'Reading Andrew Ridker’s debut novel, you soon realise you’re in the presence of a new talent.' The Times
Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can't afford his mortgage, he's exasperated his new girlfriend, and his kids won't speak to him. And then there's the money – the small fortune his late wife Francine kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children.
Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother's money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate; and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora's Box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories.
A whip-smart, wickedly funny and psychologically acute novel about the cost of doing good. The finale... hits the sweet spot between hilarity and pathos with particularly excruciating precision, but there’s something to impress on every page.
Reading Andrew Ridker’s debut novel, you soon realise you’re in the presence of a new talent... It’s a novel about hypocrisy; about how complex power structures make hypocrites of us all, and about why it’s important to accept that and love one another anyway… Ridker writes in crisp, sometimes side-splitting prose.
The Altruists, Andrew Ridker’s intelligent, funny and remarkably assured first novel… [establishes him] as a big, promising talent… Ridker’s ambitious blend of global perspective and intimate human comedy seems likely to evoke comparisons to the work of Jonathan Franzen and Nathan Hill.
[A] smart novel with an impressive balance between satire and heart.
This is a smart, knowing, tender first novel, full of immaculate comic timing and loquacious chutzpah.