Today, we celebrate the release of Bystander by Mike Steeves! Read on to learn all about this highly anticipated sophomore novel, which goes deep into the psychology of its bewildered protagonist as he faces a moral crisis.
Bystander, a bold new work of intense psychological realism—and a Most Anticipated Spring 2022 Fiction pick by 49th Shelf—cements Steeves’s reputation as one of the funniest, and most unflinching, novelists at work today. Beloved writer Miriam Toews calls Steeves “a brilliant, singular voice in Can Lit: funny and fresh and fast!”
Protagonist Peter Simons doesn’t spend much time at home in his apartment. Thanks to his job at a multinational company, he is often flying around the world, enjoying a life of luxurious solitude in five-star hotels. So when he returns after being away for nine months and notices a strange smell coming from his neighbour’s apartment, he initially tries not to get involved, but when a body is discovered, Peter’s carefully cultivated detachment begins to crumble. And when new people move into the vacant apartment, he gets caught up in a petty dispute that will bring him to the brink of moral ruin.
Bystander is a pitiless, bold work of intense psychological realism narrated by a professionally successful but socially bankrupt anti-hero who expects global connection and local anonymity. It excoriates the contingency of contemporary morality, and, at a time of growing isolation, forces the reader to examine what it means to be a good neighbour.