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The First Bad Man (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

"The First Bad Man, like all of July’s work, is a story of deepest, truest human desire, and how it gets fulfilled. In this case those desires are Cheryl Glickman’s; a middle-aged obsessive-compulsive woman whose life follows a thousand invisible rules. The First Bad Man is a daring book. It takes readers through shocking eroticism, dark humor, and tender portrayals of people who, in the hands of another author, would be repellent. But here is where July is most masterful: when she shines a light into dark places, to show us parts of ourselves we didn’t even know we were hiding."

— Katie P.


From the acclaimed filmmaker, artist, and bestselling author of No One Belongs Here More Than You, a spectacular debut novel that is so heartbreaking, so dirty, so tender, so funny--so Miranda July--that readers will be blown away.

Here is Cheryl, a tightly-wound, vulnerable woman who lives alone, with a perpetual lump in her throat. She is haunted by a baby boy she met when she was six, who sometimes recurs as other people's babies. Cheryl is also obsessed with Phillip, a philandering board member at the women's self-defense nonprofit where she works. She believes they've been making love for many lifetimes, though they have yet to consummate in this one.

When Cheryl's bosses ask if their twenty-one-year-old daughter, Clee, can move into her house for a little while, Cheryl's eccentrically ordered world explodes. And yet it is Clee--the selfish, cruel blond bombshell--who bullies Cheryl into reality and, unexpectedly, provides her the love of a lifetime.

Tender, gripping, slyly hilarious, infused with raging sexual obsession and fierce maternal love, Miranda July's first novel confirms her as a spectacularly original, iconic, and important voice today, and a writer for all time. The First Bad Man is dazzling, disorienting, and unforgettable.

Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9781439172568
ISBN-10: 1439172560
Publisher: Scribner Book Company
Publication Date: January 13th, 2015
Pages: 288
Language: English