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Wakefield by Andrei Codrescu
Wakefield, both the title and protagonist of Andrei Codrescu's novel, is a motivational speaker, although not a particularly good one at that. When the devil comes to claim his soul while still in the prime of his life, Wakefield makes a deal with him. If he can have one more year, he will search to find his authentic life. If he finds it, then he goes on living. If he doesn't, then his soul belongs to the devil. Satan, already besieged by the bureaucracy of hell, agrees. Wakefield takes off across the U.S., searching for his authentic life by observing how others are living theirs. He tends to find those living on the edge of normalcy in domiciles unshared by the rest of society while continuing to give his unmotivational speeches. Andrei Codrescu (poet, novelist, essayist, NPR commentator, and English professor) has written a satire of modern American life that has received mixed reviews with the Village Voice calling it "a wild and wacky romp."
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