The Nenoquich

Henry Bean


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McNally Jackson Books
11 December 2023
ISBN: 9781946022622
208 pages

From the publisher

An unsung masterpiece squatting in the ashes of the sixties, The Nenoquich is the diary of a seducer hammering on the walls of his own loneliness.

One day, eavesdropping on a phone call, Harold Raab, a writer with nothing to write, hears his roommate refer intriguingly to a woman Harold has never met. Curiosity leads to obsession and to an affair with the married Charlotte Cobin, all of which Harold faithfully records in the notebook that becomes his deeper obsession. As the relationship with Charlotte complicates and darkens, Harold’s poisons emerge. He’s discovered a subject he can write about, but now reveals himself as someone whose intelligence, wit, and sexual delirium mask a terror of human connection. Adrift in the ruins of 1970s Berkeley, he is—like the dark hero of a nineteenth century romance—disastrously unprepared for actual love, and even for life.

Originally published in 1982 under the title False Match, and long out of print, The Nenoquich is an unsparing, painful, and often very funny story of fading illusions. It captures a generation at sea, and a seducer out of his depth. This edition includes a new preface by the author.