True Believers

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True Believers

This is my newest novel, now out in paperback, and you can order your own copy right now fromAmazon or Barrnes and Noble or IndieBound or iBookstore.

The Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle both named it one of the best novels of 2012.

You can read the first chapter here. And watch a cool promotional video here or listen to  songs that feature in the book here.  Here’s my publisher’s synopsis, and here are their book club discussion questions. Here’s a piece I wrote for the Wall Street Journal about writing a novel in the first person for the first time. (And you can judge this book by its cover: Design Observer named it one of the best of 2012.)

The arc of the book, according to the review in Vanity Fair  (by the playwright Jon Robin Baitz), is beautifully drawn. This is Andersen’s best book to date, which makes it a great American novel.

Laura Lippman in The Guardian: As a novelist, Andersen is pretty outstanding.

The Washington Post — which named True Believers one of the best novels of 2012, calls it a big, swinging novel you’ll want to check out, smart,a rambling, colorful story full of witty insights with plenty to keep us entertained that could be the most rambunctious meeting your book club has for a long time.

Fortune Exhilarating…accessible and often funnyan absorbing, well-told tale. It’s also the best reverie on the 1960s and their legacy that I’ve seen.

The San Francisco Chronicle says it’s aconvincing,funny, fiendishly smart, insightful and joyously loopy novel.

According to The Winnipeg Free Press it’s an unmitigated success whose plot is nigh-on perfect and shifts back and forth in time are seamless.

USA TodayThis intelligent and insightful coming-of-age flashbackThink The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Atonement, a ’60s-era female Holden Caulfield. Andersen is an agile storyteller, alternating convincingly between Hollander then and Hollander now,” and “builds suspense” while impressively providing emotionally  accurate depictions of life and events in the ’60s” and witty, occasionally even profound observations about the ’60s and today.”

The starred review in Booklist  says that Andersen creates spellbinding suspense. This is an ambitious and remarkable novel, wonderfully voiced, about memory, secrets, guilt, and the dangers of certitude. Moreover, it asks essential questions about what it means to be an American and, in a sense, what it means to be America. Andersen’s best yet.

The Atlanticcould plausibly be included in the same class as Philip Roth’s American Pastoral

The Sunday New York Times Book Review : a novel about the powerful influence literature can exert on life, a historical romance about the 1960s in which  Andersen is doing something harder than the novel’s amiable, energized surface might suggest.

And Brain Pickings calls it one of the two essentialsummer-of-2012 novels: As absorbing as the story is, what makes the novel spellbinding is [the heroine's] fascinating, layered character — at once brilliant and irreverent, brimming with equal parts intelligence and humor. A master of simple yet tremendously evocative narrative, [Andersen] moves swiftly between well-timed wit, without a hint of smugness.

Scott Turow says this: This witty, imaginative novel is one part bildungsroman, one part political thriller and one part contemplation on age — and in all aspects wonderful reading.

Gary Shteyngart says this: Kurt Andersen’s best yet. The man is operating on some far-out level that bends time and space to his will. True Believers hits all the right notes and reads like a goddamn dream.

And Gayle King of CBS This Morning says this: It’s a doozy. I was blown away.

Here’s a Los Angeles Times piece about the book and me, and some  interviews I’ve done about the book:

 



  True Believers 
INTERVIEWS & ETCETERA

» READ an interview in The Los Angeles Times

» WATCH interviews on MSNBC’s Morning Joe and Now with Alex Wagner, and with Lawrence O’Donnell at Los Angeles Talks Live and Jon Steinberg at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco 

» READ interviews in New York magazine’s Vulture

» LISTEN to interviews on public radio’s Kojo Nnamdi Show (WAMU) and Radio Times (WHYY)  Leonard Lopate Show   (WNYC) and The Takeaway 

» READ my piece about the books that change the life of my heroine on Amazon’s Books home page

» READ a piece about the book party and LOOK at the impossibly glamorous photos

» READ about my five favorite 1960s books in The Daily Beast

…and more here

 

 
» WATCH an interview on MSNBC’s Now with Alex WagnerAndersen also adroitly manages a tricky narrative structure.


Reviews of True Believers

Barnes and Noble Review :  “His mind is a fine-gauge net in the ocean of American culture…. deeply wise…Andersen’s control of his subject is so complete.”

Booklist : “Andersen creates spellbinding suspense. This is an ambitious and remarkable novel, wonderfully voiced, about memory, secrets, guilt, and the dangers of certitude. Moreover, it asks essential questions about what it means to be an American and, in a sense, what it means to be America. Andersen’s best yet.”

BusinessWeek:  “Brisk and zeitgeisty…Andersen has a keen eye for irony…Like a Cold War spy novelist, Andersen creates a world of shifting identities.”

Brain Pickings :As absorbing as the story is, what makes the novel spellbinding is [the heroine's] fascinating, layered character — at once brilliant and irreverent, brimming with equal parts intelligence and humor. Andersen’s a master of simple yet tremendously evocative narrative.”

Fortune “Exhilarating…accessible and often funny…an absorbing, well-told tale. It’s also the best reverie on the 1960s and their legacy that I’ve seen.”

Huntington News :“Tour de force is an overused phrase but I think Kurt Andersen has achieved one in True Believers.”

Kirkus: “Fun…smart.”

Las Vegas City Life : “His writing is as entertaining as ever…few writers of fiction are able to seamlessly weave historical fact into the fabric of fiction as well as Andersen.”

The New Yorker: “A diverting political mystery, which also serves as a vehicle for keen cultural criticism.”

New York Times Book Review :  “A novel about the powerful influence literature can exert on life…Andersen is doing something harder than the novel’s amiable, energized surface might suggest….a historical romance about the 1960s [that] reminded me…of the James Michener epics I read and loved.”

The Onion‘s A.V. Club: “The novel presents itself as Karen’s memoir in progress, and she’s a superb narrator, captivating yet slippery. A-”

The Philadelphia Inquirer: “Full of twists and turns, popular culture references, spook-talk, black ops, deception, and duplicity. True Believers is ambitious.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: “Persuasively detailed re-creation of the 1960s and equally sharp portrait of contemporary realities. Clever…smart and accessible, a book as entertaining as it is illuminating.”

San Francisco Chronicle : “Kurt Andersen’s fiendishly smart, insightful and joyously loopy novel.”

Shelf Awareness “Kurt Andersen brings all the wit he honed at the Harvard Lampoon (and later at Spy), as well as the probing eye for cultural details shown in his previous novels, Turn of the Century and Heyday. Andersen’s sympathetic heroine brings a smart, funny voice to the political and cultural ambiguities of the last 50 years.”

Time Out Chicago: “Compelling political-thriller pacing.”

USA Today: “This intelligent and insightful coming-of-age flashback…Think The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and Atonement, a ’60s-era female Holden Caulfield. Andersen is an agile storyteller, alternating convincingly between Hollander then and Hollander now,” “emotionally  accurate depictions of life” and “witty, occasionally even profound observations about the ’60s and today.”

Winnipeg Free Press : “Andersen’s third novel is a hybrid — a literate suspense story set in the present married to thoughtful historical fiction. And this grafting of two genres is an unmitigated success. His shifts back and forth in time are seamless. The plot is nigh-on perfect.”

Vanity Fair : “The arc of the book is beautifully drawn. This is Andersen’s best book to date, which makes it a great American novel.”

The Washington Post : “A big, swinging novel you’ll want to check out, a colorful story full of witty insights [with] plenty to keep us entertained.”

 

 



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