A Disorder Peculiar to the Country

  • by Ken Kalfus
  • Narrated by James Boles
  • 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Joyce and Marshall Harriman are in the midst of a contentious divorce, but still sharing a cramped, over-mortgaged Brooklyn apartment with their two children. On the morning of September 11, Joyce departs for Newark to catch a flight to San Francisco, and Marshall, after dropping the kids at daycare, heads for his office in the World Trade Center. She misses her flight and he's late for work, but on that grim day, in a devastated city, among millions seized by fear and grief, each thinks the other is dead, and each is secretly, shamefully, gloriously happy. As their bitter divorce is further complicated by anthrax scares, suicide bombs, foreign wars, and the stock-market collapse, they suffer, in ways unexpectedly personal and increasingly ludicrous, the many strange ravages of our time. In this astonishing black comedy, Kalfus suggests how our nation's public calamities have encroached upon our most private illusions.

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What the Critics Say

2006 National Book Award Finalist
"My inner idealist hopes Kalfus' novel joins the ranks of Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 on the required reading lists." (Philadelphia Magazine)
"Kalfus' new novel [is] like a fever dream of recent events....Through the interbleeding of public and private story lines and his lampooning approach, Kalfus [is] freeing the way we think about September 11....If hyperbole can be weaponized anywhere in literature, it is here." (Los Angeles Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great start but straight off the boil

I like black comedy so this sounded up my street. And a great start - yep, looking good. But then it was just hours of utterly disjointed blathering - more like unconnected short stories than a novel. We get massive, forensic detail about a very short period then skip forward months as if they were all the same time span. Long sections about Joyce, barely registering Marshall then whack - flip round; all about Marshall and Joyce barely exists. Nothing came of the great potential of the talc / FBI; why bother to nick the hoopa if there was no consequence?; what a long and vulgar, and frankly depressing narrative of the party with Miss Naomi... I could go on but life's too short. But this book is not a good yarn, totally unstructured and... well, just not engaging. Next....
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- Debra

Book Details

  • Release Date: 15-03-2007
  • Publisher: Audio Evolution