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Elect Mr Robinson for a Better World. Donald Antrim.
Elect Mr. The New Yorker named him as one of its inaugural twenty best writers under the age of forty.
Antrim has received grants and awards from the John D. He is a frequent contributor to The New Yorker.
Featuring a pagan-like shrouded figure, the attractively day-glo cover hints at the sinister mysteries awaiting the reader within. Once-respected local teacher Pete Robinson recalls the series of events that have led to his self-imposed exile and to the current state of his community, where violence, cruelty and manipulation have become the norm.
In an eerily detached manner, the undercurrents of aggression and sexuality lurking beneath the apparently banal surface of suburbia are thrust into the foreground. This ranges from Pete's ambiguous role in the drawing and quartering of the town's last mayor, to the homemade battlements surrounding the residents' homes, and the landmines littering the local park; results of an on-going war between two families. With good reason Jeffrey Eugenides and Jonathan Franzen have recently written on how difficult it is to categorise Antrim's work and how singular a voice he seems to have.
Indeed, Elect Mr.
Robinson for a Better World manages to be hilarious, macabre and tragic all at the same time — it is well worth seeking out.