The mutual friend A novel

Carter Bays, 1975-

Book - 2022

"New York, 2015: The city is facing a series of bicycle accidents, the Mayor's approval ratings hang in the balance, and Alice, besieged by grief and regrets, wants desperately to take the MCAT and become a doctor, but she can't seem to sign up for the test. First and foremost there's her phone--which, like so many others, she can't seem to put down--but there's also her chaotic roommate Roxy, who works at the Mayor's office and whose thirst for adventure frequ...ently gets Alice in trouble. Then there's her tech millionaire brother who is searching for meaning ... meaning which may threaten to take him away from his wife, Pitterpat. And finally, the biggest distraction of all: Love. As the months go by, these characters, and more, slide in and out of each other's lives--they fall in-and-out of love, and they face various scandals. All the while, their mutual friend, the omniscient and mysterious narrator of the novel who seems to know all, watches over them, until the threads that tie these characters together come together in a wholly satisfying reveal. Filled with all of the warmth, humor, and heart that gained How I Met Your Mother its cult following, The Mutual Friend completely captures the choreography of navigating life and love in the chaos of contemporary life"--

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FICTION/Bays Carter
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Location Call Number   Status
1st Floor New Shelf FICTION/Bays Carter (NEW SHELF) Due Jul 9, 2022
Subjects
Genres
Romance fiction
Psychological fiction
Novels
Published
[New York] : Dutton [2022]
Language
English
Physical Description
466 pages : 24 cm
ISBN
9780593186763
0593186761
Main Author
Carter Bays, 1975- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Bays' debut explores a spectrum of connections (and disconnections) between a group of New York City millennials, including Alice, whose quest to leave the world of nannying behind to become a doctor fuels an imaginatively tender and uncannily exact tale of life on the internet. While the world of New York City twentysomethings is a well-trod premise (as in the TV show How I Met Your Mother, of which Bays is a cocreator), The Mutual Friend is vast in scope, startling in its precise capture of the reality of intertwined digital lives, and satisfies its ambition with an unexpected humanity and vulnerability. The reader is regaled with many humorous yet believable twenty-first-century scenarios like searching for romance on dating apps, navigating the world of "tech bros," or walking into a pole owing to too much focus on a smartphone, all described with palpable tenderness and introspection. The semiomniscient narrator details vignettes that range from warm and charming moments between friends to jarringly accurate depictions of life online. Bays explores millennialism through a lens that is equal parts realistic and larger than life, deftly parsing through the many ways our digital lives create ripples through our real ones. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

In Honey and Spice, following Babalola's buzzy debut story collection, Love in Color, young Black British woman Kiki Banjo—host of a popular student radio show and known for preaching bad-relationship avoidance—gets tangled in a fake liaison with the very guy she's been citing as big trouble. From Bays, co-creator of the Emmy Award-winning series How I Met Your Mother, 2015 New York-set The Mutual Friend features Alice Quick, mourning her mother, barely managing as a nanny, and trying to make herself sign up for the MCATs even as her tech millionaire brother experiences a religious awakening. In Blush author Brenner's latest, three sisters from a Gilt-edged family in the jewelry business are torn apart following a publicity stunt gone wrong, with one sister dying in a subsequent accident and her daughter struggling to regain traction within the family. In Coleman's Good Morning, Love, aspiring songwriter/musician Carlisa "Carli" Henton's efforts to keep her business and personal lives separate crumble when she meets rising hip-hop star Tau Anderson (50,000-copy first printing). From Egyptian-Irish BBC broadcaster El-Wardany, These Impossible Things features friends Malak, Kees, and Jenna, on the verge of adulthood as they struggle to be good Muslim women yet wanting to follow their dreams (50,000-copy first printing). In Fowler's It All Comes Down To This, three sisters—freelance journalist Beck, struggling with her marriage and a desire to write fiction; Claire, an accomplished pediatric cardiologist, recently divorced; and Sophie, leading a glamorous life she can't afford—face their mother's impending death and the fate of their beloved summer cottage on Mount Desert Island, ME. In Ho's Lucie Yi Is Not a Romantic, a follow-up to the LJ-starred Last Tang Standing, a hardworking career woman gives up on finding the right guy after her fiancé calls off their marriage and signs up for an elective co-parenting website so that she can have a baby—with unexpected consequences. In USA Today best-selling Moore's latest, Maine is not exactly Vacationland for Louisa when she visits her parents one summer with her three children, as she's dealing with an unfinished book, an absentee husband, and a father suffering from Alzheimer's, plus a young stranger in town trying to get her own life in order (100,000-copy first printing). In popular Patrick's The Messy Life of Book People, Liv Green forms a tentative friendship with the mega-best-selling author for whom she works as a housecleaner but is surprised when the author dies suddenly and in her will asks that Liv complete her final book (75,000 paperback and 10,000-copy paperback first printing). In Saint X author Schaitkin's Elsewhere, an interesting departure, Vera grows up in a small town where for generations women keep vanishing mysteriously (200,000-copy first printing). Vercher follows the Edgar-nominated, best-booked Three-Fifths with After the Lights Go Out, about a biracial MMA fighter aging out of his career and facing his father's end-stage Alzheimer's when he scores a last-minute comeback fight. Already a multi-award winner, Wolfe debuts with Last Summer on State Street, about Felicia "Fe Fe" Stevens and two close-as-hugging friends—a happy threesome that expands to an uneasy foursome even as the Chicago Housing Authority prepares to tear down the high-rise in the projects where Fe Fe's family lives (50,000-copy first printing). Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Bays, the cocreator of the television show How I Met Your Mother, debuts with an unwieldy story involving a bunch of people whose lives occasionally intersect in New York City. Tech millionaire Bill Quick, developer of an app called MeWantThat, finds meaning in Buddhism, while his wife, Marianne, spends her time shopping for the perfect piece of high-priced real estate. Bill's adopted sister, Alice—currently a nanny with aspirations to become a doctor—navigates the treacherous shoals of online dating. Generally, everyone is always on their phones, delivering an unsubtle message about the characters' disconnection from real life. The bare-bones plot revolves primarily around Alice's attempts to achieve her goals, and sprinkled in are light moments stemming from the comic value of characters such as the elderly, dick-pic-sending New York City mayor Spiderman (pronounced Speedermin), and of a dating app called Suitoronomy. But while Bays's prose has a distinct flair, he tends to ramble, with the style haltingly alternating between pages-long run-on sentences and blocks of paragraphs with nothing but ellipses. Despite a few good gags, this doesn't add up to much. (June)Correction: In an earlier version of this review, a character and a dating app were incorrectly described, and the mayor character was misnamed. Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"New York, 2015: The city is facing a series of bicycle accidents, the Mayor's approval ratings hang in the balance, and Alice, besieged by grief and regrets, wants desperately to take the MCAT and become a doctor, but she can't seem to sign up for the test. First and foremost there's her phone--which, like so many others, she can't seem to put down--but there's also her chaotic roommate Roxy, who works at the Mayor's office and whose thirst for adventure frequently gets Alice in trouble. Then there's her tech millionaire brother who is searching for meaning...meaning which may threaten to take him away from his wife, Pitterpat. And finally, the biggest distraction of all: Love. As the months go by, these characters, and more, slide in and out of each other's lives--they fall in-and-out of love, and they face various scandals. All the while, their mutual friend, the omniscient and mysterious narrator of the novel who seems to know all, watches over them, until the threads that tie these characters together come together in a wholly satisfying reveal. Filled with all of the warmth, humor, and heart that gained How I Met Your Mother its cult following, The Mutual Friend completely captures the choreography of navigating life and love in the chaos of contemporary life"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

The co-creator of How I Met Your Mother presents this hilarious and thought-provoking debut novel set in NYC that follows Alice Quick who finds her plans of going to med school interrupted by the drama going on around her involving her tech millionaire brother, her adventurous new roommate—and love.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

"This is a rare thing: an original, intelligent novel that’s not just a perfect summer beach read, but one that deserves serious awards consideration as well. Put down your phone and pick it up… A major accomplishment.”—Kirkus (starred)From the co-creator of How I Met Your Mother, a hilarious and thought-provoking debut novel set in New York City, following a sprawling cast of characters as they navigate life, love, loss, ambition, and spirituality—without ever looking up from their phones.  It’s the summer of 2015, and Alice Quick needs to get to work. She’s twenty-eight years old, grieving her mother, barely scraping by as a nanny, and freshly kicked out of her apartment. If she can just get her act together and sign up for the MCAT, she can start chasing her dream of becoming a doctor . . . but in the Age of Distraction, the distractions are so distracting. There’s her tech millionaire brother’s religious awakening. His picture-perfect wife’s emotional breakdown. Her chaotic new roommate’s thirst for adventure. And, of course, there’s the biggest distraction of all: Love.   From within the story of one summer in one woman’s life, an epic tale is unearthed, spanning continents and featuring a tapestry of characters tied to one another by threads both seen and unseen. Filled with all the warmth, humor, and heart that gained How I Met Your Mother its cult following, The Mutual Friend captures in sparkling detail the chaos of contemporary life, a life lived simultaneously in two different worlds—the physical one and the one behind our screens—and reveals how connected we all truly are.