by Stephen Wright
Pub Date 21 Jan 2020
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From an "astonishing" writer (Toni Morrison), the savagely funny story of a couple who unexpectedly come into some money in a wealth-obsessed America deranged by Mammon.
A bag of money drops out of the sky, literally, into the path of a cash-starved citizen named Graveyard. He carries it home to his wife, Ambience, and they embark on the adventure of their lives, finally able to have everything they've always thought they deserved: cars, guns, games, jewels, clothes—and of course sex, travel, and time with friends and family. There is no limit except their imagination and the hours in the day, and even those seem to be subject to their control.
Of course, the owner of the bag is searching for it, and will do whatever is necessary to get it back. And, of course, these new riches change everything—and nothing at all.
Darkly hilarious, Processed Cheese is both satire and serious as death. It's a road novel, a family story, and a last-girl-standing thriller of once-in-a-generation vitality and inventiveness. With the clarity of a Swift or a Melville, Wright has created a funhouse-mirror drama that puts all the chips on the table and every bullet in the clip, down to the last breathtaking moment.
“Processed Cheese does for consumerism what Catch-22 did for war.” —Stephen King, bestselling author of IT and The Shining
"Why is Stephen Wright so funny and what can I do to be as funny as him? As perceptive? As inventive? As smart? Not much, I guess. So I'll just sit here reading Processed Cheese over and over while gnashing my teeth." —Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante’s Handbook and Super Sad True Love Story
"In novel after unsparing novel—each one gorgeous, too, and full of awe— Stephen Wright has emerged as a kind of modern-day Socrates hectoring a complacent citizenry to have a good hard look at its collective delusions. With Processed Cheese, he's written a novel so outrageous and diagnostic of our current ills, it will prove much stronger than hemlock. If you hope to keep up your venality, America, your cruelties, and your death wish, better string this court jester up by his toes." —Joshua Ferris, author of The Dinner Party"