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3.88  ·  Rating details ·  304 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Longlisted for the 2020 Simpson / Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize
One of Vogue.coms Best Books of 2020 So Far
One of Elles Best Books of 2020 So Far

Named A Most-Anticipated Book by The New York Times , Vogue, The Boston Globe, Salon,
The Millions, Inside Hook, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn

In 1996, the unnamed narrator of Teddy Waynes Apartment is attending the MFA writing program
Hardcover, 199 pages
Published February 25th 2020 by Bloomsbury Publishing
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  304 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Chaima ✨ شيماء
I'm a big sucker for a good tragedy, and one that is set in the 90s and involves a struggling writer and his roommate seems right up my alley!
Glenn Russell

Apartment buildings in Manhattan's StuyTown

Apartment - Teddy Wayne's penetrating portrait of a lonely 24-year-old wannabe novelist living in an illegal sublet of a StuyTown apartment (paid for by his father) as he pursues a graduate degree in writing (also paid for by his father). At the center of the story is the unnamed narrator's friendship with a fellow writing student - dirt poor, unassuming, Illinois bred Billy Campbell, a young man with a special gift for writing fiction.

Since this
Elyse  Walters
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
.....a slow start....but ultimately cerebrally-enjoyable- in an exasperating way....with two young flawed pretentious-competitive - lads - as different as night and day...( social class differences, viewpoint differences, style differences, visions for the future, political, economical, cultural differences, motivation, etc.)....
who meet in the MFA fiction-writing program at Columbia University in 1996.
The unnamed narrator invites Billy to move into a spare room in his
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

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APARTMENT takes a while to get going, which isn't really a good thing considering what a short book it is. Ultimately, I did end up liking it, as I'm a sucker for tragic endings, and I'd prefer a human tragedy to something that seems too hipster and twee. It has the modern-day Dickensian undertones of Donna Tartt, the generational-specific nostalgia of Douglas Coupland, and the desperate intellectualism of David Foster Wallace.

Take that
Anna Luce
★★★★✰ 4 stars

I'd been happy before just to be his classmate, to learn from him osmotically, but now I grew excited at what this might blossom into, the sort of close, symbiotic relationship I'd hoped grad school would offer and the Hemingway-Fitzgerald complementary pairing I'd always thought necessary to one's artistic development.

Set in New York between 1996 and 1997 Apartment portrays the making and dissolution of a friendship. Our unnamed narrator, who is attending the MFA writing program
Thank you, Netgalley and Bloomsbury for sending me a digital ARC, in exchange for an honest review.

Wow. "Apartment" by Teddy Wayne made me cry. I wasn't expecting to feel a kaleidoscope of emotions, but that ending was...HEARTBREAKING. Ugh.

The unnamed narrator lives in a rent-stabilized apartment in New York, circa 1996. He has been living in the apartment for 6 years as the story opens. His great-aunt is the owner of the apartment, but she allows him to sublet it (illegally) since she
Dec 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel might have been named Loner had Teddy Wayne not used that title for his previous novel. Although the loner here is a person of a very different nature. In fact, as far as comparisons go, this might be a superior novel than its predecessor, but it is considerably less flashy. And the characters are somewhat more matureor, at the very least, older. I seem to read a Teddy Wayne novel every 3 years and this, my third one by him, each liked well enough to warrant checking out the next one. ...more
Mar 06, 2020 rated it really liked it
As myself and a contingent of my high school friends departed for our freshman year of college, we paired up as roommates as a way to bring some familiarity to an otherwise very unfamiliar setting. Most of us did, anyway. By design, my friend Eric decided to take the plunge and go in blind. It didnt work out. In fact, it didnt work out twice.

This wasnt by any means a condemnation of my buddy; he was simply on the receiving end of some bad luck. After all, its difficult to establish an immediate
Jessica Woodbury
Aug 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 stars.
This book is a throwback, but one with a distinctly modern feel. It's an interesting mashup of 90's culture with 10's awareness.

The throwback is not just the setting (1996-1997, complete with the presidential election, the Packers/Patriots Super Bowl, and inescapable Friends references) and the subject (the privileged-white-guy-in-an-MFA program subject matter isn't exactly the height of fashion at the moment) but some good old-fashioned homoeroticism. That's the one part of the
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a quiet book that grew on me as it went along. In the end I thought it was extremely poignant. By the way the narrator seems to have a huge secret but (view spoiler) ...more
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
We all know someone like the unnamed first-person narrator of Apartmentlurking around the periphery of a social circle, uncomfortable in his own space, trying hard to fit airbrushingunpalatable blemishes here and there.

This unnamed first-year MFA student lives in his own spaceliterally and figuratively. He sublets his great-aunts rent-controlled Stuy Town apartment. In class one day, while his workshopped story is taking a skewering, another student defends him: Billy, a product of rural
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"A novel set in the late 90s in which the protagonist and his roommate watch Friends and their classmates quote episodes, and make jokes about which Friends character they are? Could I be any more impressed?"

Read my thoughts in full at
Follow @whatjamesread on Instagram here.
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, fiction, arc
the *clenches fist* masculinity
tori 🐾
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: their-foot-in-it
Kinda sexy when you choose a book solely because the cover is pretty and the pages beneath it are amazing. Doesnt happen often. ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
It seems weird to give up on such a slim book. Surely one can make it through just over 200 pages?

But, nope. I fall on my sword. I give up.

I still give this three stars because I think it's likely a perfect book...for someone else. There's nothing wrong with the way it's written. The characters, though I disliked them, were well-drawn. But nothing happened and nothing kept happening.

I will admit that this is personal preference. I don't like books that meander and seem to exist only to make
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
3.5, rounded down.

My sincere thank to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for providing me a pre-publication ARC in exchange for this honest review.

This proved to be a very quick read for me, and there was much to admire in it, although it also proved a mite unsatisfying in some respects. Mainly it's a young man's story, and since it has been quite some time since I qualified as part of such a generation, I found it hard to relate to a lot of the concerns; in other words, a case of 'it's not
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars. Intense character study that leaves you feeling gutted in the end.
Beth M.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Apartment is the 4th novel from Teddy Wayne, however it is my first exposure to his writing. A bit unconventional, this is the type of book that wasnt begging me to pick it up, but did not easily allowed me to put it down once I started.

The premise: Waynes unnamed narrator has just started the MFA program at Columbia. He illegally sublets his great aunts apartment, with the bulk of his expenses funded by his father. A self-proclaimed outsider, he quickly forms a friendship with Billy, a
Vivek Tejuja
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I absolutely love books with unnamed narrators. You dont even know if they are reliable or not. You dont know their name, so in all probability, there is so much hidden that comes to fore, and that somehow always happens when I venture into such reads.

Apartment by Teddy Wayne is an excellent book, not only on the human condition but also on brilliant character study of loners and how men sabotage their relationships. The unnamed narrator sublets an illegal bedroom while he attends Columbias MFA
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Beautifully subtle and relatable for the first two-thirds. Gets a little heavy-handed near the end. But all in all a compelling portrait of a friendship, founded from loneliness and desperation, that just doesn't quite take.
Mar 08, 2020 rated it it was ok
Disappointed with the ending. The writing is crisp but the very end of a novel just does not work. He had created so much to work with and really let me down with the way he chose to wind up the novel.
Feb 25, 2020 rated it liked it
As beautifully as it's written, and as believable as its portrait of the insularity and self-importance of a creative milieu might be, there's something kind of nasty about "Apartment" which keeps me from loving it. The narrator is a cosseted, emotionally stunted, and in all probability intensely closeted aspiring writer with little talent and no redeeming qualities whatsoever. On a whim he invites Billy, a classmate in his Columbia MFA program, to stay in his rent-subsidized Manhattan apartment ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
The author of this novel places the reader into an unnamed narrator's head, and all his angst, insecurities and day to day awkward social interactions are relayed to us, while we follow him along in New York City. The narrator is a student in Columbia's MFA program and he is struggling creatively and socially, but the two major assets he has are a rent controlled apartment that belongs to his Aunt, and a father helping with the bills, but he's lonely until he meets Billy, a fellow student.

Mar 12, 2020 rated it it was ok
I was so upset that I didnt like this book. I went to a release party for it, it was heavily endorsed by a writer whose work I love, and I got my copy signed. I paid for a hardcover. I never do that.

The writing was good, Ill start with that. Theres a dark humor (mainly in the exposition) that I enjoyed. Thats where both of the stars come from.

I absolutely hated both of the main characters. Billy is racist and homophobic (on purpose), but it supposed to make the unnamed narrator look like a good
Mar 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars. Apartment by Teddy Wayne is a beautifully written story with strong characterization. Engaging (even in repetition) with flawed characters and incredible spoken and internal dialogue, this slim novel is a marvel. Briefly, our no-name narrator is enrolled in Columbias MFA program and lives illegally in a rent controlled apartment owned by his aunt in NY. His writing ability, while technically proficient, lacks heart and reveals how he masks his inner self from others, and often, ...more
Jamie Burgess
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
The narrator in this book tells us that books that usually make MFA students salivate rarely stir the public, and that is a bit how I feel about this book. It was interesting and had the kind of tension that pulls you forward, and I was very surprised by the climax of the book. But it was also a bit strange and left me feeling pretty sad. Men are strange creatures.
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully assured prose, and a gripping story about two men navigating atypical friendship/roommate dynamics. Had my heart pounding and bursting by the end.
Feb 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
One long cringe. The narrator is so pathetic you're afraid to relate to him at all for what it might mean about you. Very tense and creepy while nothing at all really happens. I couldn't turn away, and I'm so glad it's over!
Kathleen Gray
Feb 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Atmospheric- despite the fairly spare language- and creepy, this is the tale of a relationship that spins out of control. Set in mid-199os New York, it's also a peek inside MFA programs. The unnamed narrator is a young man of privilege. He lives in an illegal sublet (courtesy his aunt) and circles through but not with his classmates until he meets Billy, a midwesterner thrown a bit off balance by NYC. Billy moves in with the narrator and then things go subtly awry. Wayne packs a lot into this ...more
Donna Hines
Feb 11, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, netgalley
I honestly don't know what I can say on this as I hate leaving bad reviews.
Honestly, this just was suited for my taste and quite frankly I simply couldn't connect on any level and had to take a DNF.
It's unfortunate as I'm sure many will enjoy but I'm tight on time with over 70 books on NetGalley and it's not fair to the author or other author's in waiting to waste anyone's precious and valuable time.
I'm offset by language especially profanity and I know there was a few times in the beginning in
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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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