Reviews

  • "The Altruists, Andrew Ridker’s intelligent, funny and remarkably assured first novel… [establishes him] as a big, promising talent… Ridker’s satire of ill-conceived do-gooderism is scathing and hilarious… He writes sentences with the lively, poetic zing of one as attuned to the sounds of words as to their meanings… His commentary on the cultural eccentricities of pre-Trump middle-class America is astute and highly entertaining… And his descriptions have enough wit and psychological accuracy to make even minor characters spring to multidimensional life… 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."

    Stephen McCauley, New York Times Book Review
  • "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."

    Daily Mail
  • "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 Times
  • "An incisive inquiry into the point at which self-interest ends and compassion begins."

    New Yorker
  • "[A] smart novel with an impressive balance between satire and heart."

    Sunday Times
  • "With a sharp eye for the absurdities of contemporary American culture… The Altruists boasts numerous charms, ranging from worthy ethical issues treated with an effective wryness to its rare, fond celebration of steamy St. Louis. Its ending is well-earned, and so are its life lessons, adding up to an unusually promising debut."

    NPR
  • "This tragicomedy wittily explores old wounds, new grievances and hard-won wisdom."

    Sunday Express
  • "A widowed father and his adult children find their way after years of getting on one another's nerves. With prickly, strangely endearing characters and sharp writing, this novel is tender and hilarious."

    Good Housekeeping
  • "Tragedy begets comedy in Ridker's strikingly assured debut about a family undone by grief... Ridker spins delicate moral dilemmas in a novel that grows more complex and more uproarious by the page, culminating in an unforgettable climax."

    Entertainment Weekly
  • "With humor and warmth, Ridker explores the meaning of family and its inevitable baggage. The Altruists may not paint the prettiest picture, but it's a relatable, unforgettable view of regular people making mistakes and somehow finding their way back to each other."

    People Magazine's 'Book of the Week'