“Compulsively readable... like a superfun rush event,
the book pulls you in.”

“[P]ainfully realistic...
as inviting as a magazine,
and just as current...

this book speaks intimately
to the burdens
that weigh on young men.”

(recommended book)


cultural references...
the immediate, unvarnished view
will speak directly
to many college-bound readers.”

“Hyped-up excitement
of a fraternity of alcoholics

“Lyrical and introspective...
both a cautionary tale
and one of self-discovery

[H]umorous and provocative...
people should read it.”

“Realistic and...moving insight...
the message
is universal

rush ('rəsh) [14 c.] v. 1: to entertain prospective members that visit a fraternity or sorority before making bids for membership. 2: to move forward or act with haste or eag e r  n  e  s   s—

Okay, so rush is my new favorite book.
— Nicholas B., Redmond, WA

It's funny, it's happy, it's sad,
it's really pretty much everything.
— Mariel B., Newport, RI

Bret's a junior.

He's a brother of the Pi Alpha Kappa fraternity at his Southern California university.

Pi Alpha Kappa Fraternity, California Epsilon Chapter

He's turning 21 tonight.

And by PAK tradition, he going to do the 21. He has to drink 21

  • shots,
  • beers,
  • mixed drinks,
  • malt beverages,
  • glasses of wine,
  • you name it,

before crashing into bed a year older.

But this isn't just any random night at PAK—the house is throwing its epic Party Formerly Known as "Run for the Border". . .

Which—at an anti-Greek school uniting against them—may very well prove their last.

Number 79 in the 2012 college ratings

But that won't stop the guys from partying like rock stars tonight. Right?

No one sleeps until the kegs are kicked,

the hot girls get hot-tubbed,

the PAKs regulate some dude from Fiji,

and Bret does his 21.

But there's only one problem. . .

Somewhere between the beer bong and the shot of Captain Morgan, Bret begins to wonder how he came to this C-list school.

And begins to wonder what he really wants out of life.

It's a beautiful night, and the stars are shining. . .

rush was featured on FOX's Good Day Live and in Entertainment Weekly!

It's less than a movie ticket for far more
than two hours of pleasure.
— Ryan W., Miami Springs, FL

I got it for my own 21st, and I'm
such a jackass I brought it to the
bar because I had to keep on reading!
— Matt H., Laguna Hills, CA

Check out this excerpt:

Number 8

“Keg stand!” someone was hollering. “Birthday boy does a keg stand!”

Brothers and others crowded around him. Bodies pressed him and he grabbed onto the dented metal edge. He let himself be lifted upside down. . . .

“Yeah, Bret!” someone bellowed by his ear. He took the thick rubber tube in his mouth.

People chanted: “Bret! Bret! Bret!” The music pounded on all around him. "California knows how to party!"

Ryan Yeager(meister) pressed the valve and the liquid began to flow, slightly bitter. Liquid poured the wrong way, upward, defying gravity, pulled into his body by the action of throat muscles.

“One. . .” a cry rose up, “two. . . three. . .”

The flow, its enumeration—this seemed like a beautiful system, a peaceful system that promised some sort of release, some assurance that what he was doing was right, and rage and disappointment exploded in Bret's mind as he choked on the liquid and his lungs began to explode at only nineteen.

They quickly set him down and Bret staggered backward. Some fat guy's face loomed up large: “Are you okay, buddy?” Bret nodded and the coughing quickly died. There was a collective breath taken and then. . .

“Yeah, Bret!” probably the same person as before bellowed.

His brothers shook, embraced, cheered, hand-clasped him. He was a boss. He fuckin' owned it. He was twenty-one and this was legal!

It's totally absorbing. . . I really entered this world.
— Jonas K., Brookline, MA

I think rush is the best book I've ever read. . . .
— Mallory B., Boise, ID

And you're about to discover a bonus most people don't know.

Like a true initiation ritual, rush hides a vast realm of secrets all its own. There is another meaning behind everything that happens.

On a level deeper than most readers will venture, the story is an allegory of unimaginable dimension. See if you can unlock its secrets.

Yes, we know they're going fast! If your local store is sold out, you may still be able to quickly snatch up your copy online.
q u e s t i o n s / and / a n s w e r s

creator of rush

Q. You were pretty young when you starting writing rush, weren't you?

A. Yeah, actually I was an 18-year-old freshman in college. We were all supposed to keep journals in our required writing class. I've never been a big fan of the journal, so I asked if I could write a short story instead. The story I wrote was the base of rush.

Q. So you got some great feedback on it?

A. It was really awesome because the TA never even read it.

Q. How did an unread English class assignment turn into a novel?

A. Over the years I added to it, like a hobby. I wrote some when I was on the Semester at Sea ship in the middle of the Indian Ocean. I wrote some when I was on term abroad in Chile. A few months after I graduated, I sat down and really finished the thing.

Q. It's a pretty unique idea! How did you come up with it?

A. Well, it was a few weeks before rush at my school, and I was having a lot of issues about whether I wanted to join a fraternity or not. As a way to think through things, I imagined a guy who had spent most of his college years in one. I tried to think what his life was like.

Q. Did you end up joining a fraternity?

A. I was so conflicted about whether I wanted to be in one that I couldn't make a decision one way or the other. Eventually rush ended, so my mind was made up for me.

Q. Have you ever made your peace with the Greek system?

A. That's kind of the funny thing. I didn't like being an independent at all, and I immediately wished I had joined a house. When rush rolled around the next year, I pledged. I eventually became my chapter's vice-president, and the rush chair for our entire fraternity system.

Q. But don't you think some people might consider the book anti-Greek?

A. If so, it's also anti-independent! The non-Greeks come across just as badly. Everyone's got an ego, just like in real life. Everyone thinks they're doing the right thing as they understand it.

Q. How much of the book is fiction?

A. Almost all of it, although a few parts are inspired by real events. There's this hilarious review where they say it's "my story," which couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I had a grand total of zero (0) drinks on my 21st.

Q. I'm sure every college administrator is dreading the answer—is Poniente based on any real school?

A. As far as real places go, it's definitely influenced by my own Stanford, UCSB, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Southern California. A lot is total fiction, though. Uh, all the bad parts!

Q. Okay, I have to ask. What's the deal with Bret's necklace?

A. The thing to understand is that the same events tell a few different stories. One is the plot a casual reader picks up. The others happen at the same time, on a much deeper level with cosmic stakes. See if you can figure out what the hey is going on. It's totally possible.

Q. Wow. I'm going to have to give the book a reread. So what's next?

A. We're working on putting together a movie of rush, hopefully coming soon to a theater near you.

Q. Thanks so much for your time.

A. Do a shot for me.

You can quickly grab up your own copy of rush now before it's gone.