The Instructions (Hardcover)
McSweeney's, 9781934781821, 1030pp.
Publication Date: November 1, 2010
November 2010 Indie Next List
— Ed Conklin, Chaucer's Books, Santa Barbara, CA
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Praise For The Instructions…
"Evocative of David Foster Wallace
full of death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth."
Julia Holmes, Rolling Stone
"[A] riotous, gigantic and disturbing debut novel Levin has filled his pages with modern Poloniuses, masters of digression, and with moments rich in fact and feeling."
Abigail Deutsch, San Francisco Chronicle
"A hysterical, heartfelt journey of self-discovery A book that moves beyond completely transparent influences to reach its own distinct, new, great height."
Foster Kamer, Village Voice
"This is a life-consuming novel, one that demands to be read feverishly. When it is over, other fiction feels insufficient, the newspaper seems irrelevant. If the ultimate message of modernism was unremitting pessimism The Instructions has given the literary genre its long deferred conclusion: Indeed, a dayor fourcan serve as a reminder that death looms large for anything living, but there is lot of life to be lived in the interim."
Michael H. Miller, New York Observer
"The Instructions is addictively quotable, violently funny, insanely intelligent and utterly compelling. Levin's debut novel is unlike anything I've ever read, in the best possible way."
Jill Owens, The Oregonian
"One of the 21st century's finest literary creations. From every angle, The Instructions fairly screams 'Great American Novel,' a work of fiction not to be trifled with, an amalgam of a young man's life, thoughts and feelings, culled and stacked and printed to be consumed in miserly dribbles."
Preston Jones, Fort-Worth Star-Telegram
"After The Instructions challenges, charms and betrays you, it might just seduce your soul. The Instructions is disturbing and romantic and ultimately, heartbreaking, and its questions are not easily parsed, even by Gurion's analytic mind. They are the nagging doubts of our own goodness and faith. But it's worth sticking with this author's debut: This is a wunderkind's master class. An incredible creation of fiction."
Katie Moulton, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A megapage masterpiece."
Geoffrey Johnson, Chicago magazine
"Levin’s mammoth, riotous, Talmudic, impossibly excessive yet brilliant, mesmerizing, warmhearted, and hilarious work of chutzpah takes place over four feverish days but encompasses the whole of Israel’s battle for existence and the Jewish quest for home and peace."
Donna Seaman, Booklist
"The Instructions is in fact a vital work ofno getting around itAmerican Jewish literature because it imagines that the genre is indeed through and asks what can be written in its place."
Marissa Brostoff, Tablet magazine
"Manic energy, ambition, erudition, interpolation of documents and sheer bulk."
Elaine Rewolinski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"One of the year's most engrossing novels. His voice will haunt you long after you close the book."