book cover of The Dunning-Kruger Effect

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

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An overeducated, underemployed man struggles to complete his novel and get his life together over the course of one scorching hot Swedish summer in this clever, provocative, and hilarious novel that is already an acclaimed sensation abroad.

Convinced of his own moral and intellectual superiority, the nameless protagonist of this debut novel is also paralyzed by self-consciousness. Yet, inspired by Stephen King’s
On Writing, he decides to dedicate four hours a day to work on his own novel over the course of one summer. Only, he must also balance his creative goals with a part-time government job and looking after his girlfriend’s possibly brain-damaged Pomeranian dog.

Too bad he’s uninspired by his job, almost kills the dog, and realizes his novel is slowly morphing into misguided fan fiction about French writer and
enfant terrible Michel Houellebecq.

Even when he’s alone, he can’t help but pontificate before an imagined audience, making over-the-top cases for and against all manner of culture war battles, referencing everyone from Spike Lee to Grumpy Cat. He obsesses over identity politics, and veers into dangerous territory as he and his androgynous girlfriend engage in sexual role-play. He’s an emblem of all the follies of our age—happily unaware that in his refusal to be ordinary, he’s become a walking cliché of misguided manhood.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect is a portrait of a person belatedly coming of age, a blistering takedown of a privileged man who believes he’s a revolutionary, and “a crackling firework display of comic brilliance” (Svenska Dagbladet, Sweden).

Genre: Literary Fiction

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