The Municipalists (Paperback)

A Novel

By Seth Fried

Penguin Books, 9780143133735, 272pp.

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

List Price: 16.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Description

A novel about an unlikely pair of lonely outsiders--one human, one AI--on an adventure to save the great American city of Metropolis written by "one of the most exciting new voices in fiction" (Charles Yu)

In Metropolis, the gleaming city of tomorrow, the dream of the great American city has been achieved. But all that is about to change, unless a neurotic, rule-following bureaucrat and an irreverent, freewheeling artificial intelligence can save the city from a mysterious terrorist plot that threatens its very existence.

Henry Thompson has dedicated his life to improving America's infrastructure as a proud employee of the United States Municipal Survey. So when the agency comes under attack, he dutifully accepts his unexpected mission to visit Metropolis looking for answers. But his plans to investigate quietly, quickly, and carefully are interrupted by his new partner: a day-drinking know-it-all named OWEN, who also turns out to be the projected embodiment of the agency's supercomputer. Soon, Henry and OWEN are fighting to save not only their own lives and those of the city's millions of inhabitants, but also the soul of Metropolis. The Municipalists is a thrilling, funny, and touching adventure story, a tour-de-force of imagination that trenchantly explores our relationships to the cities around us and the technologies guiding us into the future.


About the Author

Seth Fried is the author of the acclaimed short story collection The Great Frustration. He is a recurring contributor to The New Yorker's "Shouts and Murmurs" and NPR's "Selected Shorts," and his stories have appeared in Tin House, One Story, McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, The Kenyon Review, Vice, and elsewhere. He is also the winner of two Pushcart Prizes and the William Peden Prize.


Praise For The Municipalists: A Novel

"The Municipalists is full of subcultures and obsessions, a novel full of people who care deeply about the details, written by someone who understands that the details are what matter. Smart, engaging, poignant and funny (not just book funny—actually funny). Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction, and his debut novel showcases his many talents."—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe 

"The longer you bask in the glow of Seth Fried's wondrous novel, big concepts like Technology and Work and Friendship begin to take on a curious shape, turn into something so unique that you wonder how one writer has so much imagination, so much insight, so much fun with the world they've created. The Municipalists is the work of a hilarious and empathetic talent."—Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

"A thinking person's comic thriller, The Municipalists is a joy ride and a meditation both. Seth Fried is the consummate urban planner of a novelist, providing us with exciting thoroughfares of action as well as quiet gardens of feeling. And the story stars, among other characters, a drunk and vain (but ultimately loveable) computer. What else could a fiction dweller ask for? A wonderful debut novel."— 
Sam Lipsyte, author of The Ask

"Seth Fried is the future of fiction." -Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

“Seth Fried is a pure delight to read."—Karen Russell, author of Swamplandia!

"An important new young writer." -Dan Chaon, author of Await Your Reply

"[Seth Fried] will make your heart stop and your jaw drop. You will suffer from bouts of thoughtful silence and seizures of hilarity and may even soil yourself with pleasure. Consider yourself warned." -Ben Percy, author Red Moon and The Dark Net