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3.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,370 ratings  ·  627 reviews
An Indie Next Selection of Independent Booksellers • One of the most anticipated novels of the fall from New York magazine, Glamour, Lit Hub, Boston magazine, The Millions, and BookPage

David Federman has never felt appreciated. An academically gifted yet painfully forgettable member of his New Jersey high school class, the withdrawn, mild-mannered freshman arrives at
Hardcover, 203 pages
Published September 13th 2016 by Simon Schuster
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LeAnne: GeezerMom Adult. There are some explicit descriptions of sexual contact.

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Average rating 3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,370 ratings  ·  627 reviews

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Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I feel like such a loser. I hate when publishers compare books to another book, this book doesn't even do that. I did it. I read the blurb and was hoping for some of that Joe magic from You. I'm very ashamed of myself.
Not. I love that creepy stalker.
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David Federman is the main character in this book, and we see it from his point of view. He comes to Harvard after leaving his highschool (where no one knew who he was) with high hopes of finding his "tribe." He wants to fit in and then he sees
Felice Laverne
Loner turned out to be an unexpected gift, a surprise wolf wrapped in sheep’s clothing. This, of course, is always the best kind of surprise because—let’s face it—who wants to read through shocking revelations that never shock and humdrum plot lines that fail to thrill?

David Alan Federman is entering his freshman year at Harvard in much the same way that he’s lived his pre-college life: introverted, awkward enough to make a habit of spelling large words and sentences backward in his head for
LeAnne: GeezerMom
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Update. Huffman and Coughlin? Are any of you a bit obsessed with and gobsmacked by the recent arrests made surrounding college admissions to elite schools? If so, I highly recommend this posh and dark campus story!
When you purchase a hard back copy AFTER having listened to it completely free from the library, you know it is an excellent book! This slow-burning psychological study was incredibly clever. I loved it and had difficulty stopping the audio book,
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
It's been sooooo long since I've read a true standout novel that I am really struggling to compose a review for this extremely unsettling, yet unputdownable narrative. A slow roll, this thought-provoking character study is so well done. The writing is excellent. I found the story so compelling that when I wasn't able to read, I downloaded the audio and listened to it. This story did something very subtle and seemingly impossible: it created a vivid, authentic setting that made me wax nostalgic ...more
Andrew Smith
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
David Ferderman is a bright boy, a very bright boy. He coasted through high school, achieving outstanding results – good enough to secure a place at that renowned institute of learning, Harvard. But he made few friends along the way; he was somewhat invisible to his classmates, a withdrawn, ‘vanilla’ presence (though maybe absence would perhaps be a more apt description). He’s shy and withdrawn – as the title suggests, a classic loner. But in his own mind his world is about to open up, he’ll ...more
Diane S ☔
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
3.5 Obsession. From his first glimpse of Veronica, he could not get her out of his mind, putting aside new friendships, a young woman who actually cared about him and even the Harvard experience, all became meaningless. Things o be discarded. To say I disliked David from the very beginning would be an understatement. The same goes for Veronica, who though she did little in the beginning to draw onto herself the obsession, clearly thought she and her friends were better than others, entitled.

Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Perry by: Cheri
Loner is a well-crafted, caffeinated composition about a volatile, socially-impaired Harvard freshman from New Jersey and his poco loco fixation on an upper crust co-ed from Manhattan's upper East Side, who is not quite as transparent as she seems. Teddy Wayne builds this relationship slowly at first, then deftly thrusts the reader into literary whitewater rapids in which I kept looking for the next dangerous rocks.

The last 30 pages were like watching a long fuse burn toward a powder keg, or
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. I’m having trouble rating Loner. I really enjoyed it until the end, which I first found clever but ultimately quite disappointing. Loner is a first person narrative about 18 year old David Federman who starts his first year as an undergraduate at Harvard. Loner is also David’s second person narrative addressed to Veronica Wells, who is also a first year student at Harvard. Most of the story is David’s sad pathetic attempt to get Veronica to pay attention to him. Which she does every ...more
Jennifer Masterson
Nope. This is not going to do it for me. I could put it back to to-read status but that would be a fib. I'm done. I have the attention span of a gnat lately!
Elyse  Walters
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was excited to read this book. I tend to like stories that take place in and around College.
Teddy Wayne is an award-winning author, and Federman is such a Jewish name ... I was curious just how meschugena ( crazy, insane ), David Federman might be.
The blurp says David Federman is academically gifted - yet never felt appreciated. He was a forgettable classmate in High School.

Early in the novel, we get a good idea that David doesn't want to be invisible as a Freshman at Harvard. I wasn't
2.5 "overly assured, overly clever, overly cocky" stars !!!

I can understand why this book is a critical darling. It is razor sharp with lots of cleverness, witticisms and full of literary and political references.

However, the book is lacking in depth, substance and the wrapping paper is so pretty covering an empty paper box.

The book revolves around an upper middle class 18 year old boy named David who is accepted to Harvard. He has spent his life on the sidelines not understanding why the
Oct 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
My plan was to sit in a restaurant or coffee shop with a view of your building. At some point you'd pop out for a cigarette, and that's when our coincidental run-in would transpire.

But during my many jaunts down your block through Google Street View, I'd failed to notice the critical oversight in my strategy: Park was strictly residential. There wasn't a single commercial establishment that could serve as an inconspicuous hideout; it was as if the avenue were designed to discourage the casual
Oct 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a great anti-hero. An unlikable, reproachable, repulsive main character. That's why I loved Eileen. That's why Joe Goldberg from Caroline Kepnes' books is so delightful to me. Yes, you heard right. DELIGHTFUL.

So, when I opened this book and began reading about David Federman, I was hooked. I was fascinated. He's very intelligent, he's super bookish, he's in his first year at Harvard. He's also a virgin, socially detached - a "loner". When he lays eyes on Veronica, the delicious and
Michael Ferro
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A timely and engrossing character study, LONER was one of the most impressive psychological novels I've read in some time. Focusing on a lonesome young man entering Harvard for his freshman year, Teddy Wayne's brilliant novel is both bitingly funny and unrelentingly visceral, with the latter being responsible for the heap of my praise. A funny book is one thing, and a psychologically adept character study of a dark mind is another, but being able to combine the two into a novel of such immense ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

2.5 Stars

Real quick like – this is the story of David Federline’s first year at Haaaaaavaaaaaaaad. David’s always been a real brainiac, so grades won’t be a problem. It’s the social aspect he might have trouble with. When he sees Veronica Morgan Wells at a freshman mixer he knows his luck is about to change. He just needs to figure out how to get close to her . . . .

Oh Loner, you really missed the mark for me. I know several people
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Let me introduce you to David Federman. But the next time you meet him, I'll have to introduce you again, because you will have completely forgotten him. Boring, bland, vanilla David Federman (from New Jersey, to add insult to injury) has never fit in. He's highly intelligent, but socially awkward. He starts his freshman year at Harvard with great hope that he will finally feel a sense of belonging -- that people will recognize his genius, and that he'll be among his intellectual peers.

Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Academically gifted, socially awkward, uninitiated in the finer arts of verbal communication with the opposite sex, David Federman enters Harvard his freshman year with a determination not to forever remain part of the “forgettables.” You know, those overly shy, overly apologetic kids he hung out with in high school, heads perpetually down, avoiding eye contact. David approaches Harvard as if it alone will be the panacea, never doubting he will find “his tribe” here.

Enter Veronica Morgan Wells.
Larry H
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 3.5 stars.

"All I could think about, running in a loop, was Veronica Morgan Wells, Veronica Morgan Wells, Veronica Morgan Wells. The quadrisyllable that halves its beats at the middle name, dividing again at its pluralized terminus of subterranean depths. The percussively alert 'c' drowsily succumbing to the dozing 's.' Perfectly symmetrical initials, the 'V' found twice upside-down in the 'M,' inverted once more in the 'W,' and, if spoken, easily confused with a German luxury
Dec 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Definitely 5 star worthy.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Update: Reconsidering my rating. This is better than a 3-star.

The Loner was a mixed bag for me. I'm not sure how to rate it. Teddy Wayne is a competent writer, there's no doubt about it. If he meant to create one of the most unlikable characters I've ever read, then kudos to him, he succeeded. Because, David Federman, eighteen-year-old Harvard freshman is a sociopath. He's sex-obsessed, like most young men. He wants to change his social status, from a loner to a more popular student. Nothing
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
Ughhhhh....this book had "hcus esimorp"!! (Read it backward, it makes sense if you read the book.)

The author, Teddy Wayne, is clearly brilliant and a total wordsmith. I laughed out loud as he offered us hilarious, self-deprecating insight into his main character who eventually sees and obsesses over another freshman.

I was looking for "YOU" or "The Cleaner" and even though it started strong? Well...the ending was disjointed, frustrating and unlikely.
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Step inside the mind of a stalker. That was the first term that came to mind, but don’t stalkers usually work from a distance? If so, then David would be different. Peripheral stalking is only a first step. He wants more. He wants to be a part of Veronica’s life.

As a character, David is pretty well unlikeable. Not a big surprise. I have to believe this was a wholly intentional move by the author. Shitheads aren’t supposed to be liked. Supposedly Ted Bundy was a charmer, easily to like, but then
Marilyn C.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Loner is a suspenseful and engrossing story about a disturbed first year student at Harvard named David Federman (or should say Divad Namredef.) Instead of focusing on his studies, as I am sure a freshman at Harvard would be doing, he begins obsessively stalking another student.

This is a fast paced book that is a real eye opener into the disillusioned mind of a young man. I thought it was interesting how Teddy Wayne slowly builds David’s character; from the reader somewhat liking him in the
From the time I was in the second grade, I'd go upstairs for part of the day and have my reading and English classes with the sixth and seventh grade classes. In all, it was a wonderful arrangement, with the only unfortunate consequence that I sometimes read texts that were within the scope of my reading comprehension, yet well outside the scope of my maturity. For instance, after reading an article about what would transpire on earth once the sun burns out, I could not be convinced by any means ...more
Dec 16, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars

This one falls into the "hard to rate" category. On the one hand, I couldn't stop reading it. I was completely sucked into the story and invested in the outcome. On the other hand, I really didn't like the ending and I found the whole book to be lacking in substance. I guess I was looking for more depth.

David is a freshman at Harvard who is completely obsessed with Veronica who lives in his dorm. Obsessed to the point that he dates her roommate to get closer to her. Bad things happen
Oct 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Shelves: ya, hype, hot-mess
David Federman is not an anti-hero. He's not a loner.

He's just a loser. A creepy, creepo waste of space, a sad sack wrapped up in white middle class privilege hiding dangerous sexual perversions.

He's one step away from the pervs who expose themselves on the subway and two steps away from holding an innocent woman captive in his basement.

To me, an anti-hero is not just a morally ambiguous character but a person who also retains some dark, villainous qualities I may also admire/desire/envy in some
Almost DNF'd. Starts off as an annoying version of Caroline Kepnes's You. It got more engaging as it went along but I still would have just preferred to re-read You. Oh well.

Full review to come... maybe.
Jul 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a disturbing, creepy, different sort of book this was, and I absolutely loved it! This book is told in the first person by David, a loner who's never fit in, during his freshman year at Harvard. Because the book is completely from David's perspective, you get an unfiltered look into his truly twisted mind, his motivations for everything and his actions. My only complaint is that I didn't want this book to end, I just wanted it to keep on going. I very highly recommend this book. Now, I'm ...more
Have you ever met a nice guy? No, not a nice guy. A nice guy. Trust me there's a difference.

A nice guy is a good person who’s nice for the sake of being nice. A nice guy? He wants you to think he’s a good person. He’ll go to an awful lot of trouble to show you what a wonderful, caring, genuinely good guy he is. He’ll be there to give you a hand when that term paper isn’t going well. His shoulder is available to cry on when you get in a fight with your boyfriend. He’ll be your designated driver
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
What happens when the bright but shy boy meets the attractive and popular girl? Teddy Wayne brings to us this story in his very suspenseful book, Loner. The premise Teddy Wayne chose for his book is a very interesting one. The bewildering university classes and campus with all its alluring brightness and meanwhile struggle. Yes. Struggle. The struggle to enter the adult world and leave behind the teenage and childhood long years.

David Ferderman is a very bright yet shy student. He has always
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Teddy Wayne is the author of the novels "The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" (Free Press, Feb. 2013) and "Kapitoil" (Harper Perennial) and is the recipient of a 2011 Whiting Writers' Award, an NEA Creative Writing Fellowship, the 2011 PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize runner-up, and a finalist for the 2011 New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award finalist and the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize. ...more
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“I’m an extroverted introvert at best. But everyone says that, right? They want to claim the best parts of each—that they can be charming when they need to, but they really prefer solitude. No one’s ever, like, ‘I have the neediness of an extrovert and the poor social skills of the introvert.’ Sorry” 2 likes
“Sometimes I wonder if, having the ability to time travel back to certain moments in which our fear or impulsiveness got the best of us and resulted in an unsatisfying outcome, we would actually alter our behavior knowing what we know now, or if we would end up repeating exactly what we did the first time, surrendering to those elemental directives, incapable of deviating from some preordained essence of our character.” 1 likes
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