ABANDON ALL HOPE

BY SCOTT SPIRES

Available on AmazonBarnes and Noble, and at other book retailers.

It’s 1998. Bill Clinton is embroiled in a sex scandal, the Internet is starting to permeate our world, Titanic is breaking box-office records, and we’re supposedly enjoying a “boom economy.” In the Chicago area, two young men, disaffected by their suburban upbringing, take contrasting paths through life. Eric Freeman is a cynical, aesthetically inclined slacker who enjoys an aimless, hedonistic life dedicated to his hobbies, while working at a job he hates. Evan Jarrett is an idealistic college dropout and would-be author who styles himself a “philosopher and activist.” Their clashes with the world around them and with each other strike comic sparks.

In a story that evokes such 1990s classics as High Fidelity and Fight Club, our two antiheroes struggle against unsympathetic employers, uncomprehending relatives, meaningless jobs, romantic frustration, and social isolation, all while searching for a life of meaning and purpose, each in his own way. Abandon All Hope is a comic novel of ideas that asks the questions: How do you make your way in a world where stability is illusory, fraud and lies are ubiquitous, and happiness is always elusive? Should you be a realist or an idealist? And how’s life working out for you, anyway?

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