‘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
Foxcatcher meets The Art of Fielding. A coming-of-age story and a psychological journey into the mind of a young man teetering between genius and insanity.
Stephen Florida is a college wrester in his senior season, fixated on winning his Championship fight: every practice, every match, is a step closer to greatness and a step further from reality. Profane, manic and tipping into the uncanny, this is his story of loneliness, obsession, and the drive to leave a mark.
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
‘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
‘Habash has a great eye for the ways in which our public identities and private insecurities are shaped by happenstance … full of vim and invention, good jokes and built-up bodies, unexpected sentences’ Paris Review Daily
‘Spellbinding’ Toronto Star