The Winner

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An Esquire Book Club pick, a Vogue Best Books of 2024 So Far

Los Angeles Times, Town & Country, Literary Hub, New York PostInsideHook Most-Anticipated Books

in development with Columbia Pictures/Pascal Pictures as a feature film

The Winner cover

“Seductive…consistently fun…This is The Graduate with an advanced degree. Wayne’s plot was made to gallop, and it does not disappoint. I read The Winner in two nights. It’s not just the sex that’s provocative; it’s the way the reader is steadily pulled into Conor’s dilemma…I’d judge Wayne on his easy access to the immoral and amoral, but given my own voracious consumption of this book, better to stay off my high horse.”The New York Times Book Review

Wayne has a pitch-perfect understanding of this tiny slice of American privilege, and also a sense of what might happen to a deeply admirable character whose strong moral code is severely tested by circumstance. I was reminded at various times of The Great Gatsby, The Talented Mr. Ripley and, in a different way, The Graduate. All those books filled me with unease. This one made me feel beside myself with anxiety.”The New York Times Book Review

“The Winner has a creepy Highsmithian placidity, coolly measured while depicting bad things being done and cannily covering up the evidence…Though The Winner is billed as Wayne’s first thriller, he’s been working up to a book like this. In recent years, he’s developed into America’s preeminent novelist of male entitlement, specializing in guys who think they’re doing the right thing while being blinkered to the bigger picture…The Winner is among Wayne’s best treatments of this subject, a savvy take on sex, money and power…He can write a thoughtful novel about moral ambiguity and corruption that’s also a movie-ready page turner, with enough room for a sequel.”The Washington Post

“[A] terrific noir thriller…Comparisons to The Graduate and The Talented Mr. Ripley are inevitable. But The Winner, which has some very canny things to say about class and privilege, owes its biggest debt to Theodore Dreiser. This is An American Tragedy diabolically turned on its head.”The Wall Street Journal

“Gutsy and shocking…a palm-sweating thrill ride.”Esquire

“A page-turning story of sex, power, and money.”Vogue, The Best Books of 2024 So Far

“An acid portrait of life in one of America’s privileged gated enclaves.”The Boston Globe

“Another spin on psychological courting dynamics.”Vanity Fair

“Riveting.”The Times (UK)

“[A] mesmerising read skewering the ugly side of the American Dream.”The Herald (Scotland)

“Buckle up for this expertly crafted American thriller, a delicious cocktail of steamy sex comedy and psychological noir.”The Daily Mail (UK)

“Wayne delivers a slippery, provocative morality tale.”The Mail on Sunday (UK)

“Page-turning…Wayne has packaged a literary examination of wealth and privilege as a summer thriller…The Winner delivers another scathing indictment of human nature, even if that means indicting ourselves.”Chicago Review of Books

“[A] gripping high-stakes tale of dangerous liaisons, grand deception, and ruthless ambition…What started out as a sharp comedy of manners about the carefree lives of the careless rich becomes a fast-paced psychological drama with hidden depths and dark undercurrents…an exhilarating reading experience.”Washington Examiner

“Conor O’Toole is a fascinating character…Teddy Wayne has created a real dark gem…The Winner serves, dinks, and backhands up a scathing satire, where entitlement and privilege get caught in its own playful, libidinous, and morally ambiguous net.”Vol. 1 Brooklyn

“Readers will zoom through Wayne’s…bitingly satirical literary thriller.”Booklist

“I read this book so fast my eyes started to burn.”Hobart

“Be prepared to fully lose yourself in The Winner—a book I started and then simply couldn’t stop reading. Teddy Wayne has written a timely, topical novel that still somehow feels like a classic.”—Liz Moore, New York Times bestselling author of Long Bright River

The Winner is a harrowing romp through the bedrooms of the rich and entitled. Teddy Wayne takes us behind the gates of a super-exclusive community, an enclave of grotesque wealth where everyone gets what they want—with disastrous consequences. A gripping, provocative, and delightfully shocking novel.”—Nathan Hill, New York Times bestselling author of Wellness

“A riveting novel about how to have the rich and eat them, too. Sexy, breathless, and brutal.”—Julia May Jonas, author of Vladimir

The Winner is a lean, careening thrill of a book that kept me awake half the night and away from work the following day. Conor O’Toole’s steady embroilment with the wealthy people he teaches tennis to is drawn with exquisite dread. Wayne has a genius for brief observations that reveal whole reams of truth about class, poverty, and competition, while also never allowing the hideously compelling story to let up for a moment. Exhilarating, cutting, and funny, The Winner is already one of my favorite books of the year.”—Megan Nolan, internationally bestselling author of Acts of Desperation and Ordinary Human Failings



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