The Radicals: Book summary and reviews of The Radicals by Ryan McIlvain

The Radicals

by Ryan McIlvain

The Radicals by Ryan McIlvain X
The Radicals by Ryan McIlvain
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2018
    288 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

An intimate, suspenseful, and provocative portrait of friendship and love at its limits, and a timely exploration of class tensions and corporate excess in America.

When Eli first meets Sam Westergard, he is dazzled by his new friend's charisma, energy, and determined passion. Both graduate students in New York City, the two young men bond over their idealism, their love of poetry, and their commitment to socialism, both in theory and in practice - this last taking the form of an organized protest against Soline, a giant energy company that has speculated away the jobs and savings of thousands. As an Occupy-like group begins to coalesce around him, Eli realizes that some of his fellow intellectuals are more deeply - and dangerously - devoted to the cause than others. 

A fiercely intelligent, wonderfully human illustration of friendship, empathy, and suspicion in the midst of political upheaval, Ryan McIlvain's new novel confirms him as one of our most talented and distinctive writers at work today.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. McIlvain's prose is effortless and sharply perceptive; this is a consistently engrossing and thoroughly enjoyable novel." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Rich in socialist ideas and jargon, McIlvain's exploration of the world of protesters will resound with readers interested in the personal side of dissent. McIlvain offers far more than political commentary, though, as he explores friendship, loyalty, and betrayal in a tale driven by tension and suspense." - Booklist

"A welcome return that will leave readers looking forward to future work from McIlvain." - Kirkus

"Among his many talents, Ryan McIlvain has a special gift for getting at the seductions and dangers of naïvete, and The Radicals delivers. Suffused with bittersweet wistfulness for a better world, this novel offers an urgent warning about the hazards that lie beneath even the best of intentions." - Maggie Shipstead

"What a splendid novel, brilliantly combining a compelling personal story with important ripped-from-the-zeitgeist social and political issues. The Radicals has instantly claimed a place for Ryan McIlvain on my short list of writers I will forever watch very closely." - Robert Olen Butler

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Author Information

Ryan McIlvain

Ryan McIlvain was born in Utah and raised in Massachusetts. His first novel, Elders, was longlisted for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize, and his work has appeared in The Paris Review, Post Road, The Rumpus, and The Los Angeles Review of Books, among many other publications. A former Stegner Fellow in Fiction at Stanford University, McIlvain now lives with his family in Tampa, Florida.

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