TOP FIVE BOOKS OF THE YEAR Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
“A novel of suburban striving, in which characters are distinguished by the
things they think they freely choose to buy.” Editors’ Choice New York Times Book Review
Preproduction on Il Capitale Umano, a film by Paolo Virzi
Books of the Year include: New York Times, Sunday Times, Christian Science Monitor
Tournament of the Books, 2005.
“One obvious comparison for the book is with Tom Wolfe’s Bonfire of the Vanities, with Amidon writing about the financial boom of the late 1990s rather than Wolfe’s mid 1980s. By normal novelistic standards (as opposed to deliberate social caricature), Amidon’s is clearly the more refined work. When compared with A Man in Full, Wolfe’s novel about the 1990s boom, Human Capital is not only better as a novel but also a more insightful and true-sounding rendering of the era. And I’m a fan of Wolfe’s!” James Fallows The Atlantic
“Human Capital…offers something of the pleasures that John O’Hara’s books used to provide: a clear and convincing CAT scan of the class structure and pecking order of an American town and a near-surgical dissection of the social, economic, and sexual forces underlying it…it becomes clear that money is a solvent of ethics and that self-interest definitely trumps correct behavior. This is something American novelists have been demonstrating to us since Theodore Dreiser, but Amidon finds a way to make it new, with his uncanny understanding of the protocols and delicacies of class in the plutocratic era of the one percent.” from ”Notes on the Merritt Parkway Novel” by Gerald Howard, Tin House #52
“Truly marvelous” Toronto Star.
“A modern Great Gatsby, incisive and penetrating, told with refined mastery.” La Stampa.
“Like Rosellen Brown’s Before and After and Scott Spencer’s Endless Love, Human Capital grounds [its] plot in meticulously observed social details, its relentless pacing in some shrewd psychological insights. And Mr. Amidon proves himself a nimble storyteller, providing the reader with a solid, literate and consistently compelling tale.” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“In Stephen Amidon’s brilliant Human Capital a specter is haunting America–not the specter of Socialism that Marx once envisioned, but the 21st Century specter of Failure. Amidon combines the intellectual acuity of a social theorist, the steady powers of observation of a first rate reporter, and the sympathy and grace of a natural writer. From its very beginning, Human Capital seizes us and plunges us into the grand delirium of reading about characters–men, women, boys, girls–whose fates we eagerly, agonizingly follow to the last, lovely page.” –Scott Spencer
“AN ADDICTIVE TALE OF BURIED DEPRAVITY—AND A BURNING NATIONAL OBSESSION—FROM “THE RARE WRITER WHO CAN ILLUMINATE THE SECRETS OF MONEY AND LOVE WITH EQUAL AUTHORITY” TOM PERROTTA
“A GREAT NOVEL” NICCOLO’ AMMANITI
“Amidon nails it...if there’s anyone writing about [the suburbs] now with the clarity, insight and honesty that he brings to the task, I’m unaware of it. “Human Capital” is terrific.” Jonathan Yardley Washington Post
“The rich really are very different than you and me, and that only makes them more difficult to write about, at least without being snide, patronizing, or reverse-snobby. Amidon avoids all these pitfalls in this truly excellent novel. He’s proven himself to be something above a writer who bears watching, he’s a writer who bears following. By all means, follow him.” Michael Schaub Bookslut
“Amidon’s novel is a wonderfully wicked satire on a twenty-first-century gilded age . . . His book is more than just one family’s story. It’s a portrait of a whole society caught in a dead end that everyone insists will lead somewhere after all.” —Michael Shelden, Chicago Tribune
“Amidon generates heart-thumping suspense from the crises of ordinary people trying to earn a living and take care of their children. Indeed, it’s the awful plausibility of the plot that make this story so tense and involving…Even the coolest reader won’t be able to resist racing through this novel, wondering, “What if I were him? What if I were her? What would I do?” Ron Charles Christian Science Monitor
“What appears at first to be a quiet portrait of suburbia turns out to be a brilliant examination of the undertow of sadness and desperation that tugs at the American dream.” Simon Baker New Statesman
“Amidon has achieved the rare alchemy of creating a novel charged with suspense from the lives of ordinary suburban families; it’s also an unflinching social commentary that has the potential to endure as a clear and literate portrait of its time.” Stephanie Merritt The Observer
“impressive…Amidon’s absorbing novel is distinguished above all by its taut, compelling plot, one hinged by intriguing moral ambiguities.”Adam Lively Sunday Times
Francesco Cundari- Left Wing Italy
“Set on the cusp of the 21st century, ”Human Capital” unfolds like a 19th-century novel, a well-made and densely populated tale that plunges suspensefully toward a fated outcome. Also like its Victorian forebears, it dares to figure openly the great American unmentionable — social class.” Amanda Heller Boston Globe Naïri Nahapétian Alternatives Economiques
“Stephen Amidon’s beautiful and terrifying Human Capital is an ever-tightening knot of money, love, sex, and lies. This roaring read cuts to the heart of how we live now in America, risking all for the almighty dollar. His best book yet.” –Colin Harrison
“A gripping account of scandal and fear in outer suburbia.”–Financial Times
“In his engrossing new novel, Amidon (The New City) uses the volatility of the stock market in the early 21st century to chart the fortunes (monetary and otherwise) of two troubled families in suburban Connecticut… Amidon’s fluid writing makes readers care about his characters. Recommended.”
Nancy Pearl, Library Journal
Marco Missiroli consiglia “Il capitale umano”, Stephen Amidon: contro la noia e il perbenismo. I veri legami umani.
Click on the cover image to
buy HUMAN CAPITAL from Amazon