The Broom of the System

The Broom of the System

A Novel

Additional Formats
  • Ebook
  • ISBN 9781101153536
  • 480 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, The Broom of the System stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho-babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.


“Daring, hilarious… a zany picaresque adventure of contemporary America run amok.” —The New York Times

“Wonderful… a cathartic experience with lots of laughs and lots of deeper meanings.” —The Washington Post Book World

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