Roorback

Reviews.

“After the bombing of a New York City office tower in 2010, jaded thirty something “professional blogger” Aidan Cole receives a mysterious email containing a picture of a striking young woman named Paige Roderick and the text, “She’s the one responsible….” The message galvanizes him politically and romantically, and Aidan sets out to locate Paige, eventually tracking her to a Vermont town where she’s part of a small ecoterrorist cell she joined out of anger over her brother’s death in Iraq. Confronted with the picture, she realizes that she’s been betrayed and sets about exposing the group. Paige winds up at Aidan’s New York apartment, where her mere presence makes him a not altogether unwilling accessory to terrorism; before they can post their exposé, they’re framed by the group and find themselves on the run. VERDICT Combining biting comedy and deep seriousness and boasting literary antecedents ranging from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Tom Wolfe to Jay McInerney, first novelist Goodwillie (Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time) offers a remarkable tale of one man’s search for meaning and purpose beyond the superficialities of contemporary urban life that will have wide appeal.”

–Library Journal

“In Goodwillie’s debut novel (after his memoir, Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time), an incisive depiction of radicalism’s seductive roots, the central characters are a good girl gone bad and a would-be journalist turned blogger who wants to do good. Paige Roderick, laid off from her think tank job and devastated by the Iraq War death of her beloved brother, is an easy mark for a shadowy cabal of home-grown terrorists who recruit her from the ranks of weekend environmental warriors. Separately, Aidan Cole, a failed journalism student turned Manhattan gossip blogger, is drawn into her radical orbit (and into a romance) by a phantom from America’s radical past: a former member of the Weather Underground. Part political thriller and part on-the-run love story, Goodwillie’s glimpse of the lapsed idealism that might be fueling America’s subversive underground falls somewhere between Bret Easton Ellis’s Glamorama and John Updike’s Terrorist. The mix of mocking the jaded hip—the Gawker-like blogging empire that Aidan works for serves as a frequent punching bag—and exploring cultural and social unrest results in a comic and unsettling two-pronged dissection of a subset of contemporary America.”

–Publishers Weekly

“[A] smart, edgy, suspenseful first novel…. Goodwillie evokes life underground like a master—the tradecraft, the fraught group dynamics, the combination of discipline and paranoia, the longing for normality…there’s abundant promise here.”

–Kirkus Reviews