Made for Love by Alissa Nutting

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“Made for Love” crackles and satisfies by all its own weird rules, subversively inventing delight where none should exist. How can a book be so bright, and so dark?
-NY Times

Synopsis

From one of our most exciting and provocative young writers, a poignant, riotously funny story of how far some will go for love—and how far some will go to escape it. 

Hazel has just moved into a trailer park of senior citizens, with her father and Diane—his extremely lifelike sex doll—as her roommates. Life with Hazel’s father is strained at best, but her only alternative seems even bleaker. She’s just run out on her marriage to Byron Gogol, CEO and founder of Gogol Industries, a monolithic corporation hell-bent on making its products and technologies indispensable in daily life. For over a decade, Hazel put up with being veritably quarantined by Byron in the family compound, her every movement and vital sign tracked. But when he demands to wirelessly connect the two of them via brain chips in a first-ever human “mind-meld,” Hazel decides what was once merely irritating has become unbearable. The world she escapes into is a far cry from the dry and clinical bubble she’s been living in, a world populated with a whole host of deviant oddballs.

 

As Hazel tries to carve out a new life for herself in this uncharted territory, Byron is using the most sophisticated tools at his disposal to find her and bring her home. His threats become more and more sinister, and Hazel is forced to take drastic measures in order to find a home of her own and free herself from Byron’s virtual clutches once and for all. Perceptive and compulsively readable, Made for Love is at once an absurd, raunchy comedy and a dazzling, profound meditation marriage, monogamy, and family.
 

About Alissa Nutting

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Alissa Nutting is an assistant professor of creative writing at John Carroll University. She is the author of the award-winning collection of stories Unclean Jobs for Women and Girls. Her work has appeared in the New York Times; O, The Oprah Magazine; Tin House; Fence; and Bomb, among other venues. This is her first novel. She lives in Ohio.
 
Published July 4, 2017 by Ecco. 320 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Made for Love
All: 5 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on Apr 18 2017

While Nutting borrows plot elements from thrillers, narrative momentum is constantly undercut by back story and scenes that are odd and amusing but not entirely necessary. An uneven effort from a terrific writer.

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Publishers Weekly

Above average
on Apr 14 2017

Though Jasper’s zany plot strand eventually ties into Hazel’s story and touches on relevant themes of anonymity and objectification, it never fully works. Nonetheless, the novel charms in its witty portrait of a woman desperate to reconnect with her humanity.

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NPR

Below average
Reviewed by Annalisa Quinn on Jul 06 2017

Made for Love has a deviant instinct that make it initially captivating — but it doesn't do the necessary other work of a good novel. For all the ostensible unexpectedness (again, dolphins), it rarely surprises.

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by MERRITT TIERCE on Aug 29 2017

“Made for Love” crackles and satisfies by all its own weird rules, subversively inventing delight where none should exist. How can a book be so bright, and so dark?

Read Full Review of Made for Love | See more reviews from NY Times

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Good
Reviewed by Jia Tolentino on Jul 04 2017

...the book is a total joyride, dizzying and surprising, like a state-fair roller coaster that makes you queasy for a moment but leaves you euphoric in the end.

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