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...with sentences that flow like water down a mountain, Nicorvo’s muscular and energetic prose will stun readers with its poignancy, while providing a punch to the solar plexus. Whip-smart dialogue and keen emotional insight bring a ragtag, damaged, but lovable cast of characters to life. Ultimately, it is Nicorvo’s depiction of the deep psychological scars soldiers bring home that will keep this exceptional first novel in the hearts and minds of readers. Alongside Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk and The Yellow BirdsTHE STANDARD GRAND is an important and deeply human contribution to the national conversation. 

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The Standard Grand

Reading Group Guide

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Like O'Brien and Stone before him, Nicorvo's language lays bare the sinewy lusts, rattling hopes, and incommunicable fears that are our human machine.

T. Geronimo Johnson, Welcome to Braggsville

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Frederick Reiken,

Day for Night

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Jay Baron Nicorvo has written an absorbing and unabashedly brilliant first novel. With echoes of Tim O'Brien and Joseph Heller, and the added pleasure of an almost Dickensian plot, he has crafted an appealing, deeply humanistic, yet entirely geopolitical dimension that is all his own. I am in awe of the range of his knowledge, his swift and sure-handed storytelling, and the wonderfully diverse set of characters who live and breathe on these pages. Nicorvo's sentences often have the precision of fine miniatures but his canvas is large, multicultural, contemporary, and magnificent. He is a gifted writer and THE STANDARD GRAND is one great gift of a book. 

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I find few things more hopeful, in these darkening times, than a writer who can stare, unblinking, into the gut-wrenching destruction humans are wreaking upon each other and the earth, and still find shards of humor and humanity. A dash of Coetzee, a dram of DeLillo, but mostly just the complicated compassion of Nicorvo. THE STANDARD GRAND is a brutally beautiful novel.

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Don Lee​,

The Collective

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This novel pops and sears. It picks you up and doesn't let you go until it's finished with its rollicking, fiery story. Nicorvo has produced a masterwork.

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Matt Gallagher,

Youngblood

A rollicking howl into the void of American empire and excess, THE STANDARD GRAND raises hell with both style and charm.

Bonnie Jo Campbell, Mothers, Tell Your Daughters

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 With profound compassion for his outrageously wonderful characters, Jay Baron Nicorvo brings readers to a defunct and decaying Catskills resort where a ghost platoon of vets — from wars current and past, AWOL and discharged, traumatized and traumatizing alike — are surviving among dangers both natural and human-made. Whether he’s inhabiting the consciousness of a one-eyed cougar, tracking corporate greed and espionage in the energy industry, or describing “achy, inflexible” geriatric sex, he’s doing so with an unflinching eye and an attuned ear. Insanely funny, by turns tragic and, ultimately, redemptive, THE STANDARD GRAND is a desperate masterpiece of a debut: honest, epic, constantly surprising, and relentlessly entertaining. 

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Antonya Nelson,  Funny Once

THE STANDARD GRAND defies categorization, as a novel; its pleasures are those of both the family saga and the government-covert-secrets sort. The reader engages politically, emotionally, and morally, with a page-turning obsession to see what, exactly, could (despite what should) possibly happen next. I welcome such reads, the surprise and satisfaction of encountering a winning and arresting new voice in the world of letters.

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Sterling Watson​, Suitcase City

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Jay Baron Nicorvo's THE STANDARD GRAND is, from its eye-catching title to the prophetic peal of its last word, a stunning debut performance by a young novelist of extravagant talent. This novel gives readers everything — a gob-smacking plot, language that sings like the angels, and characters as compelling as our best and worst friends and lovers.

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Scott Spencer,

Man in the Woods

Jay Baron Nicorvo hits the sweet spot in THE STANDARD GRAND, a novel that delivers the tough and tender, twisting and turning pleasures of classic noir, while paying all due respect to what Terry Southern called Qual Lit. Not since I discovered the work of Daniel Woodrell have I read prose so attuned to the violence that lies beneath that fiction we call Normal Life. Kaleidoscopic in its vision, encompassing in its humanity, here is a novel I wish I could send to Robert Stone.

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Dennis Lehane,

World Gone By

Jay Baron Nicorvo

is a bracingly original writer and a joy to read.

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Don DeLillo​,

Zero K

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Forget the chicken suit — and good luck.

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What Booksellers Say

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Channeling the absurdist humor of Heller, corporate intrigue of Pynchon, and an empathic, sure-footed storytelling entirely his own, Jay Baron Nicorvo has given us the next great (post) war novel. Nicorvo is the kind of writer I’m constantly seeking — compassionate, fearless, deeply intelligent — and THE STANDARD GRAND — utterly unputdownable with its cast of outrageous yet fleshy characters, elegant story and overflowing reservoirs of wisdom — is a book I’ve been awaiting.

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