A masterful, inventive thriller from a remarkably assured and always surprising young writer.
Perpetual graduate student Joseph Geist is at his wit's end. Recently kicked out of their shared apartment by his girlfriend, he's left with little more than a half bust of Nietzsche's head and the realization that he's homeless and unemployed. He's hit a dead end on his dissertation; his funding has been cut off. He doesn't even have a phone. Desperate for some source of income, he searches the local newspaper and finds a curious ad:
CONVERSATIONALIST SOUGHT. SERIOUS APPLICANTS ONLY. PLEASE CALL 617-XXX-XXXX BETWEEN SEVEN A.M. AND TWO P.M. NO SOLICITORS.
And so Joseph meets Alma Spielman: a woman who, with her old-world ways and razor-sharp mind, is his intellectual soul mate. How is he to know that what seems to be the best decision of his life is the one that seals his fate?