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You Deserve Nothing Paperback – 3 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (3 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184854572X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848545724
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.1 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 392,505 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alexander Maksik is the author of the novels You Deserve Nothing and A Marker to Measure Drift, named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 2013.

His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Harper's, Tin House, Harvard Review, Condé Nast Traveler (where he is a contributing editor), The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Salon and Narrative Magazine, among other publications and has been translated into more than a dozen languages. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he is the recipient of fellowships from the Truman Capote Literary Trust and The Corporation of Yaddo.

www.alexandermaksik.com

www.facebook.com/AlexanderMaksik

Twitter: @AlexanderMaksik

Instagram: @AlexanderMaksik


Product Description

Review

'One of the most engaged reads I've had in years' (Alice Sebold)

'A hugely satisfying and thought-provoking novel...There are echoes of The Secret History but You Deserve Nothing may be even more immediately appealing' (Daily Mail)

Just the right amount of melancholy and, yes, even romance (Daily Telegraph)

'Deftly evokes the beauty and pathos of Paris...This is a book to be read all at once with a glass of wine in a cafe or a cup of tea while tucked safely in bed' (A.M. Homes)

'Rivetingly plotted and beautifully written' (New York Times)

'You Deserve Nothing .... reminds the reader how powerful ideas and literature can be - not just by creating a memorably complex character in Will, but with some stunning prose of its own as well' (Independent on Sunday)

'Superb' (Sunday Times)

'A provocative, constantly surprising, and original novel written with precision and grace. [A] thrilling debut' (Susanna Moore)

'A gorgeous, troubling, unflinching book, as honest and rich a depiction of life's contradictions as I've encountered in many years' (Ben Fountain)

'An extraordinary read' (Red Magazine)

Book Description

Dark, compelling story of an illicit affair between a young teacher and his female student for fans of Donna Tartt

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 2 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I thought this was a fantastic book. I wouldn't normally have bothered with it because I didn't like the sound of it at all - it has an off-putting title, it is set among wealthy teenagers in an American International School and has a plot synopsis which sounds like Dead Poets Society written by a French existentialist - but I am lucky that a friend whose judgement I trust recommended it to me. It turned out to be one of the best-written, most thoughtful and most intellectually and emotionally engaging books I have read for a long time, and I found myself as gripped by it as by a really good thriller.

The story is of an inspirational teacher and his relationships with his students. Alexander Maksik manages to make this both fresh and enthralling. He tells the story through three first-person narratives, the teacher himself and two of his students, one male and one female. All three voices are brilliantly done: distinctive, convincing and with real insight into their characters, and every character in the book is wholly believable. I thought he showed exceptional insight into the sheer thrill of being an inspiring teacher and into being a thoughtful 17-year-old with that nagging sense that other people have the answers but you don't. What really makes the book stand out, though, is the way the characters wrestle with ideas, idealism, the tension between what you want to be and what you find you can be, and the difference between our public faces and private interiors. I found this utterly riveting and extremely moving in places.

The prose is excellent. It is readable, unfussy and unpretentious, and sometimes very affecting.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's a lot to like about Alexander Maksik's first novel - the clean economy of the writing, interesting characters that are explored in depth in an intensely driven storyline that switches in perspective between three people at an American school in Paris for the children of rich diplomats and ex-patriots. At the centre of this triangle is an inspirational teacher of literature, William Silver, the kind of teacher that young impressionable people gravitate towards as he opens their eyes to a new and exciting way of looking at the world. There is a difference however between how he is perceived by young seventeen year-old loner Gilad - who has been shuttled from one international city to another for much of his life - and how he is perceived by Marie, a naively excitable young student who intends to follow-up a crush on the handsome teacher. There's also a difference of perception between how they see Mr Silver and how he sees his relationship with them, and in those differences there is inevitably going to be disappointment and potentially even more serious consequences.

The inspirational teacher who proves to be not necessarily flawed as much as revealed to be as human as anyone else, is nothing new in literature or cinema, so if there is any corresponding disappointment with the reader and the expectations they have with You Deserve Nothing in this respect, well, that somehow fits with the nature of the novel and its dealing with unreasonable expectations.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Raven TOP 500 REVIEWER on 29 Feb. 2012
Format: Paperback
In the blurb at the front this author is compared to J.D.Salinger, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Donna Tartt and others but I can't help feeling that this list should merely be used as a guide to who this writer aspires to, as I certainly wouldn't put him in the same class as these luminaries of fiction. I found the whole thing a poor man's 'Dead Poet's Society' interspersed with a rather unbelievable romance between pupil and teacher that seemed entirely superficial and cliched to the nth degree. The only parts of the book I found remotely interesting were some of the existential discussions between the affirmation seeking teacher and his pupils in relation to certain texts they were studying but I had no real empathy, or indeed any kind of emotional connection to any of the characters. I felt that the atmosphere of Paris was quite well-drawn, and this along with the discussions previously mentioned raised this from a 2* to a 3* review. Probably not an author that I would seek out again...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sid Nuncius #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on 20 Aug. 2014
Format: Hardcover
I thought this was a fantastic book. I wouldn't normally have bothered with it because I didn't like the sound of it at all - it has an off-putting title, it is set among wealthy teenagers in an American International School and has a plot synopsis which sounds like Dead Poets Society written by a French existentialist - but I am lucky that a friend whose judgement I trust recommended it to me. It turned out to be one of the best-written, most thoughtful and most intellectually and emotionally engaging books I have read for a long time, and I found myself as gripped by it as by a really good thriller.

The story is of an inspirational teacher and his relationships with his students. Alexander Maksik manages to make this both fresh and enthralling. He tells the story through three first-person narratives, the teacher himself and two of his students, one male and one female. All three voices are brilliantly done: distinctive, convincing and with real insight into their characters, and every character in the book is wholly believable. I thought he showed exceptional insight into the sheer thrill of being an inspiring teacher and into being a thoughtful 17-year-old with that nagging sense that other people have the answers but you don't. What really makes the book stand out, though, is the way the characters wrestle with ideas, idealism, the tension between what you want to be and what you find you can be, and the difference between our public faces and private interiors. I found this utterly riveting and extremely moving in places.

The prose is excellent. It is readable, unfussy and unpretentious, and sometimes very affecting.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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