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The Index of Self-Destructive Acts by Christopher Beha
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The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

A Novel

$20.99 USD

Retail price (USD): $24.95

Discount: 16%

This title is not eligible for purchase with membership credits. Why?

Narrator Jim Frangione
Length 16 hours 26 minutes
Language English
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A novel about belief—in a game, a job, a way of life, a family—and the unexpected ways we rely on each other when our most important realities crumble

The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted media celebrity who correctly forecasted every outcome of the 2008 election, Sam’s familiar with predicting the future. But when projection meets reality, things turn complicated.

Sam’s editor sends him to profile disgraced political columnist Frank Doyle. To most readers, Doyle is a liberal lion turned neocon Iraq war apologist, but to Sam he is above all the author of the great works of baseball lore that sparked Sam’s childhood love of the game—books he now views as childish myth-making to be crushed with his empirical hammer. But Doyle proves something else in person: charming, intelligent, and more convincing than Sam could have expected. Then there is his daughter, Margo, to whom Sam becomes desperately attracted—just as his wife, Lucy, arrives from Wisconsin.

The lives of these characters are entwined with those of the rest of the Doyle family—Frank’s wife, Kit, whose investment bank collapsed during the financial crisis; his son, Eddie, an Army veteran just returned from his second combat tour; and Eddie’s best childhood friend, hedge funder Justin Price. While the end of the world might not be arriving, Beha’s characters are each headed for apocalypses of their own making.

Christopher Beha is the editor of Harper’s Magazine. He is the author of two previous novels, What Happened to Sophie Wilder and Arts & Entertainments, and a memoir, The Whole Five Feet. His writing has appeared in the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, and the London Review of Books. He lives in New York City with his wife and family.

Jim Frangione is an actor and audiobook narrator who won AudioFile magazine’s 2011 Best Voice in Mystery and Suspense for his reading of Philip Carter’s The Altar of Bones and Spencer Quinn’s To Fetch a Thief. He has won numerous Earphones Awards and has been was a finalist for the prestigious Audie Award. His theater credits include the off-Broadway production of Scrambled Eggs and the New York premiere of David Mamet’s plays The Old Neighborhood, Romance, and Oleanna, in which he also performed with the national tour. His film and television appearances include Joy, Transamerica, Spartan, Heist, Brotherhood, The Unit, and Law & Order.

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Reviews

The Index is bound to become a must-read of our time.”

“A significant novel, beautifully crafted and deeply felt. Beha creates a high bonfire of our era’s vanities.”

“This impressive novel’s title comes from baseball, but it could easily refer to other kinds of self-sabotage: infidelity, money woes, plagiarism.”

“An admirably big-picture, multivalent family saga.”

“Filled with stunning acts of hubris and betrayal, Beha’s deliciously downbeat novel picks apart the zeitgeist, revealing a culture of schemers and charlatans…[A] cutting send-up of New York progressive elitism.”

“A book’s worth of thoughtful essays folded into a kick-ass novel.”

“Beha’s marvelous new novel is about, and more often than not exemplifies, pretty much everything good that New York City has lost in the past few bad years: wit, liberalism, journalism, and the dignity of self-destruction.”

“Beha is a sneaky-great plot-maker and thinker; by the time he wraps up this compassionate 21st-century tale of ambitious people looking for somewhere to place their faith—religion, statistics, love, money, country—you can see the clouds starting to gather into the moral Category 5 we’re currently enduring.”

“A character-rich novel that’s funny, poignant, prescient, and somehow sweetly deft in the willing suspension of disbelief as a syzygy of coincidences careens toward a perfect storm.”

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