Page 2 of 11
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. Adelle Waldman
Waldman's debut novel is about something that everyone knows a little something about: assholes. The asshole in question is Nate Piven, a Brooklyn writer, and is the kind of guy who doesn't think he's an asshole, even when he is straight-up called just that by an ex-girlfriend. Why doesn't Nate think he's an asshole? Oh, well, mostly because he's the kind of guy who will pay for an abortion, so how bad can he be? I mean, plenty bad, right? With Nate, Waldman has created an instantly recognizable to anyone-that-lives-in-Brooklyn-circa-now character who manages to be both completely relatable and completely reprehensible. One of the things that stands out most about this novel is that characters of both sexes are completely realized, something that just doesn't happen as often as you'd like. Plus any book that includes the following takedown is guaranteed to be a fun read: “I feel like you want to think what you’re feeling is really deep, like some seriously profound existential shit. But to me, it looks like the most tired, average thing in the world, the guy who is interested in a woman until the very moment when it dawns on him that he has her. Wanting only what you can’t have. The affliction of shallow morons everywhere.” And summer is all about fun, isn't it? Fun and cruelty.