Listen free for 30 days

The Gimmicks

A Novel
Length: 11 hrs and 24 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

The Gimmicks is a gorgeous epic that astounds with its scope and beauty. With empathy and humor, McCormick unravels the ties between brotherhood and betrayal, love and abandonment, and the fictions we create to live with the pain of the past. This novel will blow you away.” (Brit Bennett, New York Times best-selling author of The Mothers)

Set in the waning years of the Cold War, a stunning debut novel about a trio of young Armenians that moves from the Soviet Union, across Europe, to Southern California, and at its center, one of the most tragic cataclysms in 20th-century history - the Armenian Genocide - whose traumatic reverberations will have unexpected consequences on all three lives.

This exuberant, wholly original novel begins in Kirovakan, Armenia, in 1971. Ruben Petrosian is a serious, solitary young man who cares about two things: mastering the game of backgammon to beat his archrival, Mina, and studying the history of his ancestors. Ruben grieves the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide, a crime still denied by the descendants of its perpetrators, and dreams of vengeance.

When his orphaned cousin, Avo, comes to live with his family, Ruben’s life is transformed. Gregarious and physically enormous, with a distinct unibrow that becomes his signature, Avo is instantly beloved. He is everything Ruben is not, yet the two form a bond they swear never to break.

But their paths diverge when Ruben vanishes - drafted into an extremist group that will stop at nothing to make Turkey acknowledge the genocide. Unmoored by Ruben’s disappearance, Avo and Mina grow close in his absence. But fate brings the cousins together once more, when Ruben secretly contacts Avo, convincing him to leave Mina and join the extremists - a choice that will dramatically alter the course of their lives.

Left to unravel the threads of this story is Terry “Angel Hair” Krill, a veteran of both the US Navy and the funhouse world of professional wrestling, whose life intersects with Avo, Ruben, and Mina’s in surprising and devastating ways. 

Told through alternating perspectives, The Gimmicks is a masterpiece of storytelling. Chris McCormick brilliantly illuminates the impact of history and injustice on ordinary lives and challenges us to confront the spectacle of violence and the specter of its aftermath.

©2020 Chris McCormick (P)2020 HarperAudio

What members say

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for William Shepard
  • William Shepard
  • 11-01-20

Great narration brings this story to life...

I read McCormick’s ‘The Desert Boys’, and really enjoyed it, so I was excited to see another title by the same author. I decided to go for the audible version, and was glad I did. The narrators really beautifully brought the story to life, and deftly delivered quite a complex, jumpy narrative.