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Critical Praise

"Told through Karim’s journal entries, this wonderfully assured debut novel, at once poignant, insightful, and funny, details Karim’s passage through a new world of corporate sharks, Manhattan clubs, museums, Bob Dylan lyrics, and personal growth. Karim’s English, always grammatically correct but stilted with terms from science, mathematics, computing, and business, is a delight. Best of all, however, is simply being inside Karim’s head as he ponders Jackson Pollock’s paintings, baseball, programming, and the mysteries of love and life in the U.S."

Booklist (starred review)

"[A] strong and heartfelt debut novel…Wayne zips through a minefield of potential clichés and comes out unscathed, striking a balance of humor and keen insight that propels the story through Karim’s education about the West’s ethics and its capitalism, while in the background the World Trade Center looms. It’s a slick first novel that beautifully captures a time that, in retrospect, seems tragically naïve."

Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"What a wonderful character Karim is --- the hapless, hilarious, math-obsessed hero of Teddy Wayne’s first novel. Kapitoilis a delight. Who knew oil futures could be such fun?"

—Joshua Henkin, author of Swimming Across the Hudson and Matrimony

"Teddy Wayne has written a brilliant book. Karim Issar is one of the freshest, funniest heroes I’ve come across in a long time, and thanks to his often excruciating adventures --- financial, romantic, linguistic, and otherwise--in his brave new world of pre-Y2K New York, we start to see America with Karim’s weird and wonderful clarity. In its honesty, humor, intelligence, and hard-won wisdom, Kapitoil is ‘Karim-esque’ to the nth degree, and that is a very good way to be.&"

—Ben Fountain, bestselling author of Brief Encounters with Che Guevara