Monday, July 14, 2008

Pg. 99: Elaine Szewczyk's "I'm with Stupid"

The current feature at the Page 99 Test: I'm with Stupid by Elaine Szewczyk.

About the book, from the official website:
When Kas meets William while on safari in South Africa he seems perfect: a hot park ranger, both heroic and kind. Kas’s two best friends, Max and Libby, compete for William’s attention, but he only has eyes for Kas, a lowly assistant at a struggling literary agency in New York City who thinks William is out of her league. The two have a fling in Africa, and Kas returns home wondering if she'll hear from William again. So when he finally sends an email, she's delighted.

Until she opens it.

The email is not quite the love missive Kas expected. William suddenly seems… different. A miscommunication between them ensues, triggering a rapid-fire series of developments that, within days, bring William to NYC, under the impression that Kas has offered him a place to live and help him with his plan to take Manhattan by storm. In the coming weeks, as Max plots (unnecessarily elaborate) revenge against an ex and Libby is wooed by a 17-year-old heir to a tube sock fortune, Kas struggles to cope with William’s multiplying eccentricities, including a preoccupation with astrology charts and a passion for collecting Big Apple-themed souvenirs, and the realization that he’s not exactly playing with a full deck.
Among the early praise for the novel:
"Elaine Szewczyk is smart and funny, and knows that New York bars and African safaris have something important in common: When it comes to dating, it's a jungle out there. If you savor Sophie Kinsella or Lauren Weisberger, you'll want to add her to your reading list."
--Chris Bohjalian, author of Midwives, an Oprah Book Club pick, and Skeletons at the Feast

"Spirited, irreverent, bilious, and above all funny, Elaine Szewczyk’s bitter cocktail provides a much-needed antidote for the chick-lit genre."
--Adam Langer, author of Ellington Boulevard and Crossing California

"Fun romp."
--Chicago Tribune; picked as a 2008 Hot Summer Read

"[An] entertaining debut novel…with breezy prose, witty one-liners and goofball antics."
--Publishers Weekly

"Szewczyk's cheerfully caustic sense of humor is a delight…. Recommended for all popular fiction collections."
--Library Journal

"Often laugh-out-loud funny…a quirky, perverse take on dating that easily rises above the singleton genre competition."
--Kirkus Reviews
Read an excerpt from I'm with Stupid, and learn more about the author and her work at Elaine Szewczyk's website.

Elaine Szewczyk's work has appeared in The Financial Times, Playboy, and The Chicago Tribune, among other publications. Currently she is the editor of Kirkus Reviews.

The Page 99 Test: I'm with Stupid.

--Marshal Zeringue