By James Fuerst
(Broadway Books, Paperback, 9780307452498, 320pp.)
Publication Date: July 7, 2009
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Life hasn’t been easy for Eugene “Huge” Smalls.
Sure, his IQ is off the charts, but that doesn’t help much when you’re growing up in the 1980s in a dreary New Jersey town where your bad reputation precedes you, the public school system’s written you off as a lost cause, and even your own family seems out to get you.
But it’s not all bad. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett have taught Huge everything he needs to know about being a hard-boiled detective . . . and he’s just been hired to solve his first case.
What he doesn’t realize is that his search for the truth will change everything for him.
JAMES W. FUERST spent his teenage years in New Jersey and now lives in Brooklyn. He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University and holds an M.F.A from The New School. Huge is his first novel.
"James Fuerst is brilliant in the way he immerses the reader both in Huge’s mixed-up head and the world in which he lives. His take on the class warfare and teenage sexual politics of a small New Jersey town is at once hilarious and poignant...[a] wonderfully written debut.”
—Bookpage, Arlene McKanic
"Eugene—“call me 'Huge,' not 'Genie'”—Smalls is the hardboiled narrator of this funny, delightfully quirky novel. Fuerst's style is priceless, and he hits all the noir notes perfectly."
“A coming-of-age tour de force…Huge will occupy a, yes, huge place in readers’ affections and memories.”
—Booklist (starred review)
“Credible and engaging, [with] a hero who assumes the most eye-catching characteristics of Holden Caulfield, Phillip Marlowe and Nick Twisp…Fuerst pulls off the same trick as the 2005 film Brick in making his protagonist’s suburban surroundings and mundane foes seem as hard-boiled and corrupt as those in the Chandler novels Huge treasures.”
“A picaresque romp around suburban New Jersey…full of nostalgia, humor, candor and emotions that all readers can relate to.”
“An utterly original creation…Huge Smalls is my new favorite fictional character.”
—Alicia Erian, author of the New York Times Notable Book Towelhead
“A rocket ship of adolescence. I loved little Huge.”
—Ron McLarty, author of the New York Times bestseller Memory of Running
"An evocative black comedy…Huge effortlessly lures you into his hardboiled imagination and completely dysfunctional life."
—Keith Donohue, author of the New York Times bestseller The Stolen Child
"Funny, rude, and tender all at once, Huge is terrific. Hard-boiled and half-baked, Eugene is a bristling undersized hero for all of us who have felt the furious, desperate need to make life matter, or get splattered trying.”
—Sean Stewart, author of Perfect Circle