By Arnon Grunberg
(St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9780312204778, 320pp.)
Publication Date: April 2001
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Three hapless friends-- nervous Ewald, impetuous Broccoli, and seductive Elvira-- are down on their luck, slightly unhinged, and determined to make it in bohemian Amsterdam. Together, they hatch a daring and foolish string of plots and schemes in order to make some impact on a world that could largely care less. They want to become famous actors, artists, con men and thieves, but most of all, the three want recognition; they want to make a dent in the world and have the world finally take notice.
Silent Extras is an exuberant meditation on youth, waste, and the unstoppable power of comedy and farce. The novel is less a story of young people looking for meaning than it is a story of the young looking to undermine meaning. When the world makes no sense, all one can do is play along.
Arnon Grunberg is also the author of the novel Blue Mondays, which was a bestseller in Europe. Grunberg was born and raised in Amsterdam and currently lives in New York City. He contributes widely to newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times.
"Both hilarious and tragic but always readable...it is utterly unlike anything written by British or American novelists. Silent Extras is refreshingly contemporary and original."--The Times (London)
"A gold mine."--The New York Times Book Review on Blue Mondays
"Brutal and altogether winning."--Jeffrey Eugenides, author of The Virgin Suicides, on Blue Mondays