Excerpt from The Locals by Jonathan Dee, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Locals

by Jonathan Dee

The Locals by Jonathan Dee X
The Locals by Jonathan Dee
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2018, 416 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Gary Presley
Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

They were saying that all appointments were canceled, indefinitely, that it was the end of everything, but why would they assume that? The subway was running again, for example, parts of it. So people must have been going places, meeting other people. So there were still meetings. So maybe my meeting was still on. I found the lawyer's card and tried to call his office, but cell service was fucked, still, after like a day. I didn't know what to do. I couldn't even ask Yuri for advice, because the phones. What if this meeting was still happening and I wasn't there? What if everybody showed but me? The lawyer had stressed over and over how important it was that I not miss it. Nobody'd told me it was canceled, technically, according to the letter of the law or whatever. So I put on my shoes. It didn't start for a few hours yet, but I had nothing to do, and there was fuck-all on TV that day, that's for sure.

Broadway was frozen, like a screenshot. Nobody on the street. It was cool at first, actually, having it all to yourself like that, like one of those end-of-the-world movies. But then I saw an empty bus with its doors open just sitting in the middle of an intersection, and I started to feel a little creeped out, so I cut west into the park. Saw people there, at least, a few people out with their dogs, just standing there like drugged lunatics while the dogs chased each other around the grass. Then further on I could hear voices, loud voices.

There's this playground in that part of Riverside, at the bottom of a steep hill, all fenced in. And that's where everybody was, it looked like the whole West Side in this little enclosed playground. It was packed, people were up against the fences, it was like a detention center for kids or something. Parents were in there too, on the fringes, talking to each other, while the kids just ran around screaming like usual. Well, not quite like usual: it was a Wednesday at eleven in the morning, but nobody had school. That's probably why they were having so much fun. Technically I am still not supposed to be in playgrounds, I think, but it was so packed I figured who'd even notice, and I squeezed my way in.

I had the day off too. It didn't make a ton of sense to me, but I wasn't complaining. To make my meeting with the lawyer, I'd been deliberating between taking an unpaid personal day and calling in sick; the paid sick day was obviously the smart way to go, but one thing about me, I am actually a pretty bad liar. Even on the phone, Yuri tells me, my poker face sucks. I took up a position near some parents who were talking with their arms folded and with the look on their faces that everybody on TV had, which I would describe as sort of gray. "Someone in my building," this one dad was saying, "used to go out with someone who was a broker at Marsh and McClennan."

It was so loud in there, like mayhem. The kids were going nuts. I think they were really into having all the adults lined up, watching them.

"I was in the kitchen," this other mom says. She was super hot, actually, with a ponytail through the hole in the back of her baseball cap, and tights like for running, and this really toned milfy thing going on. Black hair. "Josh was home sick from school. He's watching Sesame Street, and I'm in the kitchen, and they break into Sesame Street with a live news feed, for God's sake. He starts yelling."

"Jesus," I said, just to get her to look at me.

"Right?" Her ponytail swung away from me in the sunlight. "It's just like, no sensitivity at all. I'm Julie, by the way. I feel like I've seen you here before. Are you Teresa's dad?"

My mouth opened and kind of stayed open, and she started to frown a little bit, and so I turned and squeezed myself through the crowd until I was outside the gate again. I went back up the path toward West End and on to Broadway and kept going downtown. It was probably about noon, and I was hungry, but nothing was open. Why?

Excerpted from The Locals by Jonathan Dee. Copyright © 2017 by Jonathan Dee. Excerpted by permission of Random House. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Tanglewood

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Inflamed Mind
    The Inflamed Mind
    by Edward Bullmore
    It is common knowledge that depression diminishes the quality of sufferers' lives, but few people ...
  • Book Jacket: The Adults
    The Adults
    by Caroline Hulse
    Things have already fallen apart on the first page of The Adults. The novel opens with an emergency ...
  • Book Jacket: News of Our Loved Ones
    News of Our Loved Ones
    by Abigail DeWitt
    The Delasalle family of Abigail DeWitt's News of Our Loved Ones are no strangers to the dark specter...
  • Book Jacket: My Sister, the Serial Killer
    My Sister, the Serial Killer
    by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    While the title of the novel gives away the plot, My Sister, the Serial Killer is essentially a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Force of Nature
by Jane Harper

As atmospheric, tense, and explosive as her New York Times bestselling debut, The Dry!

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Golden Child
    by Claire Adam

    A deeply affecting debut novel set in Trinidad, following the lives of a family as they navigate impossible choices.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type
by Tom Hanks

Surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and a must-have for Tom Hanks fans!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Tell I T T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.