Heavy Hold Alert: AWAIT YOUR REPLY

Dan Chaon’s new suspense novel, Await Your Reply, has piled up an amazing number of major reviews. And that’s helped drive up reserves in all the libraries we checked (all have to 100 or more holds each), in the month since we wrote about the first wave of reviews in the Washington Post, People and the Los Angeles Times.

This twisted tale about about three characters who go searching for themselves after losing members of their families puts a new spin on the idea of identity theft and what it means to “find yourself.”

The New York Times Book Review compares the novel to “an unfunny Coen brothers movie,” since it mostly takes place in the Midwest, and praises ­Chaon’s “intricate and suspenseful plotting” and “some of the most paranoid material to hit American literature since Don DeLillo’s White Noise.”

Like the Times reeviewer, those at the Chicago Tribune and Pittsburg Post-Gazette concur that the book really picks up in the second half. The Post-Gazette sums it up best:

These stories, at first, present a lot of detail but not a lot of direction, but all the ink spent on backstory and character development prove to be worth it when the characters’ lives intersect, and the novel turns from stories about people trying to find themselves to a page-turning mystery.

Mystery-book blogger Sarah Weinman also chimes in:

I marvel at how Chaon can juggle so many storylines and merge them together at differing points, letting the reader discern connections. . . The payoff is great but AWAIT YOUR REPLY is less about how things resolve and more about how life defies resolution.

In the month since Await Your Reply was published, it’s also become quite popular on Good Reads, the social media site for readers, where 183 readers rated it, with 39% giving it a 4 star rating (out of 5), and it received 111 reviews.

Await Your Reply: A Novel
Dan Chaon
Retail Price: $25.00
Hardcover: 336 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books – (2009-08-25)
ISBN / EAN: 0345476026 / 9780345476029

Also available on Phoenix Audio

  • CD: $32.95; ISBN 9781597772778

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