Man in the Empty Suit
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Soho Press 2013
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Description
Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks twelve-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be. Sure, the party is the same year after year, but at least it's one party where he can really, well, be himself.

The year he turns 39, though, the party takes a stressful turn for the worse. Before he even makes it into the grand ballroom for a drink he encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead of a gunshot wound to the head. As the older versions of himself at the party point out, the onus is on him to figure out what went wrong—he has one year to stop himself from being murdered, or they're all goners. As he follows clues that he may or may not have willingly left for himself, he discovers rampant paranoia and suspicion among his younger selves, and a frightening conspiracy among the Elders. Most complicated of all is a haunting woman possibly named Lily who turns up at the party this year, the first person besides himself he's ever seen at the party. For the first time, he has something to lose. Here's hoping he can save some version of his own life

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
02/05/2013
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781616951269
ASIN:
B007WL3CRS
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Sean Ferrell. (2013). Man in the Empty Suit. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Sean Ferrell. 2013. Man in the Empty Suit. Soho Press.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Sean Ferrell, Man in the Empty Suit. Soho Press, 2013.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Sean Ferrell. Man in the Empty Suit. Soho Press, 2013. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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reviews
      • content: "Ferrell makes a strong case to be the Kurt Vonnegut of his generation. Man in the Empty Suit is alternately funny, sad, and thought-provoking.... I wish I could travel back in time and write this book myself."
      • source: Andrew Shaffer, bestselling author of Fifty Shames of Earl Grey
      • premium: False
      • content: "Man in the Empty Suit is a marvel: a complicated, soul searching, entirely riveting piece of work."
      • source: Marcy Dermansky, author of Bad Marie
      • premium: False
      • content: "[Man in the Empty Suit has] an ingenious setup....Both Looper and Man In The Empty Suit track the trajectory of a pained, lonely man who learns what it means to sacrifice for the sake of another's well-being."
      • source: The A.V. Club
      • premium: False
      • content: "[Man in the Empty Suit] is tickling the Dr. Who parts of my brain, but in a really dark kind of way.... As you can imagine, this has one hell of an opening line: It is unfortunate for me that I am, by most any objective measure, a genius. Quite the set up for an interesting story."
        --A Home Between Pages

        Praise for Sean Ferrell's Numb


        "Ferrell's eye-catching debut is a mordant take on contemporary culture."
      • source: Kirkus Reviews
      • premium: False
      • content: "Offbeat.... The book has a lot of heart."
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • premium: False
      • content:

        December 24, 2012
        In this literary excursion into sci-fi, a time traveler has celebrated his birthday every year for almost two decades with past and future versions of himself in an abandoned Manhattan hotel in 2071. What makes his 39th birthday different is the fact that he stumbles across the corpse of his 40-year-old self. Because of a temporal blackout in their memories, none of the future versions of himself, known as Elders, knows what has happened, so they charge the time traveler with finding out how his 40-year-old version will be killed. Further complicating the mystery is the surprising presence of Lily, a lone female party guest. To understand her presence, the time traveler goes back in time to locate Lily at a previous point in her life, in a transformed, postapocalyptic version of the city, ultimately following her back to a hotel, where their entwined fates are revealed. Ferrell (Numb) has written a brain-teasing, paradox-defying, time travel mystery in the tradition of such pretzel-bending-logic classics as Fritz Leiber’s The Big Time and Robert A. Heinlein’s “By His Bootstraps.” But with a limited cast of characters, the reader eventually tires of being trapped in this hall of mirrors with a necessarily narcissistic protagonist, who, in the end, is less than the sum of his many selves. Agent: Janet Reid, Fine Print Literary Management.

      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • premium: True
      • content:

        December 15, 2012
        A time traveler has annual reunions with his younger and older selves, with surreal--and often confusing--results. The narrator begins the novel with "Convention Rules," which can be construed as a pun. The "Rules" include cryptic advice such as "Elders know best," "Try not to ruin the fun for the Youngsters" and "Never reveal the future." In the extensive terminology created here, "Elders" refers to older versions of himself and "Youngsters."..well, mutatis mutandis. Amid the mind-boggling travels across time and space, including the Teutoburg Forest in the first century, when Teutonic tribes slaughtered a group of Roman soldiers, the traveler would invariably set his travel raft to alight in New York on the anniversary of his birthday--April Fool's Day, 2071. There, at the ballroom of the abandoned Boltzmann Hotel, he would have a family reunion of sorts with his various avatars, some of them comically recognizable through fashion statements that have become passe. The traveler identifies these selves with telling, almost allegorical, names (Turtleneck, Ugly Tie, Yellow Sweater, Spats). A tension arises when, on one of his excursions to the Boltzmann, the narrator's 39-year-old self discovers the body of his 40-year-old self (murder? suicide?), and the Elders point out that he's got to figure out this mystery or all of his "future" selves will cease to exist. Ferrell has a lot of fun playing out the ramifications of this paradox and complicates things still further by introducing a mysterious woman who shows up at the "reunion" for the first time. A narrative that strikes the head more than it strikes the heart.

        COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • source: Kirkus
      • premium: True
      • content:

        September 1, 2012

        In Ferrell's (Numb) second literary novel, a time traveler gropes his way through a maze of clues and suspicions in an attempt to prevent an event from happening, without creating a paradox in the slipstream of time. The traveler celebrates his 100th birthday every year by traveling to 2071 as a 39-year-old man, to a party attended only by other versions of himself, young and old. But this time, he sees his 40-year-old self murdered. Without the cooperation of his Youngster or Elder selves he must solve the murder by his next birthday. The traveler challenges the conventions of time travel to accomplishwhat seems to be an impossible task. VERDICT For readers willing to jump on for the ride, this fascinating novel is engaging and thought-provoking, requiring concentration and commitment. It will also appeal to readers of Stephen King's 11/22/63.--Susan Carr, Edwardsville P.L., IL

        Copyright 2012 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • source: Library Journal
      • premium: True
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      • value: Paranoia
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      • value: Puzzle
      • value: Fiction
      • value: crime
      • value: Identity
      • value: fate
      • value: mystery
      • value: murder
      • value: noir
      • value: novel
      • value: Science Fiction
      • value: new york city
      • value: investigation
      • value: human history
      • value: multiple selves
      • value: soho press
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      • value: Fiction
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      • value: Romance
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        Sean Ferrell's fiction has appeared in journals such as Electric Literature's "The Outlet" and The Adirondack Review. His short story "Building an Elephant" won The Fulton Prize. His debut novel, Numb, was described as "eye catching," "daring" and "offbeat." He lives and works, in no particular order, in New York City.

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Man in the Empty Suit
fullDescription
Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks twelve-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be. Sure, the party is the same year after year, but at least it's one party where he can really, well, be himself.

The year he turns 39, though, the party takes a stressful turn for the worse. Before he even makes it into the grand ballroom for a drink he encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead of a gunshot wound to the head. As the older versions of himself at the party point out, the onus is on him to figure out what went wrong—he has one year to stop himself from being murdered, or they're all goners. As he follows clues that he may or may not have willingly left for himself, he discovers rampant paranoia and suspicion among his younger selves, and a frightening conspiracy among the Elders. Most complicated of all is a haunting woman possibly named Lily who turns up at the party this year, the first person besides himself he's ever seen at the party. For the first time, he has something to lose. Here's hoping he can save some version of his own life

shortDescription

Say you're a time traveler and you've already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That's why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks twelve-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be. Sure, the party is the same year after year, but at least it's one party where he can really, well, be himself.

The year he turns 39, though, the party takes a stressful turn for the worse. Before he even makes it into the grand ballroom for a drink he encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead of a gunshot wound to the head. As the older versions of himself at the party point out, the onus is on him to figure out what went wrong--he has one year to stop himself from being murdered, or they're all goners. As he follows...

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