David Gilbert The Normals: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781582346090

The Normals: A Novel

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9781582346090: The Normals: A Novel

In this critically acclaimed comic masterpiece, David Gilbert tells the story of Billy Schine, a young man who innocently enrolls in a 14-day human drug testing study and finds his normal world turned upside-down. Like a One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest for the postmodern age, The Normals is a tour de force from a writer of astonishing intelligence and imagination.

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About the Author:

David Gilbert is Senior Lecturer in Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London.

From Publishers Weekly:

Billy Schine is a wanted man, in the worst possible way. A glum, rudderless 28-year-old Harvard grad, he has defaulted on his student loan, and the brutish collection agency that has taken over his debt is not playing around. To escape, Billy quits his temp job and hightails it out of Manhattan to be a guinea pig in an experimental drug trial. As the title of Gilbert's witty first novel suggests, Billy is part of a healthy control group used to ferret out the possible side effects of an anti-psychotic. Gilbert, author of the short story collection Remote Feed, surrounds Billy with an oddball cast of normals, including an aspiring actor who practices his craft by faking symptoms and an oversexed femme fatale on a very self-involved quest. But the book's most compelling action is interior, as Billy grapples with his place in life and tries to come to terms with his parents' kamikaze love for each other. Fast-paced and winningly insouciant if sometimes self-consciously showy, this is a fine debut that uses humor to tackle some very serious issues, including questions of medical ethics, the search for grace and the meaning of love.
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