• Next

  • A Novel
  • By: James Hynes
  • Narrated by: LJ Ganser
  • Length: 11 hrs and 36 mins
  • 3.8 out of 5 stars (25 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

One of America’s most unique voices, James Hynes taps his dark humor for this startling novel.

Kevin Quinn is a standard-variety American male: middle-aged, liberal-leaning, self-centered, emotionally damaged, generally determined to avoid both pain and responsibility. As his relationship with his girlfriend approaches a turning point, and his career seems increasingly pointless, he decides to secretly fly to a job interview in Austin, Texas. Aboard the plane, Kevin is simultaneously attracted to the young woman in the seat next to him and panicked by a new wave of terrorism in Europe and the UK. He lands safely with neuroses intact and full of hope that the job, the expansive city, and the girl from the plane might yet be his chance for reinvention. His next eight hours make up this novel, a tour-de-force of mordant humor, brilliant observation, and pause-resistant storytelling.

©2010 James Hynes (P)2011 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"[T]his funny, surprising, and sobering novel [is] unlike anything in the recent literature of our response to terrorism—a tour de force of people ennobled in the face of random horror.” ( Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about Next

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Detailed but slow

the whole book is written in service of the ending. Great writing to keep you engaged while nothing happens at all. the detail he takes to describe the people and settings and mood is impressive. But the book didn't resonate with me. It's more of a study of middle age and your feelings of insignificance when you get to a point in your life where you have feelings of regret and wasted opportunities.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Plot-Teaser

One day in the life of a lover, NEXT keeps on trucking at a pace that feels like real time. Each scene, paced like the serial movies of my seventy-five-year-ago adolescence, breaks off just as you find yourself teetering at the lip of a precipice. The wait for resolution would be frustrating, except that the flashback you're in now is fascinating, too. Then the author does it to you the NEXT time.

There's lots of explicit sex. I told you our guy is a lover.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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"NEXT!"

I'm a truck driver from Texas and have made several deliveries to Dearborn,MI. Just like that of Hynes's narrative descriptive of Austin,TX...Dearborn caters to its Islamic community with traffic signs and billboards like Texas does with its Hispanic community. I was hooked with Hynes's style and skills with his craft. It commands readers read reading ...BLAH! ... reader's respect. There are as many mosques in Dearborn as you would expect to find churches in a one watertower Texas town...ANYWAYS.

I was hanging around till Stella surprised Kevin and readers by yelling out "NEXT!" calling him in for his interview and then Kevin would take the job and then they could ride out together into Texas sunset living happily ever after. Heck! I was waiting for the word "next" in the read anywhere. I am pleased that I wasn't disappointed it finally making its appearance.

James Hynes...ROCKS!

NEXT!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Slow burn

Outstanding, so long as you know what to expect.

Next is like a modern day Ulysses. We follow the life a middle aged man for one day in Austin, Texas. The story is two-fold, that of what happens to Kevin on that day, and his reflections on his past.

Next may not quite be for everyone. It can be a slow roll at times, but it's contemplative pace is actually one of the things I like about it. Our protagonist is a bit immature and shallow, but also quite funny and witty at times. You're never quite sure whether or not you should like him.



Hynes is an exceptional writer. I know that sounds a bit tautological, but there are great writers who struggle with story. Great storytellers whose prose leaves a bit to be desired. And then there are those who can write prose and plot.

You will enjoy Next if you enjoy books that take a meandering path to their conclusion. A slow burn if you will. If you enjoy stopping along the way to do some site seeing if you will. And, if you stick with it, you're in for quite the ending.