This is an extraordinary look at the ordinary. And the first thing you can say about this novel is that it could never pass for a "crowd pleaser". Perhaps, that's because this novel hits the raw nerve in all of us had we not found loving partners, or meaningful work, or mothered or fathered wonderful children. This is a strange look at loneliness and the thirst to find real meaning and to bond with whatever we can find that will give us that meaning.
What struck me so deeply about this story is, here you have these ordinary fellows--young men doing grunt jobs: in bars, kitchens, whatever, trying to simply get by and the unexpectedly deep and dark and profoundly empty spaces that we are drawn into as we read along. I was so moved by the tender portrayal of Jonah and his lonely search-- as well as his brother--and all that their lives entailed. This is a very beautiful and moving story about the true depths in the very human beings that are in our midst, everyday. In the malls we shop, in the restaurants we frequent.
So recommend this amazing story and don't be fooled by the seemingly ordinary here; there's so much going on with these men and Chaon portrays it all like a true master.