Reeling from a breakup with his almost-fiance, the narrator of Andrew Palmer's first novel returns to his hometown in Iowa to house-sit for a family friend. There, a chance flick of the TV remote and a correspondence with an old grad school classmate plunge him into unlikely twin obsessions: the reality TV show The Bachelor and the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet John Berryman.
Take note: Seattle author Andrew Palmer is one to watch after the release of his debut, 'The Bachelor'. The unassuming, sharp novel quietly questions love and the nature of perception in an overconnected world ... Palmer’s novel features a quirky, aimless protagonist, with smart insights, dry humor and a character-driven narrative. But it’s all anchored in poignant, amusing, relatable observations of 'The Bachelor' and Berryman ... This stimulating debut is a refreshing, thoughtful foray into what defines a human.
[A] quiet, meditative, and fascinating debut novel ... Thoughtful, often very funny, and full of amazing passages that capture how engrossing reality television can be, this a sterling and moving debut.
Palmer’s ruminative first novel mixes cultural analysis with the affecting story of a young man’s slow reengagement with his life ... While these analyses may deter plot-oriented readers, these intriguing, amusing, provocative, and insightful passages contribute to the book’s success as a novel equally concerned with the heart and the mind ... A quietly accomplished and unusually constructed novel that marks the debut of a significant talent.