September 20, 2016
Cannibals in Love
Soulful, gritty, and hilarious, Cannibals in Love is an unapologetic manifesto for the generation that came of age at the dawn of the twenty-first century.
Mike is about to graduate from college and inherit a world far different from the one he was promised. The World Trade Center has fallen, the Beltway Sniper terrorizes the nation’s capital, and a polarizing president pushes forward a dubious war. Shrinking the chaos of this new America into eighteen vignettes of ecstatic violence, maddening love, and a cascade of humiliating jobs, Cannibals in Love tracks a compulsive search for intimacy amid the bombardment of advertising, social media, and middle-class paranoia. Roaming from Washington, D.C., to Brooklyn, Portland, and Austin, Mike takes us deep into the guts of identity and masculinity in the age of the Internet.
Like a carefully assembled mixtape, Mike Roberts’s Cannibals in Love weaves tender moments and summer idylls with violent late nights and the restless frustrations of youth, heralding the arrival of a searing new literary talent.
“Roberts' debut captures the anger and tumult of early adulthood in the George W. Bush years . . . impression by impression, fragment by fragment, Roberts chronicles the low-grade agony of growing up with insight and accuracy. A study of young masculinity: atmospheric, quietly aggressive, and unexpectedly hopeful.”―Kirkus
"The oft-told story of young-man-finds-himself has become a difficult one to write without its becoming completely insufferable, but Roberts, with his Salinger-level attention to the foibles of the human condition, has avoided that trap altogether and written a book that makes you already eager for what he'll write next."― Keziah Weir, Elle
"Cannibals in Love is more than a young man's coming-of-age narrative. It's also a passionate love story that will surprise you with its tenderness, depth, and madness." ― Elizabeth Kiefer, Refinery29
"Personally, I could listen to this voice all day. It’s as if it belongs to a friend I grew up with, or someone I met at a bar, or found counting lampposts in my hometown — strangely familiar and wise beyond his years." ― Amy Silverberg, Los Angeles Review of Books
"Unapologetically political and full of youthful whimsy, Roberts’ debut captures one man’s reluctant search for stability." ―Jonathan Fullmer, Booklist
"There are shining moments where Roberts's novel moves seamlessly from humor to heartbreak and back again." ―Publishers Weekly
"A funny, minutely observed look at the way we live now." ―Men's Fitness
“Cannibals in Love is a portrait of American life in its twilight years―bristling with humor and absurdity, rotten with longing. With tenderness and wit, Mike Roberts brings us a tragicomic ode to our millennium, crisper and more penetrating in retrospect.”
―Alexandra Kleeman, author of You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine
"Episodic novels don't usually breathe like this. Deceptively simple, but warm, even recklessly honest, the story Mike Roberts tells here is essentially about the nature of time. A scrupulously sane tribute to youth, Cannibals in Love describes the blessed entropy that disperses our friends, and in so doing saves us."
―Benjamin Lytal, author of A Map of Tulsa
"Cannibals in Love is hard to forget. Midway through, you start calling up earlier episodes, forming connections, and remembering the book the same way a life is remembered while it's being lived. The vignettes in Roberts' novel of millennial America hit with a sense of relief, like when a friend fills in a blank spot from the past and you think, 'Thank God someone remembered something!' This novel belongs on a shelf of Americana with Frederick Exley's A Fan's Notes and early DeLillo."
―Will Chancellor, author of A Brave Man Seven Storeys Tall