By Benjamin Kunkel
(Random House Trade Paperbacks, Paperback, 9780812973754, 256pp.)
Publication Date: April 11, 2006
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Dwight B. Wilmerding is only twenty-eight, but he’s having a midlife crisis. He lives a dissolute existence in a tiny apartment with three (sometimes four) slacker roommates, holds a mind-numbing job at the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, and has a chronic inability to make up his mind. Encouraged by one of his roommates to try an experimental drug meant to banish indecision, Dwight jumps at the chance (not without some vacillation about the hazards of jumping) and swallows the first fateful pill. And when all at once he is “pfired” by Pfizer and invited to a rendezvous in exotic Ecuador with the girl of his long-ago prep-school dreams, he finds himself on the brink of a new life. The trouble–well, one of the troubles–is that Dwight can’t decide if the pills are working. Deep in the jungles of the Amazon, in the foreign country of a changed outlook, his would-be romantic escape becomes a hilarious journey into unbidden responsibility and unwelcome knowledge–and an unexpected raison d’être.
Benjamin Kunkel grew up in Colorado. He has written for Dissent, The Nation, and the The New York Review of Books, and is a founding editor of n+1 magazine.
“The funniest and smartest coming-of-age novel in years.”
–Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review
“A very funny book . . . lyrical and even tender . . . Indecision brims with insight into the modern urban condition.”
–Time Out New York
“Grabs your attention and won’t let go . . . [This] book really knocked me out.”
–The New York Times
“Smartly funny . . . zany, surprising and strangely affecting . . . Dwight’s unique voice carries this story, but the ending crowns it as a debut to savor.”
–Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Paragraphs strewn with explosive packets of wit [and] intriguing ideas.”
–San Francisco Chronicle
“One of this year’s best debut novels.”
–The New York Sun