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The World of Tomorrow
     

The World of Tomorrow

by Brendan Mathews
 

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Three brothers caught up in a whirlwind week of love, blackmail, and betrayal that culminates in an assassination plot, set against the dramatic backdrop of 1930s New York.

June 1939. With Europe on the brink of another World War, Francis Dempsey and his deaf-mute and shell-shocked brother, Michael, are en route to New York City, masquerading as minor

Overview

Three brothers caught up in a whirlwind week of love, blackmail, and betrayal that culminates in an assassination plot, set against the dramatic backdrop of 1930s New York.

June 1939. With Europe on the brink of another World War, Francis Dempsey and his deaf-mute and shell-shocked brother, Michael, are en route to New York City, masquerading as minor British nobles aboard a luxury ocean liner, having absconded with a small fortune stolen from the IRA. Their destination is the house of their older brother, Martin, a jazz musician. But when Tom Cronin, a retired henchman seeking redemption through a final job, tracks the brothers down, Francis must capitulate to blackmail or have his family suffer fatal consequences.

New York, meanwhile, is suffused with an electric feeling of hope, caught up in the fervor of the World's Fair that will host King George and Queen Elizabeth, the first time in history a reigning British monarch has set foot on American soil. Over the course of one tumultuous week, THE WORLD OF TOMORROW brims with conmen, politicians, artists, musicians, mobsters, and molls -- characters haunted by their pasts and connected by blood, love, and chance. When the befuddled Michael disappears, wandering the streets of Manhattan alone, his only hope may be the mysterious Czech photographer who takes him under her wing. With Michael missing and Francis embroiled in an assassination plot, the brothers' long-awaited reunion with Martin may be short-lived.

From the smoky, boozy nightclubs of Harlem to the mansions of the wealthy and powerful to the backroom warrens of mobsters on the make, Brendan Mathews brings prewar New York to vivid, pulsing life. The sweeping and intricate storytelling of this remarkable debut is set against the resonant backdrop of an America that blithely hoped it could avoid the war and focus instead on the promise inherent in the slogan of the World's Fair: a peaceful, prosperous "World of Tomorrow."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Advance praise for The World of Tomorrow:

"What a beguiling debut Brendan Mathews has given us in The World of Tomorrow: clever, smart, ambitious, richly textured, and moving."
Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author of Everybody's Fool

"What a book! The World of Tomorrow is a panoramic tour-de-force, a huge undertaking peopled with convincing characters and animated by a persuasive historical accuracy. But beyond all that, my fascination was with the way Mathews assembled the novel, sifting and endlessly resifting his characters like sand, as life itself piled up right in front of me. The grim realities of America on the cusp of a second World War will be recognizable, but in this capable writer's hands, the individual characters-passionate, secretive, naïve, lucky, unlucky, and sometimes hapless-remain full of surprises to the last. They exist not against the backdrop of history, but tangled up in its complex, cruel, or absurd demands, desperate to find whatever space is allowed them for intimacy."—Ann Beattie, PEN/Malamud-winning author of The New Yorker Stories

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316382199
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
09/01/2017
Pages:
416

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Brendan Mathews writes fiction and teaches at Bard College at Simon's Rock. A 2011 finalist for the Flannery O'Connor Short Fiction Prize, he has published in Best American Short Stories, Cincinnati Review, Glimmer Train, Virginia Quarterly Review, and others. He lives with his family in Lenox, Massachusetts.