A Calling for Charlie Barnes

Joshua Ferris

£16.99

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Viking
16 September 2021
ISBN: 9780241202869

From the publisher

From the Booker-shortlisted author of To Rise Again at a Decent Hour comes a novel about fathers, sons, thwarted dreams and confronting the reality of who we really are

Charlie Barnes is a mid-century man devoted to his newspaper and his landline. But Charlie is about to get dragged into our troubled age by his storyteller son, who has a different idea of him than he has of himself. Then there are his other children, his ex-wives, present wife, business clients, friends and acquaintances, all of whom have their competing opinions of Charlie.

He certainly seems simple enough: he's a striver, a romantic, and a thoroughgoing capitalist. But suddenly blindsided by the Great Recession and a dose of bad news, he might have to rethink his life from top to bottom, and on short notice. What makes a man real? What makes him good? And how does the story we tell about ourselves line up with the lives that we actually live?
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'Funny, moving, and formally a work of genius, A Calling for Charlie Barnes is quite literally the book Joshua Ferris was born to write' Garth Risk Hallberg, author of City on Fire

'Dazzling. Mind-blowing. About as much fun as you can have without risking arrest' Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls

'Wonderfulfast and deep, urgent and brilliant . . . A hilarious, intimate, and scathing takedown of so many American vanities' Dana Spiotta, author of Stone Arabia