Critical Era December 2013: The Unknowns by Gabriel Roth


Critical Era is a free online contemporary fiction book club that meets with up and coming authors on a monthly basis to discuss their work.

We’re pleased to announce that our December 2013 read will be author Gabriel Roth’s debut novel The Unknowns:

Eric Muller has been trying to hack the girlfriend problem for half his life. As a teenage geek, he discovered his gift for programming computers-but his attempts to understand women only confirm that he’s better at writing code than connecting with human beings. Brilliant, neurotic, and lonely, Eric spends high school in the solitary glow of a screen.

By his early twenties, Eric’s talent has made him a Silicon Valley millionaire. He can coax girls into bed with ironic remarks and carefully timed intimacies, but hiding behind wit and empathy gets lonely, and he fears that love will always be out of reach.

So when Eric falls for the beautiful, fiercely opinionated Maya Marcom, and she miraculously falls for him too, he’s in new territory. But the more he learns about his perfect girlfriend’s unresolved past, the further Eric’s obsessive mind spirals into confusion and doubt. Can he reconcile his need for order and logic with the mystery and chaos of love?

This brilliant debut ushers Eric Muller-flawed, funny, irresistibly endearing-into the pantheon of unlikely heroes. With an unblinking eye for the absurdities and horrors of contemporary life, Gabriel Roth gives us a hilarious and heartbreaking meditation on self consciousness, memory, and love. (from Little, Brown and Company)

About Gabriel Roth:

Gabriel Roth is exactly like everyone else who has ever written a book — expensively educated, heavily therapized, with a tendency to oscillate between neurosis and narcissism — but maybe a bit older and more disappointed. He lives in Brooklyn. (read more at

Mr. Roth will be joining Critical Era online via Skype to discuss his novel with the group on the evening of Tuesday, December 17th at 9PM Eastern time.

Not a member? Joining is 100% free. All we need is your Skype contact information and all you need in order to participate is a computer and a microphone. Come join us!

What is Critical Era?

Critical Era is a free to join, online, contemporary fiction book club maintained and operated by Typographical Era. Official selections are announced on a monthly basis. All you need to do is grab yourself a copy of the book, read it, and then join us online for a healthy discussion about its contents. From time to time, and whenever possible, the author of the novel will make his or herself available to the group during our live discussion to answer questions as well.

We only have one rule: Be nice to one another. It is okay to not like a book. It is NOT okay not to like a person because they did not like a book.

As a member of the club you’re not required to attend every meeting. You’re free to read whatever titles that interest you and participate in whichever conversations that you’d like to be a part of.

Live discussions are facilitated by Typographical Era via Skype audio chat and are generally scheduled on the last Tuesday of each month at 9PM Eastern time. You can download and install Skype here. The basic application is free of charge and the paid premium services they provide are not required to take part in the monthly discussions.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if you’re in England, Finland, or the United States, as long as you speak English (sorry, it’s the only language we’re fluent in!) and enjoying reading contemporary fiction, there’s a place for you here.

If you’ve got additional questions about Critical Era or you need assistance with setting up Skype, please use the comment form below to contact us.

About Aaron Westerman

Aaron Westerman is the Manager of Web Architecture for a national human services organization. When he's not busy tearing sites apart and rebuilding them, he spends his ever shrinking free time trying to keep up with his twins, reading works of translated literature, and watching far too many Oscar nominated movies.