“What sets this novel apart from other post-9/11 meditations like Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Don DeLillo’s Falling Man, and Spike Lee’s 25th Hour is its distance from the events. Mackin assesses the events and their fallout with a degree of intellectual clarity that’s lacking in Safran Foer and emotional intensity that’s missing in DeLillo, presenting the best of both worlds. As smart as it is heartfelt, to my mind it’s the best reflection on post-9/11 America written to date. Pretend All Your Life sets a complex tone that satisfies both emotionally and intellectually; a powerful and moving book on what may well be the most difficult of subjects for Americans to ponder.” —Marc Schuster, Small Press Reviews
”Written over a period of 6 days, Pretend All Your Life will make you think, sigh and ponder the lives of those within the pages of this exceptional book, as well as your own. How far would you go for love? Exactly what limits would you transcend to ensure their happiness at the risk of your own? Pretend All Your Life will challenge your answers. In a nutshell? Brilliant. Simply brilliant.” --Luxuryreading.com
“This is a story you have not been told. The prose is lithe and becoming, sly but always honest. He will tell you things you know but don't say, and things you say but don't know. This novel reads like a Dostoevsky introduction to Robert Franks' snapshots of that great American sadness that we have never been able to distinguish from wealth. It is relentless but never tiring, it thinks without being meditative, and speaks, but never louder than truth is spoken.” Oscar Moore, Goodreads
“Six days in the life of Dr. Richard Gallin, living in post-9/11. The secondary characters are reliably excellent as the troupe of damaged New Yorkers stumble toward a tragic conclusion.” —Publishers Weekly
“My congratulations to Mr. Mackin. I recommend this unreservedly. How is it that a debut piece can be so polished, deep, and effective?” Luke S., Library Thing
“Graceful and extremely well written.” —George Plimpton
“This is an excellent story, unsettling to readers who have repressed the emotions they experienced in the time after 9/11 or some other life changing incident. It may be that solitude is the ground zero of free will.” Gary, Library Thing and Perceptions
JOSEPH MACKIN received an MA in Literature from New York University, and has studied writing at Yale and at the IEN in Barcelona, Spain. He was the original Internet editor of The Paris Review, and has since developed a number of successful Internet ventures. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.