#FridayReads -> The Party Scene from Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon's Nothing
We published Anne Marie Wirth Cauchon's debut novel, Nothing, in 2013, and in a review at the New York Times Book Review writer Tao Lin called it "apocalyptic and psychologically attentive."
Paste gave the book a glorious review, calling it "A marvelously scathing indictment of a generation that has no choice but to burn. From Nothing’s outset, [Wirth Cauchon] crafts scenes with complexity and a scary prescience. [Nothing is] a riveting first piece of scripture from our newest prophet of misspent youth."
Nothing follows a pair of frenemies—Ruth and Bridget—in Missoula, Montana, during fire season. A fire-to-end-all-fires is converging on the valley, as a mysterious drifter named James hitchhikes into town. James' father died two decades before, in a—you guessed it—fire in Missoula, and James is out to find some answers. After a local girl dies at a party, signaling the end of fun for the twentysomethings of Missoula, James and Ruth become involved. But jealousy over Bridget quickly complicates things.
One of the things that struck me about the book was the party scene. I went into thinking, 'Oh no, she's going to write a party scene,' but Anne Marie knocks it out of the park:
"Kid in the cage said, Nuttin Like Assassination Day, and played it. I’d danced forever, licked my cracked lips, still had my drink. Brought it down from overhead and tipped the rim and lapped for water but there was none. Gasped. Breathing suffocated and I gasped. The smell was putrid, soured, sickly sweet like the Secret, the Edge, the One. Human skin slick with sweat smeared against me as shoulders surrounded me. And throats and hair. There weren’t any human eyes but there was the music."
You can read the party scene and a few chapters here:
Nothing—as a book that features red on its cover—is one of the books you can score as part of our Wear Red Day Sale. It ends tonight at midnight. Just saying.