Finalist for the 2017 Sami Rohr Prize
Semifinalist for the 2017 Thurber Prize
"Stellar...an assortment of absurdist scenarios from a Harvard-trained intellect with the timing of a borscht belt comedian. With his humor, wit, and imagination, Sachs proves himself a perceptive observer of human nature and a distinctly promising talent."
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"In his darkly hilarious new book...[Sachs] sets out to be the encyclopedist, the poet laureate, of dysfunctional father-son relationships...We are left with admiration for Sachs’ insight and his restraint, the way he uses comedy to banish sentimentality."
—Adam Kirsch, Tablet
"Darkly glittering gem[s] of compressed neuroses...illustrate the astounding range of resentments and misunderstandings that exist between fathers and sons."
—Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal
"Brutal, comic, and exhaustive."
—Karan Mahajan, The New Yorker ("Books We Loved in 2016")
"Hilarious and quirky yet poignant, Inherited Disorders is one of the most original — and entertaining — books of the season."
—Jarry Lee, Buzzfeed
"Ingenious, structurally elegant inheritance puzzles."
—Max Nelson, New Republic
"Inherited Disorders is just plain funny...Sachs has a finely tuned sense of humor and an economical writing style that gives each story plenty of punch...Inherited Disorders is crammed full of smart turns of phrase, clever twists of logic, and plenty of laughs."
—Michael Patrick Brady, The Boston Globe
“In Inherited Disorders, Sachs displays a rare kind of genius: storytelling that’s humorous and absurdist, but also slyly compassionate and layered. There’s much wisdom about father-son relationships to accompany the intricate and sometimes laugh-out-loud literary fireworks. And in the process, Sachs captures the true richness and strangeness of the world—something of a classic in the making and a favorite read of the past few years.”
—Jeff VanderMeer, author of Annihilation
"The quintessential Sachs story: readily funny but oddly touching, seemingly simple but with an odd and bewildering depth."
—Walker Rutter-Bowman, Full Stop
"Darkly funny...The mania that pushes [Sachs's] stories to their logical extremes retains a uniquely puckish, joyful irreverence...Inherited Disorders makes a certain kind of anxiety so comically debilitating that the full extent of its uselessness is revealed."
—Miranda Popkey, The Awl
"Endlessly sharp and engaging from start to finish. There is something almost rhythmically musical or mathematical about the form, like Monet’s water lilies...Unique, compulsively readable, and entirely modern."
—Mary Vensel White, The Rumpus
"Sachs's stories...feel like Saturday Night Live sketches written by Kafka. Each is poignant and absurd, and all are told with an exceedingly light touch that floats, skips, and hops into a punch line. Don't miss out on this one."
—Matthew Zeitlin, Buzzfeed
"A kind of metaphysical comedy of errors...Sachs has not only a brilliant sense of the fluidity of meaning, but also where that fluidity stops and hits the real."
—Jeremy Butman, Kenyon Review
"Startlingly funny...Sachs takes the theme he plays with and pushes it to an extreme, making the repetition part of his gleeful game."
—Ilana Masad, Jewish Currents
"Adventurous in its form and distinct in its voice...We’re reminded of language’s ability to reveal moments of the absurd in relationships usually addressed as purely sacred."
—Douglas Ray, Southern Humanities Review
"Some [stories] are heartbreaking in less than 500 words; others are unexpectedly hilarious...Each has something important to say and ends at just the right moment."
—Matthew Snider, Ploughshares
"Adam Ehrlich Sachs's debut marks the arrival of a major humorist. If Kafka and Louis CK were to join forces, they might produce something like Inherited Disorders: absurd, wise, and extremely funny."
—Simon Rich, author of Spoiled Brats and creator of Man Seeking Woman