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by Daniel Wallace


St. Martin’s Press will publish spring 2017.

About the book: Thirty-four years old and astoundingly inexperienced, Edsel Bronfman leads an unassuming life: he has a job (as a junior executive shipping clerk manager for an importer of Korean flatware), an apartment (in the seedy-bordering-on-dangerous King’s Manor, where a sign promised one month free rent), and a complicated relationship with his mother (a beloved free spirit, increasingly erratic due to dementia). “His world was triangulated like this,” Wallace writes, “from point A to point B to point C. His life could be summarized by the first three letters in the alphabet.”

Bronfman is content enough—things happen to other people, not to him—until Carla D’Angelo, operator 61217 at Extraordinary Adventures, calls one evening to announce he’s won. Won what, asks Bronfman, flabbergasted. A free weekend at a beachfront condo in Destin, Florida—but there are conditions: the offer is intended for a couple, and it expires in seventy-nine days. Seemingly insurmountable obstacles, but Carla persists: “Anything could happen in seventy-nine days…Think about it this way: maybe these aren’t strings we’ve attached to this amazing offer. Maybe they’re lifelines.”

The fateful phone call jolts Bronfman’s life into motion, initiating a series of truly extraordinary adventures as he sets out to find a companion for his weekend getaway. The road to glory is strewn with potholes and sharp left turns, and the fellow wanderers he meets are drawn with comedic brilliance: there’s his drug-addled neighbor, Thomas Edison, whom he suspects of robbing him; a smarmy photographer named Crouton, whose French accent seems to come and go; a charming part-time receptionist who binge-watches every TV episode ever made but dreams of writing instruction manuals for IKEA; a world-weary policewoman with a soft spot for Bronfman; and many more. Yet the numerous detours turn out to be anything but: along the way, he begins to emerge from the loneliness he never acknowledged, learns what it means to be a man, and envisions what success might look like—defined on his own terms.

In the vein of Silver Linings Playbook, The Rosie Project, and Us, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES is a big-hearted and optimistic novel. It is also a departure for Wallace: unlike his earlier novels, which incorporate elements of the fantastic, EXTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES is straight-up realism. However, his trademark warmth and humor remain intact––and are evident on every page.

About the author: Daniel Wallace is the J. Ross MacDonald Distinguished Professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he directs the Creative Writing Program. Fans of his writing include Elizabeth Strout, Hannah Tinti, Audrey Niffenegger, Tim O’Brien, Adriana Trigiani, Sara Gruen, Fannie Flagg, Ron Rash, Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Wesley Stace, and Thomas Mallon. http://www.danielwallace.org/home.cgi

Rights sold to Nieuw Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


"Edsel Bronfman is one of the most peculiar and inhibited characters I've ever met. At first I was amused by him, then alarmed by him, then terrified for him. At one point, he almost broke my heart, and I realized I'd fallen completely in love. Daniel Wallace's Extraordinary Adventures is deliciously funny, moving, and generous, and Edsel is unforgettable.” – Mark Childress, author of Georgia Bottoms and Crazy in Alabama

"Daniel Wallace writes with terrific verve. He sees and hears with a sympathetic eye and ear—even, or especially, as his characters paint themselves into frequently comical corners. Extraordinary Adventures is a funny, attuned, and generously humane book.” – J. Bradford Hipps, author of The Adventurist

"Extraordinary Adventures is soulful, funny, wise, and surprisingly sexy. Young Edsel Bronfman has the world before him, if only he can discover how to live in it. This is a novel about finding one's way without a map while searching for the lost places of the human heart. While readers will be reminded of Jess Walter's The Financial Lives of Poets and Annie Proulx's The Shipping News, they won't soon forget Edsel Bronfman and his extraordinary adventure." – Wily Cash, author of This Dark Road to Mercy and A Land More Kind than Home