This is not The Magicians. This book falls squarely into the tradition of Bret Easton Ellis, Joshua Ferris and Douglas Coupland in that its about disaffected youngsters flailing about on their road after adulthood set in and trying to find some kind of meaning to it all. One of these youngsters, obviously, is more precious than the rest and its his journey that we follow.
Hmm, the above may sound a little harsh, but I actually like this genre a lot, its a nice snapshot of 'cool' hedonism of past decades. Its fun to read the references, the opinions on musical icons and movies, and - Warp in particular - commentary on science fiction.
The plot revolves around Hollis Kessler and his quest to find something to do with his days in the funk surrounding the exit of his professional ex-girlfriend and, in the meantime, a side-quest to have a good party in a stranger's house. There's a manic pixie dream girl named Xanthe and several other friends who serve as a sliding scale of debauchery and wasted potential.
There is a lot of Catcher in the Rye in this book. Grossman has a good ear for catching realistic dumb conversations (I mean that in the best way) and there is a heart to this book that makes it rise above all of the faint praise I've given it thus far. I enjoyed reading it. You might, too.