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Easy and Hard Ways Out: A Novel

Length: 307 pages4 hours


An underachieving engineer building a fighter plane faces a life-changing decision in this Vietnam-era novel perfect for fans of Kurt Vonnegut, Joshua Ferris, and Joseph Heller.
 This furious, slapstick tale has been praised by the New York Times as one of the “best and brightest” novels about the Vietnam War. We follow the travails of Harvey Brank and his fellow employees, all undrafted malcontents working in a spectacularly small-minded, almost Kafkaesque engineering company. Assigned to build a fighter plane and drawn into office intrigues, Brank faces impossible demands. His wife, despairing of his patchy employment history and restlessness, hopes against hope that Brank won’t get himself fired this time. But what do you do when everything conspires against your vision of a decent, peaceable life?

Easy and Hard Ways Out is a blunt, freewheeling look at the men who stay home during wartime—a story about the everyday, with a timeless moral at its heart. 

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