This dark, gripping tale of an obsessed college wrestler is “one of the best novels of the year” (NPR).
Stephen is in his final wrestling season at his North Dakota school, and he intends to win the divisional championship in his weight class. He thinks about little else, in fact. It will make up for the failures of the past. It will prove something to the world. It will be the fulfillment of a promise to himself, and a tribute to his late grandmother, who raised him after his parents’ fatal car crash.
As the competition in Kenosha, Wisconsin, grows ever closer, Stephen will grow ever more consumed—and unsure of what comes next—in this “utterly engrossing” literary debut (Dan Chaon, author of Ill Will).
“[A] burningly, bitterly funny tale of college student Stephen, who throws himself into wrestling to face down his fears.” —Library Journal
“Stephen Florida’s grim portrait of ambition led astray captures how competitiveness and masculinity can unravel those who blindly follow its codes.” —The Atlantic
“Habash writes about the raw physicality of wrestling better than anybody this side of John Irving . . . A lively, occasionally harrowing journey into obsession.” —Kirkus Reviews