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Amateur Barbarians

Amateur Barbarians

(2009)
A novel by

 
Teddy Hastings is more of a doer than a thinker, a man who measures his life by what he has built: a successful career as a middle school principal, a solid marriage, two lovely if distant daughters. But once he hits fifty, in the shadow of his younger brother's death and a health scare of his own, Teddy feels the gravitational pull of his mortality and realizes he is no longer quite so in the middle, no longer building a life but maintaining one. He yearns for delivery and transcendence, for a hint of the sublime, and is determined to find it. What he gets instead is the "intrusion of the irrational in his affairs."

Oren Pierce, a perpetual grad student who has "made a mark, or left a smudge anyway" all over the place, has had more than enough transcendence in his life. Neither the extraordinary existence for which he assumed he was destined nor the woman with whom he assumed he would share it has materialized. In their absence he flounders in the possible, wondering what it will take to anchor himself to the supremely ordinary existence he both longs for and abhors.

The intersecting and diverging paths of these two men take them from the grids of New York City to the domesticated gardens of New England to the wildest, most unstructured landscapes of all -- the bedroom, the classroom, the darkroom, and the far reaches of East Africa, where Teddy at last finds something akin to what he seeks.

Amateur Barbarians showcases a writer at the peak of his powers, laying bare the evasions and unrealities of the familiar, the odd recognition with which we view the remote, plumbing the depths of the unlived life with uncanny wit and perception, revealing yet again why Robert Cohen was touted by The New York Times Book Review as the "heir to Saul Bellow and Philip Roth."

 
Used availability for Robert Cohen's Amateur Barbarians


See all available used copies of this book at Abebooks UK or Abebooks US
 

Hardback Editions

July 2009 : USA Hardback
Title: Amateur Barbarians: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Cohen
ISBN: 0-7432-3036-1 / 978-0-7432-3036-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

March 2013 : USA Paperback
Title: Amateur Barbarians: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Cohen
ISBN: 1-4391-8268-X / 978-1-4391-8268-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Kindle Editions

July 2009 : UK Kindle edition
Title: Amateur Barbarians: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Cohen
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon UK   

June 2009 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
Title: Amateur Barbarians: A Novel
Author(s): Robert Cohen
Publisher: Scribner
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA   



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