Carousel Court: A Novel

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Joe McGinniss Jr., who is “poised to become one of our sharpest observers of life in America at the start of the twenty-first century” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review), returns with one of the most engrossing, unnerving, and exhilarating novels in recent memory: a viscerally absorbing look at the seductive—and destructive—cutting edge of marriage.

Nick and Phoebe Maguire are a young couple who move cross-country to Southern California in search of a fresh start for themselves and their infant son following a trauma. But they arrive at the worst possible economic time, cemented into the dark heart of foreclosure alley and surrounded by neighbors swamped by debt who set fire to their belongings, flee in the dead of night, and eye one another with suspicion while keeping shotguns by their beds. Trapped, broke, and increasingly desperate, Nick and Phoebe each devise their own plan to claw their way back into the middle class and beyond. Hatched under one roof, their two separate, secret agendas will inevitably collide.

“A fearless novel about a family and a society on the brink…Harrowing but, against all odds, ultimately tender” (O, The Oprah Magazine), Carousel Court is an unforgettable vision of contemporary life. It has the ambition of our most serious literary work and the soul of a thriller, managing to be simultaneously sexy, scary, and powerfully moving. Most of all, it offers an unflinching portrait of modern marriage in a nation scarred by vanished jobs, psychotropic cure-alls, infidelity via iPhone, and ruthless choices. “Fast…Foreboding…Joe McGinniss spins an edgy tale, often laced with a reporter’s eye for the little details that make characters pop” (The Washington Post). He leaves you simultaneously gutted and grateful—and curious what your partner is up to on that electronic device across the room.
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About the author

Joe McGinniss Jr. is the author of Carousel Court and The Delivery Man. He lives in Washington, DC, with his family.

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Reviews

4.0
3 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 2, 2016
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Pages
368
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ISBN
9781476791302
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Family Life
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Imbolo Mbue
A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • Longlisted for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY 
NPR • The New York Times Book Review • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Refinery29 • Kirkus Reviews 

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Praise for Behold the Dreamers

“A debut novel by a young woman from Cameroon that illuminates the immigrant experience in America with the tenderhearted wisdom so lacking in our political discourse . . . Mbue is a bright and captivating storyteller.”—The Washington Post

“A capacious, big-hearted novel.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Behold the Dreamers’ heart . . . belongs to the struggles and small triumphs of the Jongas, which Mbue traces in clean, quick-moving paragraphs.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Mbue’s writing is warm and captivating.”—People (book of the week)

“[Mbue’s] book isn’t the first work of fiction to grapple with the global financial crisis of 2007–2008, but it’s surely one of the best. . . . It’s a novel that depicts a country both blessed and doomed, on top of the world, but always at risk of losing its balance. It is, in other words, quintessentially American.”—NPR

“This story is one that needs to be told.”—Bust 

“Behold the Dreamers challenges us all to consider what it takes to make us genuinely content, and how long is too long to live with our dreams deferred.”—O: The Oprah Magazine

“[A] beautiful, empathetic novel.”—The Boston Globe

“A witty, compassionate, swiftly paced novel that takes on race, immigration, family and the dangers of capitalist excess.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Mbue [is] a deft, often lyrical observer. . . . [Her] meticulous storytelling announces a writer in command of her gifts.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Joe McGinniss
It is the longest-running criminal case in U.S. history, and one of the most horrifying murder cases of its time, with chilling echoes of the Manson FamilyÕs ÒHelter SkelterÓ killings: Jeffrey MacDonald, a handsome, Ivy LeagueÐeducated Green Beret Army doctor, accused of brutally stabbing and clubbing to death his pregnant wife and two young daughters in the middle of the night. MacDonald was eventually convicted and is serving three consecutive life sentences. The writer Joe McGinniss first got drawn into the story in 1979, when he began work on what became the definitive account of the case, "Fatal Vision." But in the years since, MacDonald has never stopped filing appeals, and several high-profile writers have raised questions about whether he might be innocent after all. McGinniss, largely silent on the topic for years, finally rebuts them all in this compelling follow-up to his 1983 bestseller.

To this day, provocative questions still swirl around the murders: What would cause a seemingly happily married man to slaughter his family so viciously, with a wooden club, knives, and an ice pick? Who were the drug-crazed hippies who MacDonald insisted broke into his house and committed the crimes? Did the government and the military truly suppress evidence that could prove MacDonaldÕs innocence? And what about the mysterious and deeply troubled Girl in the Floppy Hat?

Forty-three years after the murders, the controversy lives on. MacDonald, now a gray-haired sixty-eight-year-old, continues to attract supporters, most recently acclaimed filmmaker Errol Morris, whose recent book casts doubt on the conviction. The ruling on MacDonaldÕs latest motion for a new trial is due in early 2013, but as McGinniss makes clear in this fascinating, authoritative book, his guilt is undeniable.

PRAISE FOR JOE McGINNISS

ÒMcGinniss is the Alfred Hitchcock of the true-crime genre, a genre he often transcends.Ó ÑThe Boston Globe

ÒMcGinniss writes with the uncensored, sensuous perceptions of a naturalistic novelist.Ó ÑLos Angeles Times

ÒJoe McGinniss just keeps writing stories that transcend the [true crime] genre.Ó ÑChicago Tribune

ÒI think ÔFatal VisionÕ is among the best true-crime books ever written.Ó ÑGene Weingarten, two-time Pulitzer PrizeÐwinning author and columnist for the Washington Post Magazine

Adam Haslett
FINALIST for the PULITZER PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the NATIONAL BOOK AWARD
WINNER of the LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE
FINALIST for the NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD
FINALIST for the KIRKUS PRIZE
LONG-LISTED for the ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL

TOP 10 NOVELS OF THE YEAR -- TIME, Wall Street Journal, San Francisco Chronicle, BBC, Newsday

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Barnes & Noble, BookPage, BuzzFeed, Elle, Financial Times, Huffington Post, Kirkus, NPR, Refinery29, Seattle Times, Shelf Awareness, WBUR's On Point

"Haslett is one of the country's most talented writers, equipped with a sixth sense for characterization" --Wall Street Journal

"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level." --New York Times Book Review

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, a ferociously intimate story of a family facing the ultimate question: how far will we go to save the people we love the most?

When Margaret's fiancé, John, is hospitalized for depression in 1960s London, she faces a choice: carry on with their plans despite what she now knows of his condition, or back away from the suffering it may bring her. She decides to marry him. Imagine Me Gone is the unforgettable story of what unfolds from this act of love and faith. At the heart of it is their eldest son, Michael, a brilliant, anxious music fanatic who makes sense of the world through parody. Over the span of decades, his younger siblings -- the savvy and responsible Celia and the ambitious and tightly controlled Alec -- struggle along with their mother to care for Michael's increasingly troubled and precarious existence.

Told in alternating points of view by all five members of the family, this searing, gut-wrenching, and yet frequently hilarious novel brings alive with remarkable depth and poignancy the love of a mother for her children, the often inescapable devotion siblings feel toward one another, and the legacy of a father's pain in the life of a family.

With his striking emotional precision and lively, inventive language, Adam Haslett has given us something rare: a novel with the power to change how we see the most important people in our lives.
Joe McGinniss
rogue (r¯og), n: An elephant that has separated from a herd and roams about alone,in which state it is very savage.—Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary
 
After three years of research, bestselling journalist Joe McGinniss presents his already controversial and much anticipated investigative chronicle of Sarah Palin as an individual, politician, and cultural phenomenon.
 
In his critically acclaimed book about Alaska, Going to Extremes, the fledgling state itself was Joe McGinniss’s subject. Although he didn’t hesitate to reveal the many flaws and contradictions behind its “last frontier” image, McGinniss fell in love with the land and its people. More than three decades later, he returned to Alaska in search of its most famous resident, Sarah Palin.

On Election Day 2008, McGinniss began his on-the-ground reporting that culminated, famously, in his moving next door to Sarah Palin in spring 2010. THE ROGUE is the eagerly awaited result of his research and writing: a startling study of the illusion and reality of Sarah Palin—and a probing look at the Alaska and the America that produced her. Sometimes funny, sometimes frightening, always provocative and illuminating, THE ROGUE answers the questions “Who is she, really?,” “How did she happen?,” and “Will she ever go away?”

In all of his books, McGinniss has scrutinized the mysterious space between image and reality—how that space is created, negotiated, and/or manipulated. Now, with The Rogue, McGinniss combines his deep appreciation of the place Sarah Palin comes from with his uncanny ability to penetrate the façades of people in public life. The result is an extraordinary double narrative that alternately traces Palin’s curious rise to political prominence and worldwide celebrity status and recounts the author’s day-to-day experiences as he uncovers the messy reality beneath the glossy Palin myth.

Readers will find THE ROGUE at once bitingly insightful, hilarious, and profoundly ominous in what it reveals—not just about the dark underpinnings of a potential presidential nominee but also in regard to the huge numbers of Americans who passionately support her.


From the Hardcover edition.
Joe McGinniss
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR

Joe McGinniss was just twenty-six when he wrote the book that would redefine political journalism. ÒThe Selling of the PresidentÓ, about Richard NixonÕs 1968 run for the White House, was the first book ever to take an unvarnished look at the dirty game of campaign politics. ÒOvernight,Ó Dwight Garner of The New York Times noted, Òit made Theodore WhiteÕs ÔMaking of the PresidentÕ campaign books seem wan and dated.Ó McGinnissÕs startling behind-the-scenes narrative of how a candidate is packaged and sold to the American public stunned readers of the time. Forty-five years later, in the thick of another presidential election, the story is as relevantÑand surprisingÑas ever.Ê

With its lively accounts of the clever and cynical men hired to market the Nixon brand (including a young and witty Roger Ailes) and its fresh insights into McLuhanesque campaign techniques, ÒThe Selling of the PresidentÓ examines the genesis of the modern political campaign. As McGinniss writes in a new introduction to this digital edition, ÒÔThe Selling of the PresidentÕ is the first account of the marriage of convenience/mŽnage ˆ trois between national politics, network television, and Madison Avenue.ÓÊ

Politics as usual began right here.Ê

. . .Ê

PRAISE FOR "THE SELLING OF THE PRESIDENT"

ÒMcGinniss blessed this land with his book ÔThe Selling of the President, 1968Õ.ÓÊ

ÐRobert Sherrill, ÒWashington Post Book WorldÓÊ

ÒDevastatingly funny and angryÉMcGinniss has given us a damning but terribly amusing picture of the flackery in one campaignÉThe problem will be around longer than Nixon willÉYou can read this book and laughÑ-or maybe weep a little at how you were sold a president.ÓÊ

ÐDavid Broder, ÒWashington PostÓÊ

ÒStinging, bitterly comicÉWhat McGinniss saw and heard he has recorded artfully enough to simultaneously entertain us and make us fear for the future of the Republic.ÓÊ

ÐÒNew York TimesÓÊ

ÒAn appalled, savage and charming chronicle of Mr. NixonÕs 1968 electoral campaign.ÓÊ

ÐMurray Kempton, ÒLife MagazineÓÊ

Joe McGinniss
Imagine ÒLaw & OrderÓ set in Lake Wobegon: kidnapping, assault, armed robbery, and more, all taking place against a backdrop of small-town charm and civility. This is the world of Ò15 Gothic Street,Ó a two-part series by bestselling author Joe McGinniss (ÒThe Selling of the President,Ó ÒFatal Vision,Ó ÒGoing to ExtremesÓ) about crime and courtroom justice in a picture-perfect corner of New England. Unlike prime-time television, however, everything that happens at Ò15 Gothic StreetÓ is all too real.

Written by a master of the true crime narrative, the series tells the story of life in and out of an American courthouse over the course of several tumultuous yet typical cases. In this absorbing first episode, McGinniss follows a lurid case of statutory rape involving the beloved director of a community theater and the young protŽgŽs he allegedly abused for years on end. Could this devoted family man really have committed such vile crimes and gotten away with it for so long? Were these young women on the witness stand telling the truth or were they, in the words of the defense attorney, merely vindictive Òlittle actressesÓ? McGinniss sat in the courtroom day after day as the disturbing testimony piled up.

Unsavory as it was, this case was just one of many gritty dramas that play out daily in the Hampshire County Courthouse. This stately granite building sits at the center of beautiful Northampton, Massachusetts, home of Smith College and Calvin Coolidge and aptly nicknamed ÒParadise City.Ó But even in paradise, thereÕs trouble. The worst of these troubles find their way to 15 Gothic Street, where they are laid bare every day, Monday through Friday. McGinnissÕs odyssey through this land of miscreants, lawyers, judges, clerks, reporters, and opinionated locals is proof that bad behavior always thrives in the places where you least expect it.

Joe McGinniss
At thirty-nine, Nancy Kissel had it all: glamour, gusto, garishly flaunted wealth, and the royal lifestyle of the expatriate wife. Not to mention three young children and what a friend described as "the best marriage in the universe."

That marriage -- to Merrill Lynch and former Goldman Sachs investment banker Robert Kissel -- ended abruptly one November night in 2003 in the bedroom of their luxury apartment high above Hong Kong's glittering Victoria Harbour.

Why?

Hong Kong prosecutors, who charged Nancy with murder, said she wanted to inherit Rob's millions and start a new life with a blue-collar lover who lived in a New Hampshire trailer park.

She said she'd killed in self-defense while fighting for her life against an abusive, cocaine-addicted husband who had forced her for years to submit to his brutal sexual demands.

Her 2005 trial, lasting for months and rich in lurid detail, captivated Hong Kong's expatriate community and attracted attention worldwide. Less than a year after the jury of seven Chinese citizens returned its unexpected verdict, Rob's brother, Andrew, a Connecticut real estate tycoon facing prison for fraud and embezzlement, was also found dead: stabbed in the back in the basement of his multimillion-dollar Greenwich mansion by person or persons unknown.

Never Enough is the harrowing true story of these two brothers, Robert and Andrew Kissel, who grew up wanting to own the world but instead wound up murdered half a world apart; and of Nancy Kissel, a riddle wrapped inside an enigma, a modern American woman for whom having it all might not have been enough.

In this singularly compelling narrative, Joe McGinniss -- past master at exposing the dark heart of the American family in the bestsellers Fatal Vision, Blind Faith, and Cruel Doubt -- explores his darkest and most disturbing subject yet: a smart and beautiful family so corroded by greed that it destroys itself from within.

Here is a family saga almost biblical in its tragic proportion but dazzlingly modern in flavor -- and utterly unstoppable in its pulsating narrative drive. From the shimmering skyscrapers and greed-drenched bustle of Hong Kong to the moneyed hush and hauteur of backcountry Greenwich, McGinniss lures readers irresistibly forward, as this twisted tale of ambition gone mad and love gone bad rushes to its terrible, inexorable conclusion.
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