Woke Up Lonely by Fiona Maazel
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews

Woke Up Lonely is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, filled with swerves and contradictions.


The dizzying new novel by Fiona Maazel, a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35"

* A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year * A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * A Kansas City Star, VICE, and Largehearted Boy Best Book of the Year * One of Book Riot's "Seven Funniest Novels of 2013" *

* One of the Millions's Most Anticipated Books of 2013 * An April IndieNext Pick*

Thurlow Dan is the founder of the Helix, a cult that promises to cure loneliness in the twenty-first century. With its communes and speed-dating, mixers and confession sessions, the Helix has become a national phenomenon—and attracted the attention of governments worldwide. But Thurlow, camped out in his Cincinnati headquarters, is lonely—for his ex-wife, Esme, and their daughter, whom he hasn't seen in ten years.

Esme, for her part, is a covert agent who has spent her life spying on Thurlow, mostly to protect him from the law. Now, with her superiors demanding results, she recruits four misfits to botch a reconnaissance mission in Cincinnati. But when Thurlow takes them hostage, he ignites a siege of the Helix House that will change all their lives forever.
With fiery, exuberant prose, Fiona Maazel takes us on a wild ride through North Korea's guarded interior and a city of vice beneath Cincinnati, a ride that twists and turns as it delves into an unsettled, off-kilter America. Woke Up Lonely is an original and deeply funny novel that explores our very human impulse to seek and repel intimacy with the people who matter to us most.


About Fiona Maazel

See more books from this Author
Fiona Maazel is the author of Last Last Chance, called "moving, buoyant, and utterly true" by the New York Times Book Review. She is winner of the Bard Prize for Fiction, a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35" honoree, and the recipient of a Lannan Foundation Residency. Her work has appeared in BOMB, Bookforum, Conjunctions, Fence, GQ, Gulf Coast, Glamour, The Millions, Mississippi Review, n+1, The New York Times, The New York Times Book Review, Salon, This American Life, Tin House, The Village Voice, The Yale Review, and elsewhere. She teaches at Brooklyn College and New York University, and was appointed the Picador Guest Professor at the University of Leipzig, Germany, for the spring of 2012. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Published April 2, 2013 by Graywolf Press. 352 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction
Bookmark Counts:
Want to Read
Add Critic Review

Critic reviews for Woke Up Lonely
All: 3 | Positive: 3 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Reviewed by Josh Emmons on May 17 2013

... Maazel is an entertaining writer with a dry, droll sense of humor...and through all the chaos and flightiness of her story, she’s insightful about how and why we build up instead of tear down the walls between us.

Read Full Review of Woke Up Lonely: A Novel | See more reviews from NY Times


Reviewed by Jane Ciabattari on Apr 10 2013

Woke Up Lonely is by turns hilarious and heartbreaking, filled with swerves and contradictions.

Read Full Review of Woke Up Lonely: A Novel | See more reviews from NPR

Star Tribune

Reviewed by Kathryn Lang on Apr 20 2013

Maazel is a witty and accomplished wordsmith, filling each sentence to the brim with an apt and unusual metaphorical lode. This antic novel with its sober underbelly is testament to Maazel’s inventive and fertile imagination.

Read Full Review of Woke Up Lonely: A Novel | See more reviews from Star Tribune

Reader Rating for Woke Up Lonely

An aggregated and normalized score based on 46 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review

Reader reviews & activity

Karen Russo

Karen Russo 5 Sep 2013

Added the book to want to read list