Mr. Peanut by Adam Ross
(Borzoi Books)

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Synopsis

David Pepin has been in love with his wife, Alice, since the moment they met in a university seminar on Alfred Hitchcock. After thirteen years of marriage, he still can’t imagine a remotely happy life without her—yet he obsessively contemplates her demise. Soon she is dead, and David is both deeply distraught and the prime suspect.

The detectives investigating Alice’s suspicious death have plenty of personal experience with conjugal enigmas: Ward Hastroll is happily married until his wife inexplicably becomes voluntarily and militantly bedridden; and Sam Sheppard is especially sensitive to the intricacies of marital guilt and innocence, having decades before been convicted and then exonerated of the brutal murder of his wife.

Still, these men are in the business of figuring things out, even as Pepin’s role in Alice’s death grows ever more confounding when they link him to a highly unusual hit man called Mobius. Like the Escher drawings that inspire the computer games David designs for a living, these complex, interlocking dramas are structurally and emotionally intense, subtle, and intriguing; they brilliantly explore the warring impulses of affection and hatred, and pose a host of arresting questions. Is it possible to know anyone fully, completely? Are murder and marriage two sides of the same coin, each endlessly recycling into the other? And what, in the end, is the truth about love?

Mesmerizing, exhilarating, and profoundly moving, Mr. Peanut is a police procedural of the soul, a poignant investigation of the relentlessly mysterious human heart—and a first novel of the highest order.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Adam Ross

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Adam Ross lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife and their two daughters. www.adam-ross.com
 
Published June 17, 2010 by Vintage. 353 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Mr. Peanut

Kirkus Reviews

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The buzz has been building for a year about this debut novel by Nashville writer Ross, and it turns out it’s one of those rare cases where the word-of-mouth is valid.

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The New York Times

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In his first novel, Adam Ross writes about husbands who fantasize about killing their wives.

Jun 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The New York Times

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He dreamed convenient acts of God.” So begins “Mr. Peanut,” the daring, arresting first novel by Adam Ross, an author of prodigious talent, which takes as its theme “the dual nature of marriage, the proximity of violence and love.” Enlarge This Image David and Alice Pepin ...

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Guardian

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While his grip on life slips, the physical world around him appears to melt, and anarchic memories – or hallucinations – spring forth unbidden.

Jul 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Guardian

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This first novel by Adam Ross, a New York-born, Nashville-based writer, has generated a lot of buzz in the US publishing world and comes with endorsements from Richard Russo and Stephen King.

Jun 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

BC Books

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David is also writing a novel about his life with Alice, a novel in which he imagines she has been killed, and when she does in fact die, it is not always easy to distinguish between his life and his novel.

Apr 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Wall Street Journal

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After 13 years of marriage, David Pepin, a videogame entrepreneur, finds that a perverse daydream has come true: His wife, Alice, is dead—not from any of the violent ends he imagined for her but from anaphylactic shock after eating peanuts.

Jun 26 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Book Reporter

PEANUT (the book is not divided into chapters or parts) presents the Sheppards’ interrogation of Mobius, which becomes something else entirely, with the result that Sheppard’s soul is laid bare.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Washington Times

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His colleague, Detective Sam Sheppard, who is investigating the apparent death of Alice from gobbling peanuts to which she is allergic, offers one of the few succinct observations when he reflects, “Murder is an interruption of habit, or its culmination.” What is most confusing is that more than ...

Jul 30 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Entertainment Weekly

Though Pepin argues that Alice — who long battled obesity and depression — took her own life, Hastroll isn't buying it, especially once he finds a link to a notorious hitman.

Jun 16 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Bookbag

Maybe Pages: 352 Date: June 2010 Publisher: Jonathan Cape Ltd ISBN: 978-0224087735 The main couple who tend to take centre stage here are called David and Alice Pepin.

Apr 30 2011 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Dallas News

Ross has compared a phase in his own marriage to Escher's Ants on a Mobius Strip (the poor confused ants keep covering the same territory, never getting anywhere) - and, yes, the Rosses are still married - and there's a character called Mobius in the book.

Jul 18 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Reviewing the Evidence

With the three failed novels that comprise MR PEANUT out of the way, he might feel freed to write the experimental novel he clearly has in mind.

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Chron.com

Ross uses a solid third of the book to explore the relationship between Sheppard, his wife, a voracious mistress and the person who is ultimately responsible for killing Marilyn Sheppard.

Jun 27 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Bookmarks Magazine

Bob Hoover Entertainment Weekly 2 of 5 Stars "This story of a marriage, played out in flashbacks, is one of the most hyped novels of the summer--and for the life of me, I’m not sure why.

Jun 21 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The New Yorker

Subscribers can read the full version of this story by logging into our digital archive.

Jul 12 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

The Anniston Star

By accepting the very thin line between love and hate: late in the book, a character realizes that “every marriage … had its own brand of dirt, unique as scent, as ingrained as a lifetime’s cooking.” By embracing Mobius, Escher, and Hitchcock: Ross audaciously suggests that the world-views of the...

Sep 09 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Straight.com

Widely buzzed as one of the summer’s must-read novels, the debut by Nashville’s Adam Ross is a grisly look at death, marriage, and obsession, told through the prism of three failed husbands: a murder suspect and the two detectives on his case.

Aug 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Crikey

For the first time in a while, reading this debut novel made me feel as if I’d struck on something new.

Apr 26 2011 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Nashville Scene

Margaret Renkl at Chapter16.org broke what by now is the worst-kept secret in town: that Sunday's New York Times Book Review will feature what is evidently a rave review of Mr. Peanut, Nashville author Adam Ross' first novel.

Jun 24 2010 | Read Full Review of Mr. Peanut (Borzoi Books)

Reader Rating for Mr. Peanut
57%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 174 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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