Fiction. At a prestigious university in Michigan circa 1980, the perplexing poems by Roger Ackroyd have won him a cult following. But who is Roger Ackroyd?
Just about the only person on campus not asking that question is Edward Moses, Ackroyd's secret creator. Instead, Edward is flunking his girlfriend's psych class, fighting with his family, and suffering from writer's block. Enter a rival artist pretending to be Roger Ackroyd. In his last week of college, Edward's obsession with exposing the poser threatens to reveal his own true identity.
A hilarious campus novel in the tradition of Evelyn Waugh and Kingsley Amis, this debut novel skewers the nature of youth, friendship, and ambition, while making us feel for the lovable but hapless Edward.
"Walking a tightrope between the abject and the comic, MISERY BOY offers the hapless misadventures of Edward Moses, a committed secret writer, a committed and not-so-secret drunk, as everything falls to shambles around him. Vibrant and repellent and very funny, MISERY BOY is a razor-sharp debut."--Brian Evenson
"'If you were smart you ignored compliments...Somebody complimented your cooking...and you never boiled another potato in your life. With every compliment came a wish for a different, more optimal you.' So writes Rose Servis in MISERY BOY, making me hesitate to compliment her at all. I don't want to change her or influence what she will write next--certain to be as astute and poignant and funny as this. (That is not a compliment, just a fact!)"--Diana Wagman
"MISERY BOY is that timeliest of anachronisms; a picaresque novel of the recent past that speaks to our own time with the sort of delirious candor only misfits can muster. Comparisons to Ottessa Moshfegh will be inevitable, but Servis forges a defiantly original path, creating in Eddie Moses a protagonist whose masochistic pursuit of personal artistic purity is both maddening and hilarious--part Henry Fool, part Holden Caulfield, with a dash of Josef K for that enigmatic, existential thrill. Imagine a mumblecore movie written by Thomas Bernhard and you'll be getting close to the finely tuned misanthropic glee of this delightful book. An incredible debut from an emerging writer of immense talent."--Seth Blake
"With a prose style that is graceful, innovative and comic, Rose Servis pays homage to, and satirizes Agatha Christie and T.S. Eliot through her brilliant but often befuddled and self-destructive college student protagonist, Edward Moses aka Roger Ackroyd. Servis' Edward is a worthy descendent of J.P. Donleavy's Sebastian Dangerfield from the classic novel The Ginger Man."--Bruce Bauman
"Blistering satire from a bold new voice!"--Susan Henderson