Publishers Weekly
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Had it been set anywhere but New York City, Westfield's raucous debut would be viewed as an absurdist tale, but in the shadow of 9/11 and bolstered by Westfield's accessible prose, it's a striking portrait of life in the Big Apple. Andy Green, a Hell's Kitchen denizen, pays the rent by writing tricky multiple-choice questions for an educational testing service and soon finds himself quasi-managing the floundering cabaret career of his Russian emigre friend, Sonia Obolensky. One night, while attending her crummy cabaret show, Andy becomes smitten with Sonia's new mentor, Brad Willet. Young, handsome and independently wealthy, Brad devotes himself to worthy causes, prompting Andy to do the same. But when Brad abruptly cuts Andy off, he dives into a downward spiral that's exacerbated by a hate crime and 9/11. Andy goes off the deep end and doesn't leave his apartment for months. Though the reader will likely be ahead of Andy in figuring out that both Sonia and Brad are not who they appear to be (the answer lies in a surprising backstory set in Michigan a generation ago), Andy's story is a wild one. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved