Idiopathy by Sam Byers
A Novel

70%

5 Critic Reviews

For all his lacerating one-liners, Byers's real skill is the pathos achieved through bleakness.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A debut novel of love, narcissism, and ailing cattle

Idiopathy (?d?'?p??i): a disease or condition which arises spontaneously or for which the cause is unknown.

Idiopathy: a novel as unexpected as its title, in which Katherine, Daniel, and Nathan—three characters you won't forget in a hurry—unsuccessfully try to figure out how they feel about one another and how they might best live their lives in a world gone mad. Featuring a mysterious cattle epidemic, a humiliating stint in rehab, an unwanted pregnancy, a mom–turned–media personality ("Mother Courage"), and a workplace with a bio-dome housing a perfectly engineered cornfield, it is at once a scathing satire and a moving meditation on love and loneliness. With unusual verbal finesse and great humor, Sam Byers neatly skewers the tangled relationships and unhinged narcissism of a self-obsessed generation in a remarkable, uproarious first novel.

 

About Sam Byers

See more books from this Author
Sam Byers is a graduate of the master’s program in creative writing at the University of East Anglia. His fiction has been published in Granta and he regularly reviews books for The Times Literary Supplement. He was born in 1979 and lives in Norwich, England.
 
Published June 4, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 321 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Idiopathy
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Joshua Cohen on Jul 05 2013

Byers’s prose remains spreadsheet-specific, mock analytical, funny. The trend toward jargon and a 50 percent chance of an a.c.r.o.n.y.m. joke in every chapter gives rise to a welcome British version of E.S.L.

Read Full Review of Idiopathy: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by Catherine Taylor on Apr 12 2013

For all his lacerating one-liners, Byers's real skill is the pathos achieved through bleakness.

Read Full Review of Idiopathy: A Novel | See more reviews from Guardian

Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 15 2013

Byers can write scenes with humor and sketches some memorable supporting characters...

Read Full Review of Idiopathy: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Kirkus

Below average
on May 30 2013

...words are platitudes, words are weapons, words are what distinguish this generation from the diseased cattle across the novel’s backdrop...Here’s hoping the promising novelist finds a depth of meaning that eludes his characters.

Read Full Review of Idiopathy: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Financial Times

Good
Reviewed by Joseph Charlton on May 10 2013

...this is a savagely funny debut from a gifted, cynical new voice.

Read Full Review of Idiopathy: A Novel | See more reviews from Financial Times

Reader Rating for Idiopathy
37%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 25 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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