‘Powerful and magnetic’ Guardian
‘Mind blowing’ Roxane Gay
‘Explosive’ Hanya Yanagihara
‘Funny and disturbing’ Lauren Groff
Meet Stephen Florida: college student, amateur wrestler, visionary, outsider.
Entering senior year, his sights are set on the championships. Every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness, yet also a step further from reality. Profane, manic and tipping into the uncanny, this is Florida’s chronicle of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.
With echoes of The Art of Fielding and the film Foxcatcher, Gabe Habash’s daring, revelatory debut journeys into the mind of a young man teetering between control and rage, grief and elation, genius and insanity.
About the author
Gabe Habash is the fiction reviews editor for Publishers Weekly. He holds an MFA from New York University and lives in New York.
‘Powerful and magnetic, with a quality that suggests it has been worked over to strip it bare of ornamentation but still leave it with a rare beauty’ Guardian
‘Mind blowing’ Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist
‘A coming-of-age story with its own, often explosive, rhythm and velocity … This is a shape-shifter of a book, both a dark ode to the mysteries and landscapes of the American West and a complex and convincing character study’ Hanya Yanagihara, author of A Little Life
‘Such a funny and disturbing and excellent book’ Lauren Groff, author of Fates and Furies
‘Excellent … Gabe Habash takes us deep inside the disordered mind of a college wrestler. Welcome to the hall of fame of unreliable narrators’ BuzzFeed
‘An unforgettable addition to the canon of great literary eccentrics. At once a chronicle of obsession, a philosophical treatise, and a deeply affecting love story, this singular novel is perhaps most profoundly an anatomy of American loneliness. Gabe Habash is a writer of powerful gifts, and this is a wonderful book’ Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You
‘Utterly engrossing’ Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will
‘Habash has created a fascinating protagonist in Stephen, a hard-driven athlete with a convincingly thoughtful mind … Just when you think you’ve got [him] pegged, he surprises you’ The New York Times Book Review
‘Dizzyingly good’ Huffington Post
‘Habash writes about the raw physicality of wrestling better than anybody this side of John Irving… A lively, occasionally harrowing journey into obsession’ Kirkus
‘Wickedly good … exquisite … [Stephen Florida] is the taught, erratic, boundless contradiction of what it means to be alive’ Los Angeles Review of Books
‘One of the most unforgettable characters in recent American fiction … starkly beautiful and moving … one of the best novels of the year’ NPR
‘Spellbinding’ Toronto Star