Loner by Teddy Wayne

I read Loner by Teddy Wayne in one day. It’s not a long novel, but it still indicates how much I enjoyed it.

Here’s why I loved it:

  • Teddy Wayne is a great writer. He clearly loves words and the word play throughout is delightful. Even if I didn’t like the story, I would like Wayne’s writing.
  • It’s a Campus Novel, and what better time of year for it, right?
  • At first I really related to David, the protagonist. He’s average height, average looks, not too popular and he’s hoping all that will change at university. Relatable, right? And then, he becomes not so relatable and then down right despicable.
  • In the end it is a very troubling novel, and one that I hope gets a lot of discussion started. And that’s all I’ll say.

Who would like this novel? Ok, if you are like me and love a Campus Novel, then you are going to read this anyways. But even if you don’t love a Campus Novel you will want to read Loner if you liked novels like The Dinner by Herman Koch. This might seem like an odd comparison, but both novels started out with me feeling one thing and relating to certain characters in a certain way and by the end everything was turned on its head. And even as I’m promoting the heck out of Loner, I should also note that it should probably come with a Trigger Warning.

I’d like to thank the publisher for providing me with a review copy via NetGalley.


  1. Though I had some issues with this one (as you saw in my review), I did read it in a day and a half! I need to think about the comparison to The Dinner…I can see what you’re saying, but I didn’t think it felt at all like The Dinner when I was reading it. Maybe because Koch has such a distinct writing style and Wayne’s was really different.

  2. I think I would like this one – not because it’s a campus novel, but because I like reading about despicable characters. I also loved that about The Dinner – the way I felt about everyone had completely changed by the end.

  3. Campus Novel is a perfect way to put it and that is what I enjoyed about the book at the beginning. I think Wayne did a great job conveying the freshman experience. It was only towards the ned that it lost me a bit- too much entitlement on the part of all the characters, except Sara. Maybe that’s accurate and I’m just a cranky old lady!

  4. Pingback: Favorite Books of 2016 | 52 books or bust

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