Lightning Rods (Hardcover)

By Helen DeWitt

New Directions Publishing Corporation, 9780811219433, 275pp.

Publication Date: October 5, 2011

Other Editions of This Title:
Paperback (10/18/2012)
MP3 CD (10/25/2011)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (1/1/2012)
Compact Disc (10/25/2011)

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.

December 2011 Indie Next List

“Joe, an out of work encyclopedia salesman, has a lot of ideas. Most are useless, but he stumbles upon a solution to the problem of sexual harassment and low productivity in the workplace. His unconventional idea is an immediate hit for corporate offices, but Joe is then forced to take on the stigma of being very successful at something that is revolting to most. Reminiscent of the writings of both Shteyngart and Palahniuk, Lightning Rods avoids pretention by being bizarrely funny and satisfyingly sardonic.”
— Rachel Haisley, The King's English, Salt Lake City, UT
View the List


An uproarious, hard-boiled modern fable of corporate life, sex, and race in America, Helen DeWitt's Lightning Rods brims with the satiric energy of Nathanael West and the philosophic import of an Aristophanic comedy of ideas. Her wild yarn is second cousin to the spirit of Mel Brooks and the hilarious reality-blurring of Being John Malkovich. Dewitt continues to take the novel into new realms of storytelling -- as the timeliness of Lightning Rods crosses over into timelessness.