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Rich Boy

Sharon Pomerantz makes an auspicious debut with a novel about climbing the American caste system.

— Doug Corrance/Getty Images

Sharon Pomerantz's debut novel, Rich Boy, feels old-fashioned in ways both bad and good.

Bad: Rich Boy was "10 years in the making," publisher Jonathan Karp crows in his letter to reviewers. If only one of those years had been devoted to editing out some of the underbrush!

Good: Rich Boy is an impressive, engrossing, sprawling picaresque — the sort of novel about a protagonist’s self-discovery that readers have not seen since the cryptic "postmodern" style became the trendy way to capture a generation's preoccupations.

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