Helen DeWitt

Lightning Rods

Shortlisted for the 2013 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for comic fiction

‘All I want is to be a success. That’s all I ask.’

Failing salesman Joe has a dream — or rather an outrageous fantasy. Because holed up in his trailer Joe comes up with a jaw-dropping plan that will stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace and make his fortune. Win-win? As he turns his life around, Lightning Rods takes us to the very top of corporate America…

Helen DeWitt follows her extraordinary debut The Last Samurai with a sharp, uproarious satire on modern life and corporate culture. A novel in the spirit of Mel Brooks’ The Producers.

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  • We do not stock this title in our office, so cannot fulfil an order via our website. We kindly request that you order it from your preferred independent book retailers, who can order it from our distributor.
  • With an introduction by David Flusfeder.
  • In Prospect magazine, n+1 editor Richard Beck writes on America’s new literary generation. Lightning Rods is the one real alternative presented: ‘It opens up possibilities, both literary and political, that you hadn’t realised were there before.’
  • If you subscribed to And Other Stories before before this book went to the printers, you would have received one of the limited number stamped, early copies of Lightning Rods and up to 3 other And Other Stories 2012 titles. Find out about subscribing to upcoming titles here.
Print status: Out of Print
Author: Helen DeWitt
Original language: English
Format: B-format paperback
Publication date: 4 July 2013
ISBN: 9781908276292
Ebook ISBN: 9781908276155
Availability: UK, Europe and Commonwealth (excl. Canada)
Number of pages: 320


David Evans
Financial Times

'A razor-sharp comic masterpiece.’

Sam Byers

‘A masterclass in contained satirical exploration.’

Joan Acocella
New Yorker

‘This is excellent: cold and crazy.’

Jenny Turner
The Guardian

'An extremely funny satire on office politics, sexual politics, American politics, and the art of positive thinking’

Holly Williams
The Independent

‘Nasty idea; very funny book. Helen DeWitt maintains a strong, clear, narrative voice throughout, pitch-perfectly parodying management speak, corporate culture and self-help bibles.’

David Annand
The Telegraph

‘As it moves inexorably onwards with the cold, hard logic of the free market, Lightning Rods gets ever funnier and more bizarre, its targets loftier and its analysis more acute’