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Human Capital

A Novel

Stephen Amidon

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

It's the spring of 2001, and Drew Hagel has spent the last decade watching things slip away--his first marriage, his real estate brokerage, his beloved daughter, Shannon, now a distant and mysterious high school senior. He is in danger of losing his place in the affluent suburb that his father once ruled. And then an unexpected friendship with Quint Manning, the manager of a secretive hedge fund, opens to Drew the prospect of vast, frictionless wealth. What Drew doesn't know is that Manning has problems of his own--his Midas touch is abandoning him; his restless wife, Carrie, is growing disillusioned with all that new money; and his hard-drinking son, Jamie, Shannon's classmate, is careering out of control.
As the fortunes of the two families become perilously interwoven, a terrible accident involving Shannon and Jamie gives Drew the leverage he needs to stay in the game. But his decision to speculate with human lives instead of money has unforeseen consequences and brings the novel to a devastating climax.
Human Capital is the highest achievement to date of a "powerful and perceptive" novelist (The Washington Post) and a realist for our times.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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HUMAN CAPITAL
PART ONE1Drew Hagel was going to be late for the banquet. He knew it the moment he pulled out of the parking lot and saw the stationary line of traffic on Federal. He'd wanted to leave the office no later than five-thirty, allowing himself plenty of time to make the six-mile drive up to the historic village. The roads could be tricky at this hour, and finding a parking place near Country Day during a school function would be next to impossible. Thirty minutes would guarantee he wasn't late. In fact, he'd probably get there early. That was all right, giving him some time alone with
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REVIEWS

Praise for Human Capital

"In Stephen Amidon’s brilliant Human Capital a specter is haunting America--not the specter of Socialism that Marx once envisioned, but the 21st Century specter of Failure. Amidon combines the intellectual acuity of a social theorist, the steady powers of observation of a first rate reporter, and the sympathy and grace of a natural writer. From its very beginning, Human Capital seizes us and plunges us into the grand delirium of reading about characters--men, women, boys, girls--whose fates we eagerly, agonizingly follow to the last, lovely page." --Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love

"A gripping, troubling, and incisive portrait of the way we live now, Human Capital has the ambitious sweep and narrative power of a 19th century novel. Stephen Amidon is the rare writer who can illuminate the secrets of money and love with equal authority." --Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and Joe College

"Stephen Amidon's beautiful and terrifying Human Capital is an ever-tightening knot of money, love, sex, and lies. This roaring read cuts to the heart of how we live now in America, risking all for the almighty dollar. His best book yet." --Colin Harrison, author of The Havana Room

"Human Capital turns over the rock of NASDAQ affluence and lets us see the squirmy things underneath. Stephen Amidon's plot full of secrets reveals his garden-green Stepford suburb as an ethical desert, his characters driven and ultimately damned by their selfishness. An entertaining, scathing, very American fable." --Stewart O'Nan, author of The Speed Queen and The Night Country
"In Stephen Amidon’s brilliant Human Capital a specter is haunting America--not the specter of Socialism that Marx once envisioned, but the 21st Century specter of Failure. Amidon combines the intellectual acuity of a social theorist, the steady powers of observation of a first rate reporter, and the sympathy and grace of a natural writer. From its very beginning, Human Capital seizes us and plunges us into the grand delirium of reading about characters--men, women, boys, girls--whose fates we eagerly, agonizingly follow to the last, lovely page." --Scott Spencer, author of Endless Love

"A gripping, troubling, and incisive portrait of the way we live now, Human Capital has the ambitious sweep and narrative power of a 19th century novel. Stephen Amidon is the rare writer who can illuminate the secrets of money and love with equal authority." --Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children and Joe College

"Stephen Amidon's beautiful and terrifying Human Capital is an ever-tightening knot of money, love, sex, and lies. This roaring read cuts to the heart of how we live now in America, risking all for the almighty dollar. His best book yet." --Colin Harrison, author of The Havana Room

"Human Capital turns over the rock of NASDAQ affluence and lets us see the squirmy things underneath. Stephen Amidon's plot full of secrets reveals his garden-green Stepford suburb as an ethical desert, his characters driven and ultimately damned by their selfishness. An entertaining, scathing, very American fable." --Stewart O'Nan, author of The Speed Queen and The Night Country

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Stephen Amidon

  • Stephen Amidon's previous books include The New City and Subdivision. He lived and worked in London for fifteen years before returning to the United States, where he lives in Greenfield, Massachusetts, with his wife and children.
  • Stephen Amidon Copyright Greg Martin
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Available Formats and Book Details

Human Capital

A Novel

Stephen Amidon

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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