Nietzsche and the Burbs

When a new student transfers in from a posh private school, he falls in with a group of like-minded suburban stoners, artists, and outcasts—too smart and creative for their own good. His classmates nickname their new friend Nietzsche (for his braininess and bleak outlook on life), and decide he must be the front man of their metal band, now christened Nietzsche and the Burbs.

With the abyss of graduation—not to mention their first gig—looming ahead, the group ramps up their experimentations with sex, drugs, and…nihilist philosophy. Are they as doomed as their intellectual heroes? And why does the end of youth feel like such a universal tragedy?

And as they ponder life’s biggies, this sly, elegant, and often laugh-out-loud funny story of would-be rebels becomes something special: an absorbing and stirring reminder of a particular, exciting yet bittersweet moment in life … and a reminder that all adolescents are philosophers, and all philosophers are adolescents at heart.

LARS IYER is a Reader in Creative Writing at Newcastle University, where he was formerly a longtime lecturer in philosophy. He is the author of the novels in the Spurious Trilogy, and more recently the widely acclaimed Wittgenstein Jr.

”This is a near-perfect evocation of childhood’s elegiac end.” —The New York Times

”Iyer’s swiftly paced, gently satirical fifth novel builds to a startling crescendo.” —BBC

”Punk rock and philosophy coincide in the latest novel from Lars Iyer.” —Vol. 1 Brooklyn

”What a fun book this is! Delight is such a rare commodity nowadays and it is terrific to see it has not been hunted to extinction.” — Daniel Handler, author of Bottle Grove

”Readers … will delight in its wit. A model of originality. Clever, indeed.” —Booklist

”Fearsomely funny.” The Washington Post

”[Iyer] is a deeply elegaic satirist…He manages to both send up intellectual life and movingly laments its erosion.” —John Williams, The New York Times

”Viciously funny.” The San Francisco Chronicle

”I’m still laughing, and it’s days later.” Los Angeles Times

”Stunning…absolutely exquisite.” —Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven

”It’s made me feel better about the Apocalypse than I have in ages.” —Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears