some of William Goldman's character-driven narratives of decades ago. Thankfully, it doesn't. VERDICT For readers drawn to flawed characters and their redemption.-Michael Russo, Louisiana State Univ., Baton Rouge © Copyright 2019. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

There are no comments for this item.

Log in to your account to post a comment.

©South Taranaki District Council

Contact us