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The Radicals: A Novel
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Published:
Random House Publishing Group 2018
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Description
An intimate, suspenseful, and provocative portrait of friendship and love at its limits, and a timely exploration of class tensions and corporate excess in America
When Eli first meets Sam Westergard, he is dazzled by his new friend's charisma, energy, and determined passion. Both graduate students in New York City, the two young men bond over their idealism, their love of poetry, and their commitment to socialism, both in theory and in practice—this last taking the form of an organized protest against Soline, a giant energy company that has speculated away the jobs and savings of thousands. As an Occupy-like group begins to coalesce around him, Eli realizes that some of his fellow intellectuals are more deeply—and dangerously—devoted to the cause than others. 
A fiercely intelligent, wonderfully human illustration of friendship, empathy, and suspicion in the midst of political upheaval, Ryan McIlvain's new novel confirms him as one of our most talented and distinctive writers at work today.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/13/2018
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780553417890
ASIN:
B0711PMMSL
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ryan McIlvain. (2018). The Radicals: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ryan McIlvain. 2018. The Radicals: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ryan McIlvain, The Radicals: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2018.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ryan McIlvain. The Radicals: A Novel. Random House Publishing Group, 2018.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 16:40:57
Date Updated:
Dec 08, 2020 20:15:23
Last Metadata Check:
May 19, 2024 08:01:45
Last Metadata Change:
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Last Availability Change:
Aug 06, 2018 15:22:11
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
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      • bioText: Ryan McIlvain was born in Utah and raised in Massachusetts. His first novel, Elders, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and his work has appeared in The Paris Review, Post Road, The Rumpus, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among many other publications. A former Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, McIlvain now lives with his family in Tampa, Florida.
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title
The Radicals
fullDescription
An intimate, suspenseful, and provocative portrait of friendship and love at its limits, and a timely exploration of class tensions and corporate excess in America
When Eli first meets Sam Westergard, he is dazzled by his new friend's charisma, energy, and determined passion. Both graduate students in New York City, the two young men bond over their idealism, their love of poetry, and their commitment to socialism, both in theory and in practice—this last taking the form of an organized protest against Soline, a giant energy company that has speculated away the jobs and savings of thousands. As an Occupy-like group begins to coalesce around him, Eli realizes that some of his fellow intellectuals are more deeply—and dangerously—devoted to the cause than others. 
A fiercely intelligent, wonderfully human illustration of friendship, empathy, and suspicion in the midst of political upheaval, Ryan McIlvain's new novel confirms him as one of our most talented and distinctive writers at work today.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from December 18, 2017
        In McIlvain’s splendid second novel (following Elders), the blissful rootlessness of narrator Eli, a 28-year-old graduate student, makes the novel a kind of adventure story of friendship and betrayal, in the same vein as On the Road. Eli is a socially conscious academic at NYU. His observations are casual but incisive, strewn with both scholarly and pop culture references including Sartre, Trotsky, Nadal, and Legoland. It’s in a Marxist theory class that Eli meets magnetic and impulsive Sam Westergard. Their friendship, fueled as much by adrenaline as righteousness, takes a leap when Eli flies with Sam to Phoenix to help single mother Maria Nava, who’s fighting eviction at the hands of an evil corporation named Soline. In no time, Eli is canvassing door-to-door, and activists of all stripes are pouring in, with disparate agendas. Heretofore, Eli’s stances on social justice and activism have been mostly theoretical; he’s totally unprepared for the mess and danger of real activism. Eli’s commitment attracts his volatile ex Alex, whose affair with Sam puts a wrench in the bromance, not to mention Eli’s engagement to his fiancee, Jen. McIlvain’s prose is effortless and sharply perceptive; this is a consistently engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable novel. Agent: PJ Mark, Janklow & Nesbit Associates.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        December 15, 2017
        The author of Elders (2013) serves up another story of true belief and its discontents, this time set in the time of failing banks, rising inequality, and the Occupy movement.It seems fitting that McIlvain should begin his story with a tennis match: tennis, after all, is the beloved domain of David Foster Wallace, patron saint of latter-day postmodern literature, but it also makes a nicely convenient symbolic backdrop against which to pit friends about to face a shattering agon, "a pair of pale intellectuals disgracing the game." Sam Westergard is a Mormon-turned-socialist; the narrator, Eli, a bookish young man who finds Sam a perfect sparring partner in a Marxist theory course in grad school. ("I was just tired of poetry workshops," Sam sighs, "and maybe a little curious.") Theory becomes praxis when fellow travelers turn activist--and when their attention to matters of social justice takes on deadly seriousness. With its distant villain a shadowy Enron-era energy conglomerate, the story recalls Newton Thornburg's novel Cutter and Bone at a few points, but whereas the earlier story was all sinewy, whiskey-soaked action, McIlvain seems more interested in exploring the contours of friendship and betrayal, with murder and intramural politics more bits of backdrop against that larger scenario of manners and ideas. Readers may find it helpful to have nodding familiarity with Marxist and Trotskyist thought to get some of McIlvain's learned humor, but old-school lefties will surely nod in appreciation and recognition at his knowing description of communard angst: "What's with all the Stalinist secrecy around here?" demands a comrade, Jamaal. "Do we have to fuck our way to the top?" An admonition swiftly follows: "What a charming reactionary you'd make." Altogether, the story seems a touch more labored than McIlvain's assured debut effort but still memorable, the details just right.A welcome return that will leave readers looking forward to future work from McIlvain.

        COPYRIGHT(2017) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from January 1, 2018
        When Eli meets Sam in a graduate class on Marxist theory, he doubts the former Mormon's sincere commitment to the cause. Then, slamming balls across a tennis court and arguing about the practical side of socialism, the two form a sort of camaraderie. An opportunity to put theory into practice takes them to the Southwest, where they meet up with Eli's ex-girlfriend, Alex, in an Occupy-style protest against the energy giant Soline. The demonstration is ultimately a failure, and the disappointed activists return to New York. Eli resumes dating and studying, but he can't shake the feeling of helplessness. Stumbling across Sam and Alex, now lovers, he is drawn to their new focus on action, instead of activism. Eli becomes increasingly entrenched in their continued fight against Soline and its top executives, unaware of the sacrifices he's making or the violence toward which they are headed until it is too late. Rich in socialist ideas and jargon, McIlvain's exploration of the world of protesters will resound with readers interested in the personal side of dissent. McIlvain offers far more than political commentary, though, as he explores friendship, loyalty, and betrayal in a tale driven by tension and suspense.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2018, American Library Association.)

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An intimate, suspenseful, and provocative portrait of friendship and love at its limits, and a timely exploration of class tensions and corporate excess in America
When Eli first meets Sam Westergard, he is dazzled by his new friend's charisma, energy, and determined passion. Both graduate students in New York City, the two young men bond over their idealism, their love of poetry, and their commitment to socialism, both in theory and in practice—this last taking the form of an organized protest against Soline, a giant energy company that has speculated away the jobs and savings of thousands. As an Occupy-like group begins to coalesce around him, Eli realizes that some of his fellow intellectuals are more deeply—and dangerously—devoted to the cause than others. 
A fiercely intelligent, wonderfully human illustration of friendship, empathy, and suspicion in the midst of political upheaval, Ryan McIlvain's new novel confirms him as one of our...
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