The Atmospherians: A Novel by Alex McElroy


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“What do you do when a horde of wrong-headed men protest your continued existence outside your apartment? If you’re Sasha Marcus, you start a cult.

Sasha is a fallen influencer who never accepted sponsorships, a true believer in love and “wellness,” whatever that might have meant to her subscribers. Abandoned by her online and real life communities, she starts a cult to rehab toxic men with her one remaining friend, Dyson. If this sounds like an ill-conceived plan, that’s because it is – but not for all the reasons we’d assume.

Full of snark, varyingly terrible people, and a critique of the wellness industry and self-absorption, The Atmospherians is a biting cult satire as absurd as it is captivating.”


A “dazzling” (Bryan Washington, author of Lot) and brilliantly satirical debut novel for fans of Women Talking and Red Clocks about two best friends—a disgraced influencer and a struggling actor—who form The Atmosphere, a cult designed to reform problematic men.

Sasha Marcus was once the epitome of contemporary success: an internet sensation, social media darling, and a creator of a high profile wellness brand for women. But a confrontation with an abusive troll has taken a horrifying turn, and now she’s at rock bottom: canceled and doxxed online, fired from her waitress job and fortressed in her apartment while men’s rights protestors rage outside. All that once glittered now condemns.

Sasha confides in her oldest childhood friend, Dyson—a failed actor with a history of body issues—who hatches a plan for Sasha to restore her reputation by becoming the face of his new business venture, The Atmosphere: a rehabilitation community for men. Based in an abandoned summer camp and billed as a workshop for job training, it is actually a rigorous program designed to rid men of their toxic masculinity and heal them physically, emotionally, and socially. Sasha has little choice but to accept. But what horrors await her as the resident female leader of a crew of washed up, desperate men? And what exactly does Dyson want?

Explosive and wickedly funny, this “Fight Club for the millennial generation” (Mat Johnson, author of Pym) peers straight into the dark heart of wellness and woke-ness, self-mythology and self-awareness, by asking what happens when we become addicted to the performance of ourselves.

The Atmospherians: A Novel by Alex McElroy
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