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Inherited Disorders

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A son receives an inheritance from his father and tries to dispose of it before it destroys him. Inherited Disorders tells this elemental story in over 100 hilarious, witty variations. Adam Ehrlich Sachs's Inherited Disorders is a rueful, absurd, and endlessly entertaining look at a most serious subject--the eternally vexed relations between fathers and sons. In a hundred and seventeen shrewd, surreal vignettes, Sachs lays bare the petty rivalries, thwarted affection, and mutual bafflement that have characterized the filial bond since the days of Davidic kings. A philosopher's son kills his father and explains his aphorisms to death. A father bequeaths to his son his jacket, deodorant, and political beliefs. England's most famous medium becomes possessed by the spirit of his skeptical father--who questions, in front of the nation, his son's choice of career. A Czech pianist amputates his fingers one by one to thwart his father, who will not stop composing concertos for him. A nineteenth-century Italian nobleman wills his ill-conceived flying contraption--incapable of actual flight--to his newborn son. In West Hollywood, an aspiring screenwriter must contend with the judgmental visage of his father, a respected public intellectual whose frozen head, clearly disappointed in him, he keeps in his freezer. Keenly inventive, but painfully familiar, these surprisingly tender stories signal the arrival of a brilliant new comic voice--and fresh hope for fathers and sons the world over.
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About the Author

Adam Ehrlich Sachs studied atmospheric science at Harvard, where he wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. His fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, n+1 and McSweeney's, among other places. He lives with his wife in Somerville, Massachusetts.


"In 117 humorous, ironic [and] inventive short stories, Adam Ehrlich Sachs shows us . . . the struggle of sons to become their own men." --Allison Morer, "Real literary talent." --Matthew Snider, Ploughshares "Startlingly funny." -- Illana Masad, Jewish Current "Darkly funny . . . The mania that pushes [Sachs's] stories to their logical extremes retains a uniquely puckish, joyful irreverence. . . Inherited Disorders makes a certain kind of anxiety so comically debilitating that the full extent of its uselessness is revealed." --Miranda Popkey, The Awl "Ingenious, structurally elegant inheritance puzzles." -- Max Nelson, The New Republic "Hilarious and quirky yet poignant, Inherited Disorders is one of the most original--and entertaining--books of the season." -- Jarry Lee, BuzzFeed "Sachs's caustic and absurdist collection Inherited Disorders is a[n] assured debut." --Karan Mahajan, Book Forum "Endlessly sharp and engaging from start to finish." --Mary Vensel White, The Rumpus "In Inherited Disorders, Sachs displays a rare kind of genius: storytelling that's humorous and absurdist, but also slyly compassionate and layered. There's much wisdom about father-son relationships to accompany the intricate and sometimes laugh-out-loud literary fireworks. And in the process, Sachs captures the true richness and strangeness of the world--something of a classic in the making and a favorite read of the past few years." --Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation "Darkly hilarious." --Adam Kirsch, Tablet "Don't miss out on this one . . . poignant and absurd . . . with an exceedingly light touch that floats, skips, and hops into a punch line." --Matthew Zeitlin, Buzzfeed " . . . stellar debut collection . . . Sachs proves himself a perceptive observer of human nature and a distinctly promising talent." --Publishers Weekly (starred review) "Inherited Disorders is just plain funny . . . Sachs has a finely tuned sense of humor and an economical writing style that gives each story plenty of punch." --Michael Patrick Brady, Boston Globe "One of the funniest books of the year." --Publishers Weekly "Mr. Sachs's debut [of] brief comic sketches . . . [is] a darkly glittering gem." --Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal "Adam Ehrlich Sachs's debut marks the arrival of a major humorist. If Kafka and Louis CK were to join forces, they might produce something like Inherited Disorders absurd, wise, and extremely funny." --Simon Rich, author of Spoiled Brats and creator of Man Seeking Woman One of Buzzfeed's Incredible New Books You Need to Read This Summer

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