Book cover
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Publisher — Penguin Publishing Group
Date Published — August 25, 2020
ISBN — 9780525560470

Overthrow

Caleb Crain

View in Webstore
Publisher — Penguin Publishing Group
Date Published — August 25, 2020
ISBN — 9780525560470
A novel about the fate of candor, goodwill, and the utopian spirit in a world where technology and surveillance are weaponizing human relationships

One autumn night, as a grad student named Matthew is walking home from the subway, a handsome skateboarder catches his eye. Leif, a poet as well as a skater, invites Matthew to take part in an experiment with tarot cards. It's easier to know what's in other people's minds than most people realize, Leif and his friends claim. Do they believe in telepathy? Can they actually do it? Instead of writing his dissertation, Matthew soon finds himself falling for Leif and entangled with his friends, who are as idealistic as the Occupy encampment they like to visit.

When the group runs afoul of a government contractor, an avalanche of news coverage, internet outrage, and legal repercussions overwhelms them. Elspeth and Raleigh, two of Leif's oldest friends, will see their relationship tested by the strain of criminal charges. Chris and Julia, who drifted into the group more recently, will have their loyalties questioned. Diana, a hardheaded sociologist, will need to find a way to stand with her friends without compromising her skepticism. And Matthew, entranced by the man at the center of it all, will have to decide what he owes Leif and how much he's willing to give. All six will be forced to reckon with the catch-22s of transparency and the insidious natures of power and privilege.

Overthrow is about the aftermath of idealism--about what happens after new technologies have begun to change the boundaries that we imagine around ourselves. Caleb Crain has captured with astonishing sensitivity, acuity, and grace the unease and ambiguity that threaten our contemporary lives, and has written a beautiful novel about the redemptive possibilities of love and friendship.