We Can Save Us All

Adam Nemett. Unnamed (PGW, dist.), $18.99 trade paper (420p) ISBN 978-1-944700-76-8
In Nemett’s imaginative debut, a group of troubled Princeton students gather off campus in the near future at the Egg, an off-campus research building named for its domelike shape. Thoreau-quoting and insecure in his masculinity, the wimpy David Fuffman is the most recent addition to the Egg, and he joins a handful of other boys who don’t fit neatly into the Princeton ecosystem. They’re led by Mathias Blue, an enigmatic rich kid who has shaped the Egg into both a safe haven for boys like David and something of a bunker for doomsday, which feels imminent. As blizzards, trade wars, and actual warfare ravage the world, the residents of the Egg adopt superhero personas in an attempt to do good (while on performance-enhancing drugs) by creating a 90-day “spectacle” of events meant to combat evil (mostly within themselves). As their collective, called the Unnamed Supersquadron of Vigilantes, grows more ambitious, both in their actions and in their public profile, they’re joined by Haley Roth, David’s high school drug dealer and current crush, with whom he shares an uneasy history. Fiery, funny, and fearless, Haley is the real standout of the novel—especially compared to the mopey David—and readers will wish she’d been given narrative precedence and a less clichéd backstory. Still, Nemett’s refreshing and high-energy novel has the heart and moral tension of a superhero story and the growing pains of a bildungs- roman. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/03/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Book - 978-1-944700-77-5
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