Keith Gessen

Books Reviews Keith Gessen
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Keith Gessen

Boys gone mild

Sad young literary men may find Mark, Keith and Sam familiar.

The three dudes in this debut novel fitfully display their views on women and letters and our times as we follow them out of college and into East Coast life. These searching souls, like three blind mice, fail and fall and fart around. They win a little now and again, the way most of us do, but even their triumphant moments feel sad, young and, yes, literary.

Gessen offers a kind of print version of Sex and the City, a book that will most appeal to young guys who live in big cities and go to tony colleges and want to be writers, maybe, who labor in the fields of GQ style and have as many pipe dreams as bed partners.

The Russian-born author—who founded n+1, the controversial, wildly ambitious litmag—has talent, wit and now a fictive benchmark. We’ll look forward to more daring work. Dostoevsky is watching.