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Oscar Boatwright, a disenchanted philosophy professor, receives terrible news. His mother, on her way home from Hawaii with Oscar's father, has died midflight, her body cooling for hours until the plane can land.
Deeply grieving, Oscar feels his life slipping out of his control. A one-night stand with a woman named Dawn becomes volatile when, on the first day of classes, he realizes she is his student, and later learns that she is a fledgling campus drug lord. Worse, his family is in debt, having lost their modest savings to a self-help guru who had indoctrinated Oscar's mother. Desperate to help his family, Oscar agrees to help Dawn with a drug run.
A Philosophy of Ruin rumbles with brooding nihilism, then it cracks like a whip, hurtling Oscar and Dawn toward a terrifying threat on the road. Taut, ferocious and blazingly intelligent, A Philosophy of Ruin is a heart-pounding thrill ride into the darkest corners of human geography, and a philosophical reckoning with the forces that determine our destiny.