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The Municipalists

A Novel
Written by: Seth Fried
Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
Length: 7 hrs

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Publisher's Summary

A novel about an unlikely pair of lonely outsiders - one human, one AI - on an adventure to save the great American city of Metropolis written by "one of the most exciting new voices in fiction" (Charles Yu).

Named one of the best books of the month by Library Journal ("Debut of the Month"), The Verge, io9, Amazon Books, Book of the Month Club, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, NYLON, and Tor.com 

In Metropolis, the gleaming city of tomorrow, the dream of the great American city has been achieved. But all that is about to change, unless a neurotic, rule-following bureaucrat and an irreverent, freewheeling artificial intelligence can save the city from a mysterious terrorist plot that threatens its very existence. 

Henry Thompson has dedicated his life to improving America's infrastructure as a proud employee of the United States Municipal Survey. So when the agency comes under attack, he dutifully accepts his unexpected mission to visit Metropolis looking for answers. But his plans to investigate quietly, quickly, and carefully are interrupted by his new partner: a day-drinking know-it-all named OWEN, who also turns out to be the projected embodiment of the agency's supercomputer. 

Soon, Henry and OWEN are fighting to save not only their own lives and those of the city's millions of inhabitants, but also the soul of Metropolis. The Municipalists is a thrilling, funny, and touching adventure story, a tour de force of imagination that trenchantly explores our relationships to the cities around us and the technologies guiding us into the future. 

"A new and irreverent take on both real-world politics and sci-fi history." (The Wall Street Journal)

©2019 Seth Fried (P)2019 Penguin Audio

What the critics say

"Even if you’ve never spent one day in a city, but are just someone who wants to laugh and marvel at Fried’s imagination and wit, this book is also for you. Really, it’s for everyone." (Nylon)

"A novel full of people who care deeply about the details, written by someone who understands that the details are what matter. Smart, engaging, poignant and funny (not just book funny - actually funny). Fried is one of the most exciting new voices in fiction, and his debut novel showcases his many talents." (Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

 

"The longer you bask in the glow of Seth Fried's wondrous novel, big concepts like Technology and Work and Friendship begin to take on a curious shape, turn into something so unique that you wonder how one writer has so much imagination, so much insight, so much fun with the world they've created. The Municipalists is the work of a hilarious and empathetic talent." (Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang)

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  • Will Simson
  • 2019-05-13

Timely for Do Gooders

This is the perfect tale for those who think there's always a right way to get things done and come to find out that half the time it's chaos, luck and risk that make life worth living.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ashley DeLaGarza
  • 2019-04-08

Loved it!

This book was very endearing and charming. I was able to jump right into this world. The two main characters are great and it feels like you get to know them easily. It is sadly a little short. On the one hand, I think the ending was strong for a stand alone and on the other I would really like to see what Owen and Henry could get up to next.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kat
  • 2019-06-24

urban planning action movie

i loved the urban planning celebrations and themes in this story. the main character is a great "jack ryan-ish" character who goes from desk jockey to field agent. his side kick is a best frenemy we all need or maybe already have. And the antagonist is very thought-provoking.
And lastly, if youre looking at this book because youre a planner, youll love the golden age that this story takes place in. no arguing about building permits or corner lots, but real planning with planners (agents) able to propose ideas and see them actually happen. But of course, all our ideologies can conflict with one another, which is the basis for this book.