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Random House Publishing Group, Fall 2018

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Lake Success
A Novel
By (author): Gary Shteyngart
9780812997415 Hardcover English General Trade FICTION / Literary Sep 04, 2018
$37.00 CAD
Active 6.4 x 9.6 x 1.2 in 352 pages Random House
When his dream of the perfect marriage, the perfect son, and the perfect life implodes, a self-made Wall Street millionaire takes a cross-country bus trip in search of his college sweetheart and ideals of youth in the long awaited novel, his first in seven years, from the acclaimed, bestselling author of Super Sad True Love Story.

In this biting, emotionally resonant novel very much of our times, two imperfect, brilliantly realized characters navigate the Shteyngartian chaos of their own making. Myopic, narcissistic, hilariously self-deluded and divorced from the real world as most of us know it, hedge fund manager Barry Cohen oversees $2.4 billion in assets. Deeply stressed by an SEC investigation and by his 3-year-old son’s diagnosis of autism, he flees New York on a Greyhound bus in search of a simpler, more romantic life with his old college sweetheart. Meanwhile, his super-smart wife Seema—a driven first-generation American who craved the picture-perfect life that comes with wealth—has her own demons to face.

Story Locale: New York, NY; Baltimore, MD; Richmond, VA; Atlanta, GA; Jackson, MS; El Paso, TX; Juarez, Mexico; Rhinebeck, NY

TRACK RECORD: Gary’s previous books have sold over 100K copies each, for combined sales of nearly 700K. His novel Super Sad True Love Story was an immediate New York Times bestseller, and his recent memoir Little Failure was a top 10 Times bestseller.

LITERARY STAR: Little Failure was named a book of the year by over 45 publications worldwide and was a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Super Sad True Love Story appeared on more than 40 end-of-the-year lists.

MOST EMOTIONALLY RESONANT AND CHARACTER-DRIVEN NOVEL TO DATE: Gary’s humor saturates the novel, but he also grapples with UNIVERSAL CONCERNS like love, marriage, parenting, fidelity, and security. He presents a deeply felt portrait of relationships in a compassionate yet hilarious way that readers will surely relate to on many levels.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Gary has 500K followers across Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and the book trailer for Little Failure has nearly 100,000 views on YouTube.

BACKSTORY: Gary went on a cross-country bus trip and has his own Barry-like stories.

Gary once again TURNS HIS SATIRIC WIT TO CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN CULTURE. He gives us a portrait of America from the upper echelons of New York society to the poverty of the Deep South, and introduces us to characters dealing with issues of race, immigration, and class set against the backdrop of the 2016 presidential election.

GARY SHTEYNGART is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Super Sad True Love Story, Absurdistan, and The Russian Debutante’s Handbook. His memoir, Little Failure, was named one of the best books of 2014 by more than 45 publications and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His fiction and essays have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Granta, Esquire, GQ, Travel + Leisure, and many others.

Author Residence: New York, NY

Author Hometown: Leningrad, USSR

Marketing: Advance reader’s edition

Pre-pub consumer outreach and review push

Online marketing outreach

Social media campaign

Targeted email marketing

Random House e-newsletters and websites

Reading group guide online

Library outreach

Publicity: National media attention

National/local review and feature print attention

National/local radio attention

Online review and feature attention

NPR campaign

10-city author tour: NY, DC, Boston, Seattle, SF, Chicago, Austin, Houston, Miami, and/or additional events by request

Tie-in author lecture schedule

Tie-in to RHSB schedule

Social Media Campaign

Targeted blogger outreach

Author Website:

Author Social Media: TW:; FB:; IG:

“This is a novel that seems to have been created in real time, reflecting with perfect comedy and horrible tragedy exactly what America feels like right this minute. As I read Lake Success, I barked with laughter, at the same time wincing in pain. Gary Shteyngart has held up a mirror to American culture that is so accurate, and so devastating, that it makes you want to break the mirror right over your own head. I mean this as a good thing. The novel is stupendous.”—Elizabeth Gilbert

“The fuel and oxygen of immigrant literature—movement, exile, nostalgia, cultural disorientation—are what fire the pistons of this trenchant and panoramic novel…. Chief among this novel’s pleasures is viewing the nation—its landscapes, its people, its curdled politics, its increasingly feudal inequalities—through the vibrant filters of Shteyngart’s Hipstamatic mind…. [It is] a novel so pungent, so frisky and so intent on probing the dissonances and delusions—both individual and collective—that grip this strange land getting stranger.”The New York Times Book Review

“In Shteyngart’s hands, hard-won family love trumps the false values of materialism. Lake Success is another super sad love story, certainly, but an artistic triumph.”San Francisco Chronicle 

“A novel in which comedy and pathos are exquisitely balanced…timely but not fleeting. Its bold ambition to capture the nation and the era is enriched by its shrewd attention to the challenges and sorrows of parenthood. Barry Cohen, the glad-handing protagonist, repels our sympathy while laying claim to it…. There’s something uncanny about Shteyngart’s ability to inhabit this man’s boundless confidence, his neediness, his juvenile tendency to fall in love and imagine everyone as a life-changing friend…. [This is also] one of the most heartbreaking novels I’ve read about raising a child with special needs.”The Washington Post

“Juxtapositions of immense power and shocking vulnerability, glory and abasement, financial wealth and emotional impoverishment run throughout Lake Success, a rollicking, uproariously funny, bitingly satiric yet also warm and big-hearted novel.”The Boston Globe

“[A] spectacular, sprawling new novel…Throughout his career, Shteyngart has proven himself a cheeky comic daredevil, but never more so than in this novel…. An artistic tour de force.”—Maureen Corrigan, NPR

“Shteyngart, perhaps more than any American writer of his generation, is a natural. He is light, stinging, insolent and melancholy…. The wit and the immigrant’s sense of heartbreak—he was born in Russia—just seem to pour from him. The idea of riding along behind Shteyngart as he glides across America in the early age of Trump is a propitious one. He doesn’t disappoint.”The New York Times 

Lake Success combines the passive-aggressive takeover of New York by the Bros of Wall Street—a subject worthy of Tom Wolfe—with a road novel that echoes Kerouac’s buzzy restlessness and Nabokov’s sly observations. It’s Shteyngart’s best book, a deeper dive into what’s happening now with a plaintive edge that fits the moment.”The Seattle Times

“From one of our finest comic novelists comes a work with equal parts smarts and heart to go with the steady hilarity of its plot and prose…. Surely the funniest book of the year, indeed one of the best overall.”Newsday 

Lake Success is a big-hearted book about many things. It’s a brilliant satire of hedge fund managers, their trophy wives and gaudy apartments; a heart-rending but ultimately hopeful account of raising a child on the spectrum; and a raucous celebration of racial, ethnic and gender identity in America today.”—Associated Press

“The multiple-time-New-York-Times-bestselling author has written several tomes that hit the perfect note of very funny and very true, and he continues that pattern in Lake Success.”Entertainment Weekly

“Darkly hilarious.”People

“A darkly comic journey to the heart of Donald Trump–era America, one that explores the wages of narcissism, skewers the excesses of the ultrarich, and ultimately probes the hope that we may find ways to get beyond our starkly defined differences and be better to one another.”The Atlantic

“Shteyngart sets up [Barry] Cohen’s dilemma beautifully, and the scenes of Cohen’s travels contain gorgeous writing…. It is in these scenes that Lake Success is at its most powerful and offers the most pointed observations of present-day America…. An apt work for this strange era in American history.”Houston Chronicle

“What if the central character of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road was an unraveling hedge-fund manager on the lam in the era of Donald Trump? Cue Gary Shteyngart’s new novel, Lake Success. It’s a morality tale-meets-road trip that any ardent reader—though perhaps not subject—of today’s financial headlines will appreciate.”—Reuters 

“Guys like Barry are always going to be OK, saved by their money and privilege. Shteyngart is careful not to make Barry a black hat—his interactions with his autistic son are compassionately rendered, and Barry is more dim than craven. But a nice guy who does not-nice work serves as a warning as well as a punch line.” Minneapolis StarTribune 

Lake Success is often satiric, deploying the same sharp skills as Shteyngart’s earlier novels…a cool control of tone, a Tom Wolfe–level eye for status markers, a knack for making the outrageous sound all too plausible. But Lake Success has depths. Barry might be the oblivious poster boy for white male privilege, but Shteyngart makes us feel for the people around him.”Tampa Bay Times

“It begins with the ultimate incongruity…. Shteyngart’s gift for such contrasts combined with his astute eye for the nuances of American life and a poignant sense of humor make him an ideal author to tackle the onset of the Trump era, when it often felt as if Americans occupied two antithetical realities.”AM New York 

“Hilarious and poignant…does not disappoint.”New York Post

“Quirky and often darkly hilarious.”Mother Jones 

“An ambitious state-of-the-nation novel about the miasma of discontents that produced the astonishing election result of 2016… Lake Success is spiky, timely and true.”The Guardian 

Lake Success is a genial and warm-hearted book…. A virtuoso piece of work, full of brilliant noticings…It’s also, remarkably, an unhysterical novel about a hysterical country at a hysterical time—the work of a novelist who believes in the power of fiction to illuminate our shared world.”Literary Review 

“[Barry Cohen’s] journey across America, relearning how real people talk and how the country works, is ironic, hilarious, infuriating and strangely touching…. Barry is a complex, well-realised character…. Funny, cutting, but above all compassionate.”The Herald 

Lake Success is undeniably enjoyable, rattling along with good jokes and sharp set pieces, and shot through with Shteyngart’s good-natured melancholy.”The Times (UK)

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