BN.com Gift Guide

The Bend of the World: A Novel

Overview

The most audacious literary debut to come out of the Steel City since The
Mysteries of Pittsburgh
.

Peter Morrison is almost thirty and comfortably adrift in a state of not-quite-adolescence and not-quite-adulthood. His good though not-very-taxing job,
ambivalent romantic relationship, and oldest friendship are soon upended by a series of odd encounters—some more alien than ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$19.42
BN.com price
(Save 25%)$25.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (23) from $6.49   
  • New (13) from $12.95   
  • Used (10) from $6.49   
The Bend of the World: A Novel

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$12.99
BN.com price
(Save 42%)$22.73 List Price

Overview

The most audacious literary debut to come out of the Steel City since The
Mysteries of Pittsburgh
.

Peter Morrison is almost thirty and comfortably adrift in a state of not-quite-adolescence and not-quite-adulthood. His good though not-very-taxing job,
ambivalent romantic relationship, and oldest friendship are soon upended by a series of odd encounters—some more alien than others. His best friend, Johnny,
is an addict and a conspiracy theorist, two hobbies bolstered by the fact that people really do keep seeing UFOs hovering over the city. Against this strange background,
Peter becomes infatuated with Mark and Helen, a couple whose glamour never fully conceals the suggestion of something sinister. After he gets promoted at work and
Johnny is pulled into the orbit of a mysterious author whose book seems to be coming true, Peter’s life becomes even odder than he could have imagined: UFOs, evil corporations,
time-altering drugs, underground conspiracies . . . and that’s before he meets an unusually articulate sasquatch.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/20/2014
Peter Morrison, the narrator of Bacharach’s debut, lives an untaxing life. He’s just shy of 30, and is a manager at Pittsburgh, Pa.–based Global Solutions where he surfs the Web all day from his cube. He’s dating Lauren Sara, a disaffected art student whose sculptures mostly resemble chairs. But then Peter’s idle world is shaken up. UFO sightings crop up all over Pittsburgh, and Peter sees one too, though he may have just been wasted. A shadowy Danish company may take over Global Solutions, leaving Peter’s cushy gig in question. And then there’s Johnny, Peter’s lifelong friend, who is spiraling out of control, with drug addictions and a fondness for conspiracy theories threatening to drive him into the arms of a local cult leader. To these tensions, Bacharach adds a playful satire of the Pittsburgh art scene, as well as recurrent references to Nazism, bigotry, and bigfoot. In the midst of all this chaos, Peter occasionally sneaks time to consider forging a more meaningful life for himself, though seldom makes much progress before getting dragged somewhere new—strip clubs, camping—all of which results in a fast-moving, scattered read. (Apr.)
Michael Cart - Booklist
“Bacharach’s surreal novel is inarguably amusing, a trippy exercise in ontology. But because alcohol is imbibed and drugs are ingested, the truth is both clear and unclear. So what is reality and what is imagined or, better, hallucinated? Ultimately, it’s left to the reader to decide, for it’s ambiguity that rules Peter’s world.”
James Wolcott
“Mighty strange doings in the Pittsburgh of Jacob Bacharach's mind-tripping debut novel The Bend of the World: a regular X-Files-a-go-go where yeti, UFOs, rumors of orgiastic rites, intimations of Mayan apocalypse, and 'psycho-temporal distortions' add that extra zing to the bustling night life…The Bend of the World in its biting, microcosmic portrait of our wackadoo republic makes me proud and ashamed to be an American but most of all happy to be a reader of Jacob Bacharach's—damn, is he sharp.”
Dan Chaon
“An audacious, hilarious, and aptly surreal satire of the state of America in this new, uncanny century, as well as a brilliant portrait of a new generation of fledgling adults. The Bend of the World will talk to the generation now approaching thirty in the way that Chabon's Mysteries of Pittsburgh spoke to my own twenty-five year ago.”
Sam Lipsyte
“Jacob Bacharach has a great comic voice—shrewd, deadpan, and dirty—and The Bend of the World fears no weirdness. This should do Pittsburgh proud.”
Joshua Ferris
“You could be forgiven for calling Bacharach's voice otherworldly, but thankfully for us all it's wonderfully, warmly human. An excellent debut and a hell of a good story.”
Library Journal
04/01/2014
Peter Morrison, the apathetic, 29-year-old scion of an old Pittsburgh family, spends his days not quite working at the nebulously named Global Solutions, where he is uncertain what his job actually entails or even the function of the corporation itself, which, rumor has it, will soon be acquired by a large multinational. At a high-society museum party he attends with his sort-of girlfriend, the artist Lauren Sara, to watch a "Swiss-German artist reenact the aesthetics of atrocity or something," he has a drunken encounter with a member of the corporate takeover team and suddenly finds his star on the rise. Meanwhile, the city of Pittsburgh is plagued by UFO sightings and a comically corrupt, scandal-ridden city government. Peter's best friend, Johnny, a crazed, drug-addled conspiracy theorist obsessed with the mysterious author Dr. Winston Pringle, may be the only one who knows the score. This is a corporate satire so intense that the corporation might literally be an alien culture. VERDICT The understated, conversational tone and deadpan humor in Bacharach's first novel make this an immensely entertaining read with a Vonnegut-like sensibility. [See Prepub Alert, 10/14/13.]—Lauren Gilbert, Sachem P.L., Holbrook, NY
Kirkus Reviews
2014-02-17
Things fall apart when a slacker slouches his way through the vagaries of work and the phosphorescence of the Pittsburgh arts scene. Debut novelist Bacharach would probably like to remind readers of early Michael Chabon, but the only real pleasure in this shuffling zombie of a novel comes from his arch observations on the local art world. As with many postmodern novels for lads, the author simply can't decide what story he wants to tell. His narrator is almost-30-year-old Peter Morrison, a worker bee who's "manager of customer analytics and spend processes" at a company called Global Solutions, so much of the book is a workplace comedy. "No, I am serious: the office only crushes your soul if you're dumb enough to bring it to work," Peter tells the reader. In the evenings, he divides his time between his relationship with wispy Lauren Sara, to whom he's barely attracted, and drugging his way through the scene with his fey, gay best pal Johnny, a barely functioning addict who spends easily half the book espousing outlandish conspiracy theories about the city. "So basically the Point represents a node or a nexus of intense magical convergence, an axis mundi, if you will, wherein vast telluric currents and pranic energies roil just beyond the liminal boundaries between the phenomenal and the numinous branes of existence, and obviously this whole UFO what-have-you is a manifestation of that, not some fucking ball lightning or whatever," Johnny says during just one very representative rant. Yes, on the metaphysical side of the plot we have UFO sightings and a creature that might be Bigfoot and a rabbi who leads a cult and a science-fiction author making dangerous predictions, layering yet another level of weird on a story that's overstuffed as it is. Sprinkle on a famous artist, a powerful lawyer and his hypnotizing wife, and the book pitches itself right over the brink. A mischievous but fuzzy misadventure for modern 20-somethings.
Gary Shteyngart
“Ever wonder what would happen if The Mysteries of Pittsburgh were mugged in a dark alley by a cocaine-addicted Sasquatch? Well, wonder no more. Just buy this book and enjoy.”
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780871406828
  • Publisher: Liveright Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 4/14/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 406,791
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Jacob Bacharach is an arts administrator at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and manager of the Benedum
Center for the Performing Arts. He has a BA in English and creative writing from Oberlin College. He lives in Pittsburgh.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)