Friday, November 15, 2013

Friday Freebie: Want Not by Jonathan Miles

Congratulations to Ian Hilgendorf, winner of last week's Friday Freebie: The Isle of Youth by Laura van den Berg.

This week's book giveaway is Want Not, the new novel by Jonathan Miles (author of Dear American Airlines).  Here's how the publisher describes Want Not:
As the novel opens on Thanksgiving Day, readers are telescoped into three different worlds in various states of disrepair—a young freegan couple living off the grid in New York City; a once-prominent linguist, sacked at midlife by the dissolution of his marriage and his father’s losing battle with Alzheimer’s; and a self-made debt-collecting magnate, whose brute talent for squeezing money out of unlikely places has yielded him a royal existence, trophy wife included.  Want and desire propel these characters forward toward something, anything, more, until their worlds collide, briefly, randomly, yet irrevocably, in a shattering ending that will haunt readers long after the last page is turned.  With a satirist’s eye and a romantic’s heart, Miles captures the morass and comedy of contemporary life in all its excess.  Bold, unblinking, unforgettable in its irony and pathos, Want Not is a wicked, bighearted literary novel that confirms the arrival of a major voice in American fiction.
Did you notice that?  Want Not opens on Thanksgiving Dayand will be released by the publisher next Tuesday.  How fitting, then, how absolutely fitting that a book about greed and desire and excess of material goods should come our way on the one day most of us officially give thanks for everything we have.  I think William Bradford might belch out a Puritanical chuckle at the idea.

To give a taste of what lies in store for you in these 386 pages, here's the opening paragraph:
All but one of the black trash bags, heaped curbside on East 4th Street, were tufted with fresh snow, and looked, to Talmadge, like alpine peaks in the moonlight, or at least what he, a lifetime flatlander, thought alpine peaks might look like if bathed in moonglow and (upon further reflection) composed of slabs of low-density polyethylene.  Admittedly, his mental faculties were still under the vigorous sway of the half gram of Sonoma County Sour Diesel he’d smoked a half hour earlier, but still: Mountains.  Definitely.  When he brushed the snow off the topmost bag and untied the knot at its summit, he felt like a god disassembling the Earth.

If you'd like a chance at winning Want Not, simply email your name and mailing address to

Put FRIDAY FREEBIE in the e-mail subject line.  One entry per person, please.  Despite its name, the Friday Freebie runs all week long and remains open to entries until midnight on Nov. 21, at which time I'll draw the winning name.  I'll announce the lucky reader on Nov. 22.  If you'd like to join the mailing list for the once-a-week newsletter, simply add the words "Sign me up for the newsletter" in the body of your email.  Your email address and other personal information will never be sold or given to a third party (except in those instances where the publisher requires a mailing address for sending Friday Freebie winners copies of the book).

Want to double your odds of winning?  Get an extra entry in the contest by posting a link to this webpage on your blog, your Facebook wall or by tweeting it on Twitter.  Once you've done any of those things, send me an additional e-mail saying "I've shared" and I'll put your name in the hat twice.

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