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Between the Covers Podcast

Robert Boswell : Tumbledown

“When most of us think of today’s great American novel, we think of Franzen’s Freedom or Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad—sprawling stories that comment on contemporary society as we live it. Tumbledown, Robert Boswell’s latest, is just such a book—and one you’ll stay up until 3 AM reading. Over the course of a few weeks, James Candler, a 30-something therapist, is about to lose everything including his job at the treatment center, his fiancée, and his underwater house in the suburbs. Whether he actually loses it all becomes less important as the lives of his teenage patients intertwine with his . . . This look at life inside a for-profit mental health facility will make you laugh out loud, then sucker-punch you straight to sorrow . . . Boswell is a writer who can see the humanity, and yes, even beauty, in just about anything, including a lone man sitting at a late-night diner, holding ‘a frosted doughnut to his nose as if it were a flower.'”—Leigh Newman, “Oprah Book of the Week” review