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Who Is Rich?

2.98  ·  Rating details ·  1,503 ratings  ·  333 reviews
Every year, Rich Fischer leaves his family behind to teach a class on cartooning at an annual week-long summer arts conference. Amy O’Donnell is a student in narrative painting, the mother of three, married to a brutish Wall Street titan who runs a multi-billion dollar private equity fund. Rich and Amy met at the conference a year ago, shared a moment of passion, bonding o ...more
Kindle Edition, 337 pages
Published July 4th 2017 by Random House
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Average rating 2.98  · 
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 ·  1,503 ratings  ·  333 reviews

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Larry H
Apr 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
If people were happy with their lives, if they weren't having to deal with crises of conscience, relationships, and faith, what would that mean for the state of fiction? Much in the way that evil characters are more fun to read (and write) about, unhappy characters definitely provide a richer mine from which to build a novel.

Rich Fischer, the protagonist of Matthew Klam's Who is Rich? , is definitely unhappy. At one point he was a cartoonist of some renown, but he now works as an illustrator
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Who is Rich? Well, no one I really want to spend any time with. He's unhappy, self absorbed, whiny and boring. He can't accept that his 15 minutes of fame is over and done. The beginning of this book reads like one long moan. I wanted to put it down and never pick it up again. I persevered, because hope springs eternal and I kept wanting to see if it would ever improve.

Rich is back teaching cartoon drawing at a summer conference. Five days on Cape Cod while his wife stays at home with their thr
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who is Rich? Richard Fischer is a 42-year-old married man with two young kids, living in Takoma Park, MD, and working as an editorial cartoonist at a political magazine. Six years ago, he had an autobiographical novel of his life in cartoons published that brought him some fame and brief glory, filled with 'themes of twenty-something agitation and incipient adult ennui.'

He'd once been a self-proclaimed 'wild man' who thought of himself as adventurous, amorous and brave. And then 'he'd embarked
May 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rich is our eponymous narrator and is a typical narcissist - charming, manipulative, impulsive and self centred. Luckily for the reader, he is also given to witty introspection, able to recognise and admit to his failings, which makes him capable of redemption - the possibility of which is what propels the narrative.
The novel combines two conventional staples of modern fiction – a midlife crisis with the usual accompanying adulterous relationship, and the use of a literary alter ego to extract
Ron Charles
In 2000, Matthew Klam, then one of the New Yorker’s “Best Fiction Writers Under 40,” published a funny collection called “Sam the Cat.” The stories won prizes and got everybody excited for Klam’s next book. Which never came.

Until now.

“Who Is Rich?” is about a writer who once enjoyed “precocious success” and then sunk into obscurity. “I’d had an appointment with destiny,” the narrator says. “I’d barely started, then I blinked and it was over.”

We could speculate about how much this falls under the
Apr 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley, male-lit
Who Is Rich? Rich is a committed father of two kids under the age of five. Rich is a somewhat less committed husband to an angry wife. Rich is unhappy. Rich is dejected because his marriage has become a sex-free environment. Rich has money problems. Rich was a once promising cartoonist but is now a struggling illustrator. Rich is stuck. Rich has an affair with a woman who doesn't have money problems but husband problems. Rich is spending a week away from his family at an annual summer school/con ...more
Tayari Jones
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised how much I liked it. It takes a good,writer to write about bad sex so well. I laughed a lot, but I felt empathy for the young artist who peaked too early. And no one should be allowed to be snarky and judgemental about the hero unless he is willing to allow us to browse through his iphone. Who among us hasn't sent an inappropriate text message? Part of the pleasure of this book is the startling shocks of self-recognition. ...more
Kasa Cotugno
In a book I reviewed earlier this week, I pointed out the need for a male version of chicklit, and here is another example. Another reviewer of this book in particular did suggest a cruder name, but I think I'll just call it guylit.

Rich is a cartoonist, 42 years old, returning to an annual four-day conference that draws artists in all fields to an idyllic Atlantic seaside town (I like to believe it is in Rhode Island). Last year he had a "thang" with Amy, a stunning lecturer that evolved into a
Hank Stuever
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bravo! Definitely worth the 17-year wait for a novel from Matt Klam. A great wallow in the biggies: infidelity, doubt, artistic emptiness, envy, anxiety, beauty, money, heartbreak. Also, because it's about a guy who got brief notoriety for writing and drawing literary comics, it made me wonder about all those male comic artists I used to read so faithfully back in the late 1990s. Where are they now? I'm too afraid to look.

Speaking of years ago, back when Matt Klam's short-story collection "Sam t
Don Gorman
(1 1/2). To say this is not my style is an understatement. This is one of those tortured, obsessive, angst driven, woe is me type of narratives that is totally self indulgent. It is well written, so I will be kind and round it up to two stars. An interesting lead character, who manages to make his life as complicated as he possibly can. If you are into introspective narratives this is for you. Stories like this leaves me cold at best.
May 24, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I didn't enjoy reading this book. I almost didn't finish it.. Several times. After I was done I really wondered why I had bothered. There was not one character I could say was ok. Rich was a creep. A cheater. Selfish. Nuts. Amy was no better. Robin was also self absorbed and they all deserved the crappy life they all got. There were some moments of hilarity, humor....but the rest of it seemed like a free flow ner
I think that I would have loved this book if I were in its target audience: white, male, early middle age, an artist of some kind forced to work a day job that takes all his creative energy. Caught in a marriage that also drains his energy; perpetually angry at or bored with his wife while adoring his children despite their interference with his true calling, art.

The writing is wonderful and often amusing (again, probably more so if I'd had more in common with the narrator). I had no trouble fin
I wish an extensive and painful IRS audit onto every single character in this novel.
May 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an impartial review.

It is a falsehood to have Who Is Rich? posted on my READ shelf; it belongs on my Did Not Finish shelf. I tried really hard and read about 20% of this first person narrator novel. The problem was that I didn't enjoy any of it.

There is a danger with first person narrators - they can be oblivious to their frailties and are somewhat self-centered. In this novel, graphic novelist Rich Fischer is a returning teacher at a summer a
I struggled with this book.
My first response to Who is Rich? Rich is an asshole. I wanted to give up on this book so many times because the main character is so completely unlikable. I almost didn't make it past the first 20 pages because he came off as a sexist, selfish asshole who seriously needs to get over himself. But I trudged on and Rich's rants get a little more soft-edged, more introspective, more self-critical. Rich is a middle-aged cartoonist, married with two young children. He's un
Aug 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very funny book about marital failings, artistic desolation, the inability to meet expectations and adult male alienation. Not totally my thing but Klam had me captured and enjoying Rich on the verge of a nervous breakdown. This midlife crisis novel is more than it might initally seem and is certainly greater than the sum of its parts.
Sam (AMNReader)
Aug 13, 2017 marked it as life-is-too-short  ·  review of another edition
Self-indulgent asshole: I’m completely fine with that for a main character. His anxieties and feelings on parenting are, frankly, spot on at times. That, and the level of basically choosing to ignore what’s going on in the world as being above it, and not having the time in your artistry to concern yourself with that, smacks so much of privilege I’m familiar with in my daily life that it’s uncanny. Many other observations follow this level of wit, but…

It’s just that I enjoyed Summerlong & The Ar
May 16, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I can’t recommend this one and only finished about half of it. Netgalley recommended this book in an email to me and I clicked on the link to see what it was about; however, that automatically placed it on my shelf to be read and reviewed. I appreciate all the books I’ve received from Netgalley but I will definitely be more careful with their automatic email requests as I would not have chosen this one.

The main character is Rich Fischer, a married cartoonist who is teaching a class at an arts co
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We're (society) not used to men whining about their careers and family life. It's okay, they should let off a little steam, with other men, but we don't want to hear you complain about your wife who's home breastfeeding a 2-3 month old baby, while caring for two toddlers under five! A ravaged body, sleep-deprived, milkprocessing operating, school/nursery teacher women, trying to survive day after day! (been there, done that.)
I understand Rich, you're having a career slump right now, but uh go s
The Blonde Bookworm
I typically try to look for the good in a book even when I don't really enjoy it as a whole, but I have to say that I really couldn't think of one thing that I enjoyed about this book. Maybe when I got to the last page and it was over? Is that harsh? Maybe, but Rich just was not an interesting character and I really disliked reading about his shenanigans.

Rich is a failed cartoonist/artist who teaches at a summer camp every year. He has an attitude, he is self-absorbed, and he really didn't ente
Philip Bailey
If you are from or know of coastal New England you can almost guess the town. Sort of a rambling account of an indecisive guy who loves his wife one minute and is jumping into an affair the next. Too much mental contemplations for my taste as it winds through the action parts. Interesting enough to keep me engaged to the last page but no rush to read it again
Joseph Finder
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A book by the author of SAM THE KAT (under the name Matt Klam). Klam tells a story about a cartoonist named Rich who attends an arts conference in a town a lot like Provincetown, and falls in love with the wife of a Wall Street billionaire. Lacerating and clever and very smart. No one else writes like Klam.
Patricia Romero
If you read the book blurb on this one, you already know the story.

This was a book that I thought could have been wrapped up a lot sooner. There was so much hand wringing and angst among the characters. None of them were particularly likeable.

It was just too self involved and rambling for me.
Aug 24, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Put my copy of this on the roof of my car and forgot about it. It is now most likely lying along the roadside somewhere in Northern Virginia. A shame, because it was a good book thus far.
Lolly K Dandeneau
via my blog:
“… as I struggled to stay the course, all this goodness and responsibility; it seeded an impulse toward endless badness and rebellion.”

Who is Rich Fischer? He is many selves struggling with each other, full of desires that go against the ‘goodness and responsibilities’ of a husband and father. He is tied down and yet when let loose to teach a conference on cartooning at a week-long conference, full of like minded artistic individuals he is reuni
Tonstant Weader
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Who Is Rich? has a deeply authentic misery at its core. Matthew Klam’s first novel tells the story of Rich Fischer, a graphic novelist whose best days are in his past, his books out of print, and the only remnant of past glories is an annual invitation to teach autobiographical cartooning at the Matticook College Summer Arts Conference. His marriage is unsatisfying, passion buried under parenting. The glimmering bits of excitement come from a more off-again-than-on affair with Amy, a woman he me ...more
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't even get past page 50. I usually don't rate books unless I've read about 50%, but you'll see why I feel so strongly about this.

Firstly, there were transphobic comments on page five. "Nick, the trans kid, said his father had thrown him out of the house and that he - or she - lived in her car.”. Come on, Matthew Klam, if you really think you can get away with misgendering and transphobic comments in literature these days, you're living in the past. This is capital-F fucked up. I conside
I'm not sure if I really liked the book, I probably didn't. I didn't particularly know who Rich was, other than a sad sack mediocre cartoonist making a sort of living at illustrating political articles because he has run out of stories to tell. As in, he is now a husband and a dad to two kids, and apparently he doesn't have enough material in his own life to make an effective comic.

I don't know. I know autobiographical comic books are great - I love Maus and think it's as effective as any world
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you like books about self-absorbed, middle-aged, adulterous white men mourning their lost youth, then this is the book for you. Although the main character, Rich Fischer, spends most of the book whining about his first-world problems, WHO IS RICH? is strangely compelling, perhaps because some of Rich's angst is shared by most of us who have survived married life with small children. A washed-up cartoonist, Rich is broke, with an angry wife and two kids under the age of five. His mistress is t ...more
Adrian Gray
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am really not sure what to make of this book. I veered between thinking it was self-piteous, drawn out and frustrating. Did I care enough about the protagonist to empathise with his first world problems? But in other moments I was entranced by the quality of writing and the fact that this book seemed to be mining something new: the frustrations, accommodations and sheer ennui of married life with young kids.

The story is of Rich, a one-time rising star in the graphic novel world after a critic
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Matthew Klam was named one of the twenty best fiction writers in America under 40 by The New Yorker. He’s a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Robert Bingham/PEN Award, a Whiting Writer’s Award, and a National Endowment of the Arts. His first book, Sam The Cat and Other Stories, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book of the Year in the category of first fiction, was selected as a Notable B ...more

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