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The Instructions by Adam Levin

The Instructions

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September 2011 Debut of the Month.

This 1,030 page debut has got the Literary critics in the United States falling over themselves to praise it and it has already won the Indie Bookseller's Choice Awards and the NYPL's Young Lions Prize. It is the extraordinary story of a very different kind of leader... and the UK publisher Canongate has said of it 'Once in a very long time a book comes along that blows all your preconceptions of what a novel should be to pieces'. Discover the book for yourself today.


The Instructions by Adam Levin

This is the story of Gurion Maccabee, age ten: a lover, a fighter, a scholar, and a truly spectacular talker. Gurion has been expelled from three Jewish day-schools for acts of violence and messianic tendencies. He ends up in the Cage, a special lockdown program for the most hopeless cases at Aptakisic Junior High. But in just four days, from the moment he meets the beautiful Eliza June Watermark to the terrifying Events of November 17, Gurion's search for righteousness sparks a violent, unstoppable rebellion. Driven equally by moral fervour and teenage exuberance, The Instructions is hilarious, troubling, empathetic, monumental, breakneck, romantic and unforgettable.


'Manic, articulate, full of passions, courageous in its form and very funny.' - George Saunders

'Adam Levin's book is the real thing, I think. It appeals to the young readers who like formal invention and ambition... But there's also real substance there.' - Dave Eggers

'A hysterical, heartfelt journey of self-discovery ... A book that moves beyond completely transparent influences to reach its own distinct, new, great height.' - Village Voice

'Evocative of David Foster Wallace ... full of death-defying sentences, manic wit, exciting provocations and simple human warmth.' - Rolling Stone

'This is a life-consuming novel, one that demands to be read feverishly. When it is over, other fiction feels insufficient, the newspaper seems irrelevant ... If the ultimate message of modernism was unremitting pessimism ... The Instructions has given the literary genre its long deferred conclusion: Indeed, a day-or four-can serve as a reminder that death looms large for anything living, but there is lot of life to be lived in the interim.' - New York Observer

About the Author

Adam Levin

Adam Levin's stories have appeared in Tin House, McSweeney's, and Esquire. Winner of the 2003 Tin House/Summer Literary Seminars Fiction Contest and the 2004 Joyce Carol Oates Fiction Prize, Levin holds an MA in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago and an MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. His collection of short stories, Hot Pink, will be published by McSweeney's in 2011. He lives in Chicago, where he teaches writing at Columbia College and The School of the Art Institute. He also has a parrot.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st September 2011


Adam Levin

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Canongate Books Ltd




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