The Adventurist

The Adventurist

3.18 (264 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the anonymous office park of a modern software company, whip-smart software engineer Henry Hurt is a man in the middle: of life, of career, of self-assessment. Henry is mired in his corporate responsibilities until his deathless office existence is torpedoed by the loss of his mother.

Overcome by "the pall," Henry seeks escape in a quest for love and purpose, which is occasioned by a crisis in his company's fortunes. Dodging an Iago-like rival, he finds love with a colleague in his department, endangers his bond with his family, and finally confronts the single urgent question of his life.

J. Bradford Hipps's The Adventurist is about relationships: Henry has complicated ones with his sister, Gretchen, who has stayed at home with their father; his lover Jane, a sleek and efficient mirror image of Henry; and a tantalizing potential girlfriend, Madison, the ultimate free spirit. But his relationship to the responsibilities in that anonymous office park may change his fortunes even more than the women in his life.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 288 pages
  • 144 x 229 x 20mm | 304g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1250096332
  • 9781250096333

Review quote

"A bright and large-souled first novel... Mr. Hipps is as adept as a gifted playwright at setting a scene. Important moments in The Adventurist occur in airports and snowed-in hotel bars, where the electricity flickers. The author writes about these places with a casual vividness that put me in mind of Walter Kirn's novel Up in the Air... The Adventurist activated most of my cranial pleasure centers." - Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Delightfully funny. The self-doubt, the inspired riffs on philosophy and inquiry, please on every single page. This is a carefully wrought report on How We Live Now. I am in awe of its deep intelligence." - Antonya Nelson, author of Funny Once

"In The Adventurist, Prufrock meets a more abstracted Jake Barnes, if only Jake saw to his own unmanning in the ersatz theater of war that is corporate America. Henry Hurt has let the drama of work stand in for the drama of existence, but when a midlife discontent stirs, Henry seeks love, and therein lies the pathos of this absorbing book. When we realize how death-haunted Henry is, we want to hurry him along to happiness. Hipps makes the path frustrating for his hero and page-turningly captivating for us. The engine powering this highly original philosophical investigation is a prose as rich and lush as it is careful and precise." -Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves

"Hipps'...writing is just about perfect: incisive, eloquent, philosophical, and witty by turns...Like Richard Ford, Hipps finds illumination about the meaning of life everywhere he looks. The arrival of a top-notch talent." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"The epigraph from Walker Percy's The Moviegoer is well-chosen. Like Binx Bolling, Henry Hurt is an interested and analytic observer fleeing the ever-present specter of despair. 'Our place in the world may derive from mysterious cosmic programs, ' he essays, 'but the code is not indecipherable.' The Adventurist isn't so much a novel of corporate America as that of a man trying to live in hope and wonder, despite all of our natural losses." - Stewart O'Nan, author of Emily, Alone and West of Sunset
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About J. Bradford Hipps

A former programmer, J. Bradford Hipps turned to fiction after a ten-year software career. He received his graduate degree from the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, where he was awarded the Inprint Michener Prize. He lives with his wife and children in Texas. The Adventurist is his first novel.
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Rating details

264 ratings
3.18 out of 5 stars
5 13% (34)
4 27% (70)
3 34% (89)
2 20% (54)
1 6% (17)
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