I requested to read this because it sounded like it would be a witty, satirical read. I think it’s hard to tackle the things McElroy has because he’s included such a wide scope of issues. It can be even harder to write it, even if it seems extreme, and have it make a sort of sense. What Sasha went through was beyond extreme, and that nurtures the entire point of the novel.
It was hard to like either Sasha or Dyson, which feels purposeful and done well. That the men follow Dyson’s ridiculous rituals makes it that much more amusing. There is so much going on, so many extreme or bizarre threads of activity, that it can seem chaotic but is carefully purposeful. It comes together for an amusing read. Thank you, Atria Books, for sending this along.
The Atmospherians is available for preorder on Amazon for $12.99, it releases May 18th.
About the Book:
Sasha Marcus was once the epitome of contemporary success: an internet sensation, social media darling, and a creator of a high profile wellness brand for women. But a confrontation with an abusive troll has taken a horrifying turn, and now she’s at rock bottom: canceled and doxxed online, fired from her waitress job and fortressed in her apartment while men’s rights protestors rage outside. All that once glittered now condemns.
Sasha confides in her oldest childhood friend, Dyson—a failed actor with a history of body issues—who hatches a plan for Sasha to restore her reputation by becoming the face of his new business venture, The Atmosphere: a rehabilitation community for men. Based in an abandoned summer camp and billed as a workshop for job training, it is actually a rigorous program designed to rid men of their toxic masculinity and heal them physically, emotionally, and socially. Sasha has little choice but to accept. But what horrors await her as the resident female leader of a crew of washed up, desperate men? And what exactly does Dyson want?
Explosive and wickedly funny, this “Fight Club for the millennial generation” (Mat Johnson, author of Pym) peers straight into the dark heart of wellness and woke-ness, self-mythology and self-awareness, by asking what happens when we become addicted to the performance of ourselves.