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Acclaimed author Lionel Shriverauthor of the National Book Award finalist So Much for That, The Post-Birthday World, and the vivid psychological novel We Need to Talk About Kevin, now a major motion pictureprobes the mystery of charisma in a razor-sharp new novel that teases out the intimate relationship between terrorism and cults of personality, explores what makes certain people so magnetic, and reveals the deep frustrations of feeling overshadowed by a life-of-the-party who may not even be present.
Shriver is a master of the misanthrope. . . . [A] viciously smart writer. Time
“[Shriver’s] whip-smart observations—about relationships, the role of the media, the cult of personality are funny and on the mark.”
“In her latest novel, Lionel Shriver pays homage to Joseph Conrad—examining terrorism, media bloodlust, and the cult of personality through an unexpected lens of satire.”
-Marie Claire, Four New Page-Turners to Keep Bedside
“A very funny book, but the laughs are embedded in a deeply disturbing subject.”
-NPR, "Weekend Edition"
“Shriver is cursed with knowing the human animal all too well. The New Republic is satire of a Shriver kind, that is to say biting.”
“Lionel Shriver, the author of the harrowing and patient We Need to Talk About Kevin, delivers something altogether different: a callous and romping political and journalistic satire.”
-The Daily Beast-- This Week's Hot Reads
“Shriver is one of the sharpest talents around.”
“Witty, caustic and worldly, [Shriver] is a raconteur who could show even Barrington Saddler a thing or two about entertaining a crowd.”
-Wall Street Journal
“Shriver has been a National Book Award finalist with good reason: Her page-turners examine serious issues.”
-Reader's Digest Recommends
“A wondrously fanciful plot, vividly drawn characters, clever and cynical dialogue, and a comically brilliant and verisimilar imagined land. . . . The New Republic is simply terrific.”
-Booklist (starred review)
“The dialogue zings and the writing is jazzy. . . . [Shriver] can toss off a sharp sketch of a passing character in a phrase, and she’s got a gimlet eye for what’s phony, or affected, or even touchingly vain in human behavior.”
“Shriver is an incisive social satirist with a clear grip on the ironies of our contemporary age . . . [Her] take on journalism and international politics is wry, insightful and just over the top enough to be fun.”
-Los Angeles Times
“[Shriver] is uncannily perceptive[with a] vigorous capacity for compassion . . . [A] surprisingly tender novel disguised as a clever satire delivered in polished prose.”
“Part Scoop, part Our Man in Havana and part Len Deighton thriller, Shriver’s novel is not just about terrorism but also about journalism and the nature of charisma. . . . Shriver’s Barba is a wonderful creation.”