Long Island Compromise: A Novel (Hardcover)

Long Island Compromise: A Novel By Taffy Brodesser-Akner Cover Image
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(Fiction General)


An exhilarating novel about one American family, the dark moment that shatters their suburban paradise, and the wild legacy of trauma and inheritance, from the New York Times bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble

“A big, juicy, wickedly funny social satire . . . probably the funniest book ever about generational family trauma.”—Oprah Daily

“Were we gangsters? No. But did we know how to start a fire?”

In 1980, a wealthy businessman named Carl Fletcher is kidnapped from his driveway, brutalized, and held for ransom. He is returned to his wife and kids less than a week later, only slightly the worse, and the family moves on with their lives, resuming their prized places in the saga of the American dream, comforted in the realization that though their money may have been what endangered them, it is also what assured them their safety.

But now, nearly forty years later, it’s clear that perhaps nobody ever got over anything, after all. Carl has spent the ensuing years secretly seeking closure to the matter of his kidnapping, while his wife, Ruth, has spent her potential protecting her husband’s emotional health. Their three grown children aren’t doing much better: Nathan’s chronic fear won’t allow him to advance at his law firm; Beamer, a Hollywood screenwriter, will consume anything—substance, foodstuff, women—in order to numb his own perpetual terror; and Jenny has spent her life so bent on proving that she’s not a product of her family’s pathology that she has come to define it. As they hover at the delicate precipice of a different kind of survival, they learn that the family fortune has dwindled to just about nothing, and they must face desperate questions about how much their wealth has played a part in both their lives’ successes and failures.

Long Island Compromise spans the entirety of one family’s history, winding through decades and generations, all the way to the outrageous present, and confronting the mainstays of American Jewish life: tradition, the pursuit of success, the terror of history, fear of the future, old wives’ tales, evil eyes, ambition, achievement, boredom, dybbuks, inheritance, pyramid schemes, right-wing capitalists, beta-blockers, psychics, and the mostly unspoken love and shared experience that unite a family forever.

About the Author

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and the New York Times bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is also the creator and executive producer of its Emmy-nominated limited series adaptation for FX. Long Island Compromise is her second novel.

Praise For…

“Another tale of modern neuroses, told with bombastic appeal . . . Brodesser-Akner’s sweep and verve is masterful; there are echoes of Philip Roth here in her examination of American Jewish identity, the promise of America, the thrill of reinvention, the prison of privilege. I can’t think of another living writer better at crafting tales of acute and searing pathos, all while pleasing readers in the process.”Vogue

“Funny, raunchy and very, very Long Island.”Newsday

“The wizard Weisenheimer behind Fleishman Is in Trouble is back with a big, juicy, wickedly funny social satire. . . . As weird as this may sound—Brodesser-Akner has written probably the funniest book ever about generational family trauma.”Oprah Daily

“As she did in Fleishman, Brodesser-Akner once again demonstrates a gift for capturing the dark, unforgiving things people do and say to the ones they are supposed to love the most.”Vulture

“A great American Jewish novel whose brew of hilarity, heartbreak, and smarts recalls the best of Philip Roth. A triumph.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Brodesser-Akner is a steady, imaginative, insightful writer, and there are riotous passages, haunting dybbuks, and unseen twists that make it thoroughly discussable. Readers will get lost and found in its universe of wealth, family, faith, and other fallible securities.”Booklist (starred review)

“Easily avoids the sophomore slump with another incisive and witty portrait of New York Jewish life. . . . Brodesser-Akner’s latest combines the smarts of Sarah Silverman’s stand-up, the polymath verisimilitude of Tom Wolfe’s novels, and the Jewish soul of Sholem Aleichem’s stories. This is a comedic feast.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Every story is keenly observed yet sympathetic, whether it’s the origin myth of grandfather Zelig, Long Island real estate maneuverings, over-the-top themed bar and bat mitzvahs, or the skewering of Hollywood politics. . . . Generational trauma has never been so funny as when Brodesser-Akner writes it. This book is a must-read for those who like witty, observational novels, family sagas, and sharp dialogue and characterization.”Library Journal, starred review
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593133491
ISBN-10: 0593133498
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 464
Language: English