The Morels - Arthur, Penny, and Will - are a happy family of three living in New York City. So why would Arthur choose to publish a book that brutally rips his tightly knit family unit apart at the seams? Arthur's old schoolmate Chris, who narrates the book, is fascinated with this very question as he becomes accidentally reacquainted with Arthur. A single, aspiring filmmaker who works in a movie theater, Chris envies everything Arthur has, from his beautiful wife to his charming son to his seemingly effortless creativity. But things are not always what they seem.
The Morels takes a unique look at the power of art - literature, music and film in particular - and challenges us as readers to think about some fascinating questions to which there are no easy answers. Where is the line between art and obscenity, between truth and fiction, between revolutionary thinking and brainless shock value, between craftsmanship and commerce? Is it possible to escape the past? Can you save your family by destroying it?
"Starred Review. Audacious, thought-provoking
. One of the top first novels of the year. The author spins out the story at a fast clip, creating a believable and entertaining tale. Woven into the fabric of the work are discussions of the function of art in society, the difficulty of arriving at the truth, and a thoughtful, compassionate detailing of the social and personal repercussions of individual actions and beliefs." - Library Journal
"The air of talent lingers on this debut, but it's far more interested in self-reverie than being interesting." - Kirkus
"Promising, ambitious, sincere...An eloquent treatise on the rights of artists to exploit their personal historiesand why they do so, and at what cost." - Publishers Weekly
"Hacker is a fine writer....The air of talent lingers on this debut." - Kirkus
"Christopher Hacker's The Morels is a captivating book, a clever, engaging read. But it also does a lot of heavy lifting, asking big questions about art, life, and family, transforming this ambitious debut into something really special." - Jami Attenberg, author of The Middlesteins
"One of the big questions irreverently raised in this literary pantheon of irreverence is, So what exactly is art anyway? I can tell you this much: The Morels is a brilliant and wickedly hilarious debut novel about artists of all stripes. With a sharp-shooter's eye, alarming honesty and serious wit infused with palpable compassion and affection for his characters, Christopher Hacker has written a rollicking picnic for cynics. And what exactly is art anyway?" - Binnie Kirshenbaum, author of The Scenic Route
"The Morels is an accomplished and moving novel. It's challenging, and not easy to talk about, but in the end, I fell in love with Hackers' characters and was deeply touched by their story." - Cale Hand, The Strand Bookstore
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