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Book Talk: Adam Levin’s The Instructions

May 10 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Join us and Adam Levin as we celebrate the re-release/”Bar Mitzvah Edition” of his book THE INSTRUCTIONS.

Beginning with a chance encounter with the beautiful Eliza June Watermark and ending, four days and nine hundred pages later, with the Events of November 17, The Instructions is the story of Gurion Maccabee, age ten: a lover, a fighter, a scholar, and a truly spectacular talker. Expelled from three Jewish day-schools for acts of violence and messianic tendencies, Gurion ends up in the Cage, a special lockdown program for the most hopeless cases of Aptakisic Junior High. Separated from his scholarly followers, Gurion becomes a leader of a very different sort, with righteous aims building to a revolution of troubling intensity.

First published in 2010, The Instructions introduced the literary world to acclaimed author Adam Levin. Combining a crackling voice reminiscent of Philip Roth with an encyclopedic mind that evokes David Foster Wallace, this novel presents a world driven equally by moral fervor and slapstick comedy—a novel that is muscular and exuberant, troubling and empathetic, monumental, breakneck, romantic, and unforgettable. Now, in honor of its thirteenth anniversary, McSweeney’s is proud to present this special Bar Mitzvah edition of Levin’s singular work. This gargantuan epic is available for the first time in two handsome and readily accessible (but still quite epic) paperbacks, featuring new art by Jeffrey Kam and an introduction by Gabriel Bump.


Adam Levin is the author of the novels The Instructions, Bubblegum, and Mount Chicago, as well as the story collection, Hot Pink. His writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, and Playboy. He has been a New York Public Library Young Lions Fiction Award winner, a recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a National Jewish Book Award finalist. He lives in Chicago.

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133 North Larchmont Boulevard
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