You Deserve Nothing: Book summary and reviews of You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik

You Deserve Nothing

A Novel

by Alexander Maksik

You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik X
You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik
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  • Published in USA  Aug 2011
    336 pages
    Genre: Novels

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Book Summary

Set in Paris, at an international high school catering to the sons and daughters of wealthy families, You Deserve Nothing is a gripping story of power, idealism, and morality.

William Silver is a talented and charismatic young teacher whose unconventional methods raise eyebrows among his colleagues and superiors. His students, however, are devoted to him. His teaching of Camus, Faulkner, Sartre, Keats and other kindred souls breathe life into their sense of social justice and their capacities for philosophical and ethical thought. But unbeknownst to his adoring pupils, Silver proves incapable of living up to the ideals he encourages in others. Emotionally scarred by failures in his personal life and driven to distraction by the City of Light's overpowering carnality and beauty, Silver succumbs to a temptation that will change the course of his life. His fall will render him a criminal in the eyes of some, and all too human in the eyes of others.

In Maksik's stylish prose, Paris is sensual, dazzling and dangerously seductive. It serves as a fitting backdrop for a dramatic tale about the tension between desire and action, and about the complex relationship that exists between our public and private selves.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Both intelligent and intellectual, this is both a tribute to brilliant teachers and a cautionary tale of their imperfections." - Kirkus

"This is a thoughtful and sad story, ending with questions about the futures of everyone involved." - Publishers Weekly

"One of the most engaged reads I've had in years." - Alice Sebold

"Alexander Maksik deftly evokes the beauty and pathos of Paris, and the story of Will, Gilad and Marie - each compelled towards moral and sexual awakening - is at once dark and luminous. This is a book to be read all at once with a glass of wine in a café or a cup of tea while tucked safely in bed." - A.M. Homes

"You Deserve Nothing is a powerful, absorbing novel about a charismatic expatriate teacher and the students whose lives he transforms, for better and worse. Alexander Maksik is an unusually gifted writer." - Tom Perrotta

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Author Information

Alexander Maksik

Alexander Maksik is the recipient of a Truman Capote Fellowship and a Teaching/Writing fellowship from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. He's presently the Provost's Postgraduate Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa. You Deserve Nothing is his first novel. He lives in Paris and Iowa City.

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