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Every summer, a once-sort-of-famous cartoonist named Rich Fischer leaves his wife and two kids behind to teach a class at a weeklong arts conference in a charming New England beachside town. It's a place where, every year, students - nature poets and driftwood sculptors, widowed seniors, teenagers away from home for the first time - show up to study with an esteemed faculty made up of prizewinning playwrights, actors, and historians, drunkards and perverts, members of the cultural elite, unknown nobodies, midlist somebodies, and legitimate stars - a place where drum circles happen on the beach at midnight, clothing optional.
Once more Rich finds himself, in this seaside paradise, worrying about his family's nights without him and trying not to think about his book, now out of print, or his future as an illustrator at a glossy magazine about to go under, or his back taxes, or the shameless shenanigans of his colleagues at this summer make-out festival. He can't decide whether his own very real desire for love and human contact is going to rescue or destroy him.
A warped and exhilarating tale of love and lust, Who Is Rich? goes far beyond to address deeper questions: of family, monogamy, the intoxicating beauty of children, and the challenging interdependence of two soulful, sensitive creatures in a confusing domestic alliance.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Sharey on 07-07-17
I really disliked this creepy guy as narrated from the outset and then it only grew worse. I wish I'd never "met" him. This book was also unbelievably boring. I gained nothing from it but a waste of time and money. The author obviously knows how to write, but the content, story, and main character failed miserably. Major disappointment.
This author's writing came across as a Phillip Roth wannabe at Roth's absolute worst--too selfishly self-absorbed with his own neuroses to give anything of interest to the reader.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Dundas I. Flaherty on 08-07-17
Loved Klam's earlier story collection, especially the one about the wedding toast, but couldn't finish this new novel. The protagonist is generally feckless and what he gets into seemed dull to me. Bellow wrote the book on protagonists whose life isn't working very well, especially Henderson the Rain King. That's a tough comparison, but we know from his stories that Klam can do better. Some readers add value; this one didn't for me.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful