Eric Muller has been trying to hack the girlfriend problem for half his life. As a teenage geek, he discovered his gift for programming computers-but his attempts to understand women only confirm that he's better at writing code than connecting with human beings. Brilliant, neurotic, and lonely, Eric spends high school in the solitary glow of a screen.
By his early twenties, Eric's talent has made him a Silicon Valley millionaire. He can coax girls into bed with ironic remarks and carefully timed intimacies, but hiding behind wit and empathy gets lonely, and he fears that love will always be out of reach.
So when Eric falls for the beautiful, fiercely opinionated Maya Marcom, and she miraculously falls for him too, he's in new territory. But the more he learns about his perfect girlfriend's unresolved past, the further Eric's obsessive mind spirals into confusion and doubt. Can he reconcile his need for order and logic with the mystery and chaos of love?
This brilliant debut ushers Eric Muller-flawed, funny, irresistibly endearing-into the pantheon of unlikely heroes. With an unblinking eye for the absurdities and horrors of contemporary life, Gabriel Roth gives us a hilarious and heartbreaking meditation on self consciousness, memory, and love.
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Gabriel Roth was a reporter and editor at the San Francisco Bay Guardian and now works as a writer and software developer. He lives with his family in Brooklyn, New York.From Booklist:
Roth cracks the code of the male ego and nerd culture in his meditative and absorbing debut. Formerly an ungainly, computer-obsessed high-schooler who sheepishly tracked female classmates in a journal, Eric Muller has grown into a twentysomething self-made millionaire after founding and quickly selling a dot-com start-up in 2002. Now capable of luring women to bed with droll sarcasm and painstakingly calculated guile, Eric meets Maya, a journalist for a San Francisco alt-weekly, whose quick wit proves irresistibly challenging to Eric. Meanwhile, others seem to assess his success with the expectation of a handout. A onetime schoolmate Eric has since snubbed considers dropping out of MIT to start a computer-programming company with him, his mother battles postdivorce blues, and his financially desperate father seeks help to redeem his failed attempts as an entrepreneur. As Eric hides from the feebleminded, he unwittingly bares his soul to Maya, who reveals a startlingly dark secret about her past that might thwart his advances. A convincingly introspective narrative that traces the masculine rationale, Roth’s novel reinterprets love in the digital age. --Jonathan Fullmer
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