“Grappling with shifting definitions and expectations of masculinity, this fractured hero’s journey navigates a transgressive road trip in pursuit of validation, identity, and maybe even a chance at redemption. This sprawling ego study explores and refines what it means to be a good person in a nihilistic world.” ―Steven Warren, WORD Bookstore, NJ
“I laughed more times than I can count . . . A phenomenal debut novel by one of my favorite writers.” —CLINT SMITH
“Nails down the hypocrisies of modern masculinity and capitalism with the graceful hand of poet.” —ALEXANDRA KLEEMAN
“Purkert’s writing is a gift and it shines through these pages.” —HANIF ABDURRAQIB
A knockout debut novel that tackles a haunting question: What do our jobs do to our souls?
Seth is a junior copywriter whose latest tagline just went viral. He’s the agency’s hottest new star, or at least he wants his coworker crush to think so. But while he’s busy drooling over his future corner office, the walls crumble around him.
When his job lets him go, he can’t let go of his job. Thankfully, one former colleague can’t let him go either: Robert “Moon” McCloone, a skeezy on-the-rise exec better suited to a frat house than a boardroom. Seth tries to forget Moon and rediscover his spiritual self; he studies Kabbalah with an Orthodox rabbi by day while popping illegal prescription pills by night. But with each misstep, Seth strays farther from salvation—though he might get there, if he could only get out of his own way.
In his debut novel, Purkert incisively peels back the layers of the male ego, revealing what’s rotten and what might be redeemed. Brimming with wit, irreverence, and soul-searching, The Men Can’t Be Saved is a startlingly original examination of work, sex, addiction, religion, branding, and ourselves.
About the Author
Ben Purkert is the author of the poetry collection For the Love of Endings. His work appears in The New Yorker, the Nation, and the Kenyon Review, among others. He is the founder of Back Draft, a Guernica interview series focused on revision and the creative process. He holds degrees from Harvard and New York University, and he currently teaches at Rutgers.
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* A MOST ANTICIPATED BOOK OF SUMMER 2023 * NYLON * THE MILLIONS * LITHUB * DEBUTIFUL * AND MORE! *
“Blistering . . .