"Apocalyptic and psychologically attentive. I was moved."
-Tao Lin, New York Times Book Review
"A marvelously scathing indictment of a generation that has no choice but to burn. From Nothing’s outset, [Wirth Cauchon] crafts scenes with complexity and a scary prescience. [Nothing is] a riveting first piece of scripture from our newest prophet of misspent youth."
"Like a movie adaptation of Daria as directed by Gregg Araki. The energy almost makes each page glow. Though this novel starts as Bret Easton Ellis, it ends as Nick Cave - thunderous, apocalyptic. The move into the grand and mythic separates Nothing from the usual stuff concerning the bored and the pretty."
"Nothing feels like the descendent of the masterful short stories of Denis Johnson’s Jesus’ Son. [A] noteworthy debut."
"A burning mean and darkly mysterious read."
"I could tell you that Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon has written an utterly contemporary novel of our fragmented culture, a novel that I think might be the great American novel of the selfie, brilliantly alternating the narratives of two young travelers partying and searching and losing themselves in the wild West a Kerouac hitchhiker juxtaposed with the nihilistic, wanting, wandering Ruth and her toxic friendship with her prettier best friend. But this is what I want to tell you this is what you need to know Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon writes like a beast, brutal and ecstatic. You need to read this."
"An edgy debut. Cauchon's characters have serrated edges... they'll get under the reader's skin."
"Claustrophobic. It's August and the hills are on fire and I'm reading Nothing. I see Wirth Cauchon's characters lurking around Missoula, outside the bars and walking along the river, lost and fucked up, abused and abusers, seekers, trustafarians, and ne'er-do-wells. Stuck in the limbo of youthful identity crisis, desperate for a way in or a way out."
Ruth traded a dead-end life in Minneapolis for a dead-end life in Missoula. But in Missoula, she's got Bridget. "[Bridget] was gorgeous but that wasn't it, that didn't quite explain it. What explained it was the curse. The curse of the unreasonably pretty, the curse of cult leaders and dictators. It sucked everyone to her, it consumed her, made her untouchable."
After a local girl dies at a party, signaling the end of fun for the twentysomethings of Missoula, James and Ruth become involved. But jealousy over Bridget quickly complicates things.
Nothing announces a nervy and assertive new voice, while also capturing the angst and foreboding that could mark it as an even grander generational statement.
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Nothing, an edgy debut from Cauchon, follows Bridget and Ruth (€œThe first time I saw Bridget,€ Ruth narrates, €œI knew right away we'd be best friends. Or enemies€ ) as they stumble in and out of parties under the influence of booze and pills, not enough food or self-respect, and a vicious anger that manifests in Ruth as something more like desire. Oppressive smoke from nearby wildfires grows ever denser, the story's ticking bomb. James, a wanderer with a stolen gun and a wallet full of his stepfather's cash, heads Bridget and Ruth's way, tracking his dead biological father, guided by a handful of photographs and the rumors of some hobos. The hateful sexuality simmering behind Bridget and Ruth's friendship explodes into a relatively predictable ménage à trois that kicks off a storm of violence, dramatically coinciding with the inescapable arrival of the wildfires. The relationships here are more complicated than they seem—the uncanny physical resemblance between James and Bridget provides a mystery that's easy for the reader to solve, but it's fascinating to watch Ruth misunderstand the obvious over and over, her clarity fogged by too many drinks and an inability to see her own value. Cauchon's characters have serrated edges; they're impossible to like, but they'll get under the reader's skin. (Nov.)
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