Who Is Rich?: A Novel
A middle-aged cartoonist whose career has stalled, Rich is at a crossroads, both professionally and personally. Back home, he’s trapped in a miserable marriage, both he and his wife, Robin, failing at “the usual struggle to stay in love.” At an arts conference in New England, where he’s being upstaged by a younger, more celebrated cartoonist, Rich rekindles his affair with Amy, a wealthy housewife who asks Rich at one point, “Are we supposed to keep this up forever? Is there something else?” But Rich feels his chance at something else has already passed, so instead he “[prays] for the return of 1996, when everything that would happen was about to happen.”
The plot of Who is Rich? moves steadily forward even as its main character is happy to be left behind. Rich reminisces about years past, and the book often bogs down, as it subsists more on Rich’s misery than actual drama. But as the conference winds down, Rich’s dilemma becomes more vivid. Returning home to his wife with a newfound sense of despair and an expensive bracelet that drained their joint bank account, he discovers that a week of ignoring his problems has only created new ones.
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