The New York Times: "...Sometimes, miraculously, a writer manages to breathe some new life into a subject. Matthew Klam, author of “Who Is Rich?,” turns out to be one of those writers....Funny, maddening and defiantly original....gifted at discussing complicated themes... It’s a challenging novel, but Klam’s prose is so clean, so self-assured, that it feels a little like a miracle... Maybe it’s a love story; maybe it’s just a lust story, but either way, it’s a fine accomplishment. Here’s hoping we won’t have to wait another 17 years for the return of this singularly gifted writer."
Washington Post: "This is an irresistible comic novel that pumps blood back into the anemic tales of middle-aged white guys. Klam may be working in a well-established tradition, but he’s sexier than Richard Russo and more fun than John Updike..."
Boston Globe: "It’s a dazzling meditation on monogamy, parenthood, mortality, shame, erotic liberation, and artistic struggle, a tale told by an adulterous middle-aged schlub, full of sound and fury, and signifying, well, pretty much everything."
NPR, Fresh Air: “Matthew Klam's superb debut novel, Who Is Rich?, is all about the anxious networking, conversational one-upmanship and drunken hook-ups that constitute those exclusive summer events known as "arts conferences… Like all great humorists, Klam is a sharp observer and he skewers his targets here with specificity and brio. Who Is Rich? is also cynically smart about the class politics crackling in the air at these kinds of gatherings: namely the smooth generosity of the uber-rich arts patrons colliding with the financial desperation of so many of the indentured "talent" who perform and teach. There's a scene midway through this novel where Rich — guilty about an affair and itching to break free of his paycheck-to-paycheck existence — impulsively blows his entire honorarium on an expensive bracelet for his wife at home. I swear to you the economic terror Klam conjures up in that scene is every bit as vivid as the physical terror of the opening scene of that quintessential New England beach movie, Jaws.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review): "A worthy addition to American literature’s distinguished line of hapless antiheroes."
People Magazine: "This portrait of midlife crisis is almost scarily astute, and Rich's angsty fling with equally unhappy (but rich) Amy is a hot, hilarious mess."
Booklist: “With a perceptive eye and biting humor, [Rich] skewers the participants at the conference, “an open-air looney bin,” including his own students and fellow faculty members. Rich may be a mildly depressed neurotic in the midst of a lengthy midlife crisis, but Klam ensures that he is also a profound, often-hilarious commentator on marriage, child rearing, and artistic endeavors."
An Amazon Best Book of July 2017: "Matthew Klam is an immensely talented author: he’s funny, deep, easily readable, and sometimes honest to the point of being startling. He’s written a novel—about a white, middle-aged, once successful graphic novelist-turned-steadily-working-illustrator—that touches on family, love, aging, unhappiness, infidelity, life as a working artist, and money. Making his protagonist white and middle-aged was a brave choice, because Rich (the protagonist) does some complaining in this novel (and some cheating), and a lot of readers don’t like to see white, middle-aged men complain or cheat. If that’s you, you can stop reading now. But Rich is also an artist. He’s educated, he’s talented, and he’s frustrated that he still has to struggle to make ends meet. He’s made choices based on passion—passion for his art, for love—which is how it should be. But what happens when the passion begins to ebb? What are you left with then? Matthew Klam strikes me as a writer’s writer, and I think that other authors will love this work; he’s just so honest and talented. But there are other people out there who will be practically relieved to come across such rawness, honesty, and humor as well. Perhaps that’s you." --Chris Schluep, The Amazon Book Review
Signature: "It is an inquiry into what it means to have a life, to have a story, to decide to tell that story, what to omit and what to conflate, what responsibilities a storyteller has to his loved ones and what responsibilities he has to himself, and how he should navigate the inevitable conflict between the two."
Huffington Post: "24 Incredible Books You Should Read This Summer"
Domino Magazine: Klam's first novel is an irreverent and at times absurdly inappropriate (which makes it all the more hilarious) story that touches on middle life crises, parental love, and what it means to be an artist.
The Ringer: In the wrong hands, there could be no contemporary fiction protagonist trope more boring than the horndog, middle-aged professional afraid of his paunch, but Klam imbues Rich with such pathos that he transcends his type. I hope Klam doesn’t take so long for his follow-up.
Maine Edge: “Matthew Klam brought his A-game for “Who is Rich?”
Library Journal -- Five Great Beach Reads, Literary Preview: : Sixteen years ago, New Yorker 20 Under 40 author Klam had a big hit with his first book, Sam the Cat. Finally, he’s back, bringing us the story of two people who meet and launch an adulterous affair at an artists conference held in a charming New England fishing village. Rich once had a modest career as a cartoonist, Amy studies narrative painting, and they so enjoyed their fling that they returned the following year to see whether sparks would fly again. They do, setting off a conflagration that burns down their lives.
Emily Nussbaum on Twitter: An enjoyably filthy beach read for neurotics!
Curtis Sittenfeld on Buzzfeed: “The novel Who Is Rich? by Matthew Klam will come out in July, and it’s terrific. I was a graduate student when I read Klam’s story collection Sam the Cat in 2000, and I just loved how bawdy, wise, and alive his writing was. I’ve been waiting all this time for his first (!) novel, and the wait was worth it — it’s a brutally honest, hilariously entertaining, surprisingly compassionate depiction of class, lust, marriage, and what it’s really like to be an artist."