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Extended Audio Sample American Subversive: A Novel, by David Goodwillie Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Goodwillie Narrator: Tavia Gilbert, David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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As the twenty-first century enters its second decade, foreign wars, the lingering recession, and a caustic political environment are taking their toll on Americans. But the party hasn’t ended for Aidan Cole and his friends, a band of savvy, if cynical, New York journalists and bloggers who thrive at the intersection of media and celebrity. At wine-sodden dinner parties or in dimly lit downtown bars, their frenetic talk—of scoops and page views, sexual adventures, and trendy restaurants—continues unabated. Then, without warning, the specter of terrorism reenters their lives. A bomb rips through the deserted floor of a midtown office tower. Middle Eastern terrorists are immediately suspected. But four days later, with no arrests and a city on edge, an anonymous email arrives in Aidan’s inbox. Attached is the photograph of an attractive, young white woman, along with a chilling message: “This is Paige Roderick. She’s the one responsible.”

So begins an extraordinary journey into the dark soul of modern America—from a back-to-the-land community in the Smoky Mountains to a Weather Underground–like bomb factory in Vermont; from Fishers Island, isolated getaway of the wealthy elite, to the hip lofts of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District. American Subversive is David Goodwillie’s sharp and penetrating take on the paranoia of our times—and its real, untold dangers. In examining the connection between our collective apathy and the roots of insurrection, Goodwillie has crafted an intoxicating story of two young Americans grasping for a foothold in a culture—and a country—that’s crumbling around them.

With this debut novel, Goodwillie announces himself as a major new voice in American fiction. Expertly written, relentlessly suspenseful, and bitingly funny, American Subversive is both an unnervingly realistic tale of domestic terrorism and a perfectly observed portrait of Manhattan in the digital age.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A triumphant work of fiction.”

    Associated Press

  • “A rare novel that gets the moment even as we’re living it… A fast-paced, engaging novel of pop-culture and big ideas, authentically subversive, and thoroughly American.”

    Daily Beast

  • “In this thriller-cum-political-manifesto, Goodwillie provides an unnerving, completely credible portrait of the roots of domestic terrorism and the frequently soulless quality of modern American life.”


  • “[A] smart, edgy, suspenseful first novel…Goodwillie evokes life underground like a master—the tradecraft, the fraught group dynamics, the combination of discipline and paranoia, the longing for normality.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

David Goodwillie writes about books for the New York Times and the Daily Beast, and his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers, including New York, Popular Science, Men’s Health, Black Book, the New York Observer, and the New York Post. His novel American Subversive was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2010. He is also the author of the memoir Seemed like a Good Idea at the Time, for which he was named one of the “Best New Writers of 2006” by members of the PEN American Center. Goodwillie has played professional baseball, worked as a private investigator, and been an expert at Sotheby’s auction house. A graduate of Kenyon College, he lives in New York City.