Book Report: New Releases by Bill Clegg, Tom Bissell, David Means, and Adam Ross

The books you should be reading this summer.

Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, by Bill Clegg

Clegg, who abandoned his career as a hotshot New York book agent to pursue crack highs and illicit trysts, cuts through the addiction-memoir noise, recounting the glamour and pathos of self-destruction with efficiency and disturbing clarity.

Little, Brown, available June 7th, $24

Extra Lives, by Tom Bissell

In this follow-up to his brilliant The Father of All Things, Bissell delivers a ruminative and oddly affecting collection of essays on the aesthetics of video games, informed by personal experience with cocaine-fueled Grand Theft Auto binges and European trips hijacked by Fallout 3.

Pantheon, available June 8th, $23

The Spot, by David Means

Means revives the American short story in this quietly compelling collection about adulterous Manhattanites, violent train-yard drifters, pensive madmen, and concerned fathers. It's as if the works of Poe and Kerouac had been rewritten by Cheever.

Faber and Faber, available May 25th, $23

Mr. Peanut, by Adam Ross

This astonishingly assured debut novel, about a suspected wife killer under investigation by two policemen with troubled marriages, addresses the darkest aspects of matrimony—and works as both a straightforward murder mystery and a complex literary Mbius strip.

Alfred A. Knopf, available June 22nd, $26

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