March 8, 2018

Tin House is offering you the chance to throw shade at the manchild in your life


There’s good book marketing and bad book marketing. And occasionally, when the budgets are tight enough and an insanely creative idea is the only chance to give a book the pop it needs, a publisher will toss out a truly badass marketing campaign.

Tin House is doing that right now to coincide with the Tuesday release of Joe Dunthorne’s The Adulterants.

It tells the story of Ray Morris, a tech journalist whose otherwise bland, unhappy life starts making the slow, necessary shift to adulthood. Unfortunately, he’s only just starting this journey, and he’s in his thirties. He’s hapless and pathetic, but it doesn’t excuse his mid-life maturational deficiency.

This story, perhaps, sounds all too real. Do you know an adult manchild who still can’t be bothered to take out the garbage? Maybe because his blood mage is about to go on a quest? Or maybe he’s one of those clowns who reply to benign YouTube videos with hateful rhetoric? Or, fuck, what if he’s a 4chan user and voted for Donald Trump?


If you know someone like this, grab a pen. Tin House is giving twenty (un?)worthy douchebags the gift of The Adulterants. As Taylor Heyman writes for the Irish Independent:

Tin House Books is offering 20 free copies of Joe Dunthorne’s The Adulterants to men who need a reality check…

Tin House is asking people to nominate men like Ray in their own lives, be it husbands, brothers or friends, to help them achieve a new level of self-awareness.

Twenty unsuspecting men will receive copies of the book, each with a handwritten letter spelling out the shade that’s being thrown. The letter also seems to encourage the man to reflect on the book, and the gift, and send some feedback to Tin House about what they thought.

Let’s hope, a few months from now, those responses also pop up online somewhere.

Make sure to submit that special manchild in your life at this link.

Tin House write on their website that they “can guarantee delivery, if not reflection or growth.” But let’s hope for the best.



Peter Clark is a former Melville House sales manager.