The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

The Index of Self-Destructive Acts

The day Sam Waxworth arrives in New York to write for The Interviewer, a street-corner preacher declares that the world is coming to an end. A sports statistician, data journalist, and newly minted media celebrity who correctly forecasted every outcome of the 2008 election, Sam’s familiar with predicting the future. But when projection meets reality, things turn complicated. Sam’s editor sends him to profile disgraced political columnist Frank Doyle. To most readers, Doyle is a liberal lion turned neocon Iraq war apologist, but to Sam he is above all the author of the great works of baseball lore that sparked Sam’s childhood love of the game—books he now views as childish myth-making to be crushed with his empirical hammer. But Doyle proves something else in person: charming, intelligent, and more convincing than Sam could have expected. Then there is his daughter, Margo, to whom Sam becomes desperately attracted—just as his wife, Lucy, arrives from Wisconsin. The lives of these characters are entwined with those of the rest of the Doyle family—Frank’s wife, Kit, whose investment bank collapsed during the financial crisis; his son, Eddie, an Army veteran just returned from his second combat tour; and Eddie’s best childhood friend, hedge funder Justin Price. While the end of the world might not be arriving, Beha’s characters are each headed for apocalypses of their own making. 

Title:The Index of Self-Destructive Acts
ISBN:9781947793828
Format Type:

    The Index of Self-Destructive Acts Reviews

  • Lauren

    Data journalist and all around numbers guy Sam Waxworth gained notoriety for correctly predicting the every outcome of the 2008 election and has moved to New York to crank out daily statics-driven onl...

  • Chad Grissom

    What is this book about? Baseball, New York City, racism, family decline, and statistics among other things. But it is about much more than that. First, I should say that though this book has big idea...

  • Ray Kluender

    So this is what happens when a technically-gifted writer ignores the advice to "write what you know."I thought the discount-Nate-Silver descriptions were a cute introduction for the main protagonist t...

  • Matt Beaty

    For the most part, the book was OK. I think the general plot was the only thing getting me to finish the book. I really only liked Lucy's arch. I like Beha's take on a love triangle/affair story. It w...

  • Greg

    The title of Beha’s character-driven novel comes from one of Bill James’ baseball metrics. This index measures the various ways a pitcher can sabotage himself by committing unforced errors. Not on...

  • Dave Brown

    2.5 Unnecessarily long. I enjoyed the characters and the plot...there was too much of both.Really enjoyed the first 1/2... but the slow pace had me skimming the rest of the book for resolution’s sak...

  • Carolyn

    Received this ARC from Tinhouse thanks to my bookstagram account! Totally enjoyable reading! I'll be back to say more tomorrow.Thank you @tin_house for this ARC! I definitely recommend this book—I d...

  • Erin

    Thank you to NetGalley and W.W. Norton & Company for allowing me to read the e-ARC of The Index of Self-Destructive Acts by Christopher R. Beha. To extend the baseball motif, this story had a bit of ...

  • Marie

    I have never before read a 500 page book in 5 days, but I couldn’t put this one down. As a New Yorker I could really relate to the Doyle family, but all the characters were so well developed that I ...

  • Sarah

    I liked this much more than other recent TH fiction. There’s a sense of post-9/11 gloom that’s well rendered against the growing financial crisis that followed. Although initially I thought there ...