Waiting for the Man

Basu, Arjun

  • Longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize

    An advertising man searches for meaning in this “fascinating dissection of the media world we live in . . . A thought-provoking road-trip tale.” (Chicago Tribune)

    In his mid-thirties, Joe works as an advertising copywriter for a slick New York agency. But he feels disillusioned with his life, and finds himself experiencing dreams about a mysterious man, seeing him on the street, hearing his voice. Joe decides to listen. So he waits on his stoop, day and night, for instructions.

    A local reporter takes notice, and soon Joe has become a media sensation, the center of a storm. When the Man tells Joe to “go west,” he does. What follows is a compelling and visceral story about the struggle to find something more in life, told in two interwoven threads — Joe at the beginning of his journey in Manhattan, and at the end of it as he finds new purpose on a ranch in Montana under the endless sky.

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  • Arjun Basu is a writer and editor. In 2008, he published Squishy, a collection of short stories that was shortlisted for the ReLit Prize. His stories have been published in many literary journals, including Matrix and Joyland. He also writes 140-character short stories he calls Twisters on Twitter (@ArjunBasu), which have won him a Shorty Award, lots of press, and a worldwide following. Arjun lives in Montreal with his wife, son, and dog. This is his first novel.

  • Published: April 2014

    ISBN: 9781770411777

    Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.5 in.

    Pages: 296

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“That it’s hard to put down is a credit to Basu’s perfect sentences and clear sense of direction … I want to say that it’s reminiscent of Hemingway, but in a way that sounds nothing like him. It is, however, the perfect style for this novel, a retelling of the American Dream that Hemingway would never have understood.” — National Post

Waiting for the Man is observant and clever, and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Basu toys with his readers, pushing us away to point out the distance at which we hold the characters and stories that populate our pages and screens, and reminds us there is always more to the story.” — Katia Grubisic in Montreal Review of Books

“Perhaps the dark subtext to this entertaining novel is that movement is impossible, even for many seemingly privileged boys … Waiting for the Man hides a chilling truth under its light-hearted surface: the American Dream is a trap.” — Quill & Quire

“A strangely engrossing, meticulously written allegory of the present moment.” — Douglas Coupland, author of Worst. Person. Ever.

“Although this is the author’s debut novel, his experience at shorter forms (Squishy) shows; fans of his 140-character Twisters on Twitter will be pleased to know that the author’s talents are on display in this novel.” — Publishers Weekly

Waiting for the Man is captivating, aggravating, enlightening and redemptive.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“A thought-provoking road-trip tale.” — Chicago Tribune