The Angry Buddhist

Seth Greenland (Author)
Available

Description

From the author of I Regret Everything comes this "great novel. It's satirical, it's political, it's sexual. All the things that I love dearly" (Larry David, creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld).

Seth Greenland's timely novel is a smart and darkly amusing dissection of the American political establishment in all its sordid glory. Set in the hardscrabble California desert community of Desert Hot Springs and the manicured enclave of Palm Springs, the novel lives at the intersection of the political disarray of today.
In this sun-blasted territory, with its equally arid culture, a fiercely contested congressional election is in progress. The wily incumbent, Randall Duke, is unburdened by ethical considerations and his opponent, Mary Swain, is a sexy and well-financed newcomer who does not have a firm grip on American history or elemental economics.
As election day nears, the exploitable backgrounds of these two candidates are teased out by the desire to one-up each other. The campaign gets carried away when the personal escapades of friends and family spill over into the election, including lesbian love triangles, and sudden spiritual enlightenment.

"A wild entertainment as well as a novel about the way we live now that dares to dance with the profound."--Los Angeles Times

"The Angry Buddhist approaches all its characters with reliable misanthropy (not for nothing does Larry David provide this book's most visible blurb). And its story unfolds with dexterous ease . . . A fine, high-end beach read for this election season."--The New York Times Book Review

"A novel about three brothers, The Angry Buddhist is a steamy mix of murder, matching manga kitten tattoos, and a fierce congressional election."--Lion's Roar

Product Details

Price
$16.00  $14.72
Publisher
Europa Editions
Publish Date
April 24, 2012
Pages
395
Dimensions
5.2 X 1.2 X 8.2 inches | 1.05 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781609450687
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Seth Greenland is the author of the novels The Bones and Shining City. His first play, Jungle Rot, was the winner of the Kennedy Center/American Express Fund for New American Plays Award, the American Theater Critics Association Award and anthologized in Best American Plays. He was a writer-producer on the Emmy-nominated HBO series Big Love and one of the original bloggers on the Huffington Post. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times and the literary journal Black Clock. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.

Reviews

"The Angry Buddhist" is a great novel. It's satirical, it's political, it's sexual. All the things that I love dearly. Finally, something to come home to."
--Larry David
THE SMALL, DRY TOWNS that lead eastward from Los Angeles to Indio, across the lap of California, form an island chain in a sea of sand, each with its own biome and yet each enough like the other to form, in aggregate, one place. The chain is a kind of Galapagos, easily isolated by its natural isolation, and ripe for study. It is in this insular region that "The Angry Buddhist," Los Angeles writer Seth Greenland's third novel, operates, studying closely the evolutionary winners and losers of the area. But of course any region, even a solidly organized body such as that grassy monolith, the American Midwest, is never really just one place. There are subtleties and shadings visible only to those with adapted eyes, and it is those subtleties that Greenland crafts into a wild social farce, dependent on fine distinctions...
It is the human extremes that are Greenland's subject, and he captures the high and low end with a crafty gaze. He begins, logically, at the center, where there is plenty of shelter.
--Alison Powell (LA Review of Books)
This idea -- that messy and inept human striving is the best producer of plot -- recalls the recent fictive universes of Elmore Leonard, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers (lords of anarchy, all of them, and, I'd venture, influences here). This novel is Greenland's third, after "The Bones" and "Shining City," and it's easily his most ambitious.
Some one-liners still come off sounding too glib and cute (a young reporter "looks like she studied at the Victoria's Secret School of Journalism" and "Guilt is as pointless as the Pope in Tel Aviv"), but it's better to stuff in too many jokes than avoid them altogether. In any event, Greenland does bring more serious themes into play. The big issue, explored through the questing character of Jimmy Duke, is: "how is it possible to practice non-attachment if you have a moral perspective on the world?"
Novelists too need to be nimble, and "The Angry Buddhist" is a wild entertainment as well as a novel about the way we live now that dares to dance with the profound.
--Richard Rayner (LA Times)
"Profundity can be found in the strangest places," DharmaGirl counsels. "Everyone makes fun of fortune cookies. I don't know why."
"The Angry Buddhist" approaches all its characters with reliable misanthropy (not for nothing does Larry David provide this book's most visible blurb). And its story unfolds with dexterous ease. Even a minor figure like Hard's wife, Vonda Jean, who wears "an expression as nurturing as an oil spill" and always leaves the television on "so she'll have something else to listen to in the event Hard starts talking," is made funny and sharp. The book's women are more cartoonish than its men. But the competition is pretty fierce.
"The Angry Buddhist" makes a fine high-end beach read for election season. But, perhaps surprisingly, the least interesting story element in "The Angry Buddhist" is the anonymous political blogger who provides a running commentary on campaign issues. The blogger tethers this otherwise escapist fable to real life.
--Janet Maslin (New York Times)
The Angry Buddhist is a great novel. It's satirical, it's political, it's sexual. All the things that I love dearly. Finally, something to come home to.-
--Larry David
THE SMALL, DRY TOWNS that lead eastward from Los Angeles to Indio, across the lap of California, form an island chain in a sea of sand, each with its own biome and yet each enough like the other to form, in aggregate, one place. The chain is a kind of Galapagos, easily isolated by its natural isolation, and ripe for study. It is in this insular region that The Angry Buddhist, Los Angeles writer Seth Greenland's third novel, operates, studying closely the evolutionary winners and losers of the area. But of course any region, even a solidly organized body such as that grassy monolith, the American Midwest, is never really just one place. There are subtleties and shadings visible only to those with adapted eyes, and it is those subtleties that Greenland crafts into a wild social farce, dependent on fine distinctions...
It is the human extremes that are Greenland's subject, and he captures the high and low end with a crafty gaze. He begins, logically, at the center, where there is plenty of shelter.
--Alison Powell (LA Review of Books)
This idea -- that messy and inept human striving is the best producer of plot -- recalls the recent fictive universes of Elmore Leonard, Quentin Tarantino and the Coen brothers (lords of anarchy, all of them, and, I'd venture, influences here). This novel is Greenland's third, after -The Bones- and -Shining City, - and it's easily his most ambitious.
Some one-liners still come off sounding too glib and cute (a young reporter -looks like she studied at the Victoria's Secret School of Journalism- and -Guilt is as pointless as the Pope in Tel Aviv-), but it's better to stuff in too many jokes than avoid them altogether. In any event, Greenland does bring more serious themes into play. The big issue, explored through the questing character of Jimmy Duke, is: -how is it possible to practice non-attachment if you have a moral perspective on the world?-
Novelists too need to be nimble, and -The Angry Buddhist- is a wild entertainment as well as a novel about the way we live now that dares to dance with the profound.
--Richard Rayner (LA Times)
-Profundity can be found in the strangest places, - DharmaGirl counsels. -Everyone makes fun of fortune cookies. I don't know why.-
-The Angry Buddhist- approaches all its characters with reliable misanthropy (not for nothing does Larry David provide this book's most visible blurb). And its story unfolds with dexterous ease. Even a minor figure like Hard's wife, Vonda Jean, who wears -an expression as nurturing as an oil spill- and always leaves the television on -so she'll have something else to listen to in the event Hard starts talking, - is made funny and sharp. The book's women are more cartoonish than its men. But the competition is pretty fierce.
-The Angry Buddhist- makes a fine high-end beach read for election season. But, perhaps surprisingly, the least interesting story element in -The Angry Buddhist- is the anonymous political blogger who provides a running commentary on campaign issues. The blogger tethers this otherwise escapist fable to real life.
--Janet Maslin (New York Times)
Praise for Seth Greenland
"The Angry Buddhist
is a great novel. It's satirical, it's political, it's sexual. All the things that I love dearly. Finally, something to come home to."
--Larry David
"Recalls the more good natured novels of Evelyn Waugh...Shining City is very funny...readers will be seduced by the combination of narrative skill and sharp-pointed wit."
--Los Angeles Times
"The Bones is savagely funny...one of the most perceptive and flat-out hilarious novels about L.A.'s brutal Darwinism, a book that makes you cringe through your laughter-induced tears."
--San Francisco Chronicle
Praise for Seth Greenland

"The Angry Buddhist is a great novel. It's satirical, it's political, it's sexual. All the things that I love dearly. Finally, something to come home to."
--Larry David

"Recalls the more good natured novels of Evelyn Waugh...Shining City is very funny...readers will be seduced by the combination of narrative skill and sharp-pointed wit."
--Los Angeles Times

"The Bones is savagely funny...one of the most perceptive and flat-out hilarious novels about L.A.'s brutal Darwinism, a book that makes you cringe through your laughter-induced tears."
--San Francisco Chronicle