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Read Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter

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Read Ripe by Sarah Rose Etter
Image: Simon & Schuester

I’ve got a repeat rec here, but for good reason! A bleak but stunning novel, Sarah Rose Etter’s Ripe captures the depravity of the corporate tech industry and our unresolved contemporary sorrow with such precision, you’ll want to look away. But just as the black holes that pepper Ripe’s pages suck its protagonist into her own melancholy, Etter’s prose—both horrifically detailed and uniquely hers—will bring you back to the page for one hellish encounter after another.

The book’s discomfort is relentless: a dysfunctional family, men with ballooning egos who trudge down office hallways like gods, bottomless pits of loneliness, and lines of cocaine. Still, moments of repose bubble up just when you need them. Noshed pomegranate seeds between teeth. Handfuls of dirt stuffed into mouths. Blue, the color of “serenity, piety, sincerity,” and the Internet. Never have I read something that so pointedly chronicles our epidemic of sadness and our blind worship of tech kings, and I’m certain I’ll revisit Etter’s book, with all of its dog-eared pages, for years to come. —Emily Leibert

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