Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn't open, click the iTunes application icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To download from the iTunes Store, get iTunes now.

Already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download

Necessary Errors

A Novel

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


The Wall Street Journal • Slate • Kansas City Star • Flavorwire • Policy Mic • Buzzfeed

Necessary Errors is a very good novel, an enviably good one, and to read it is to relive all the anxieties and illusions and grand projects of one’s own youth.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

An exquisite debut novel that brilliantly captures the lives and romances of young expatriates in newly democratic Prague

It’s October 1990. Jacob Putnam is young and full of ideas. He’s arrived a year too late to witness Czechoslovakia’s revolution, but he still hopes to find its spirit, somehow. He discovers a country at a crossroads between communism and capitalism, and a picturesque city overflowing with a vibrant, searching sense of possibility. As the men and women Jacob meets begin to fall in love with one another, no one turns out to be quite the same as the idea Jacob has of them—including Jacob himself.

Necessary Errors is the long-awaited first novel from literary critic and journalist Caleb Crain. Shimmering and expansive, Crain’s prose richly captures the turbulent feelings and discoveries of youth as it stretches toward adulthood—the chance encounters that grow into lasting, unforgettable experiences and the surprises of our first ventures into a foreign world—and the treasure of living in Prague during an era of historic change.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

From Publishers Weekly

May 06, 2013 – Crain reinvents the novel of the innocent abroad in his well-wrought debut. Fresh off the failure of his first relationship since coming out (at least to himself), Jacob relocates from Massachusetts to Prague, where he discovers a loose-knit community of expatriates, many of whom, like Jacob, teach English to Czechs. It s 1990, and Prague perhaps like Jacob and his friends is poised on the brink of changes it does not yet fully understand. Jacob, an aspiring writer, is both sensitive and observant, a witness to his friends romantic entanglements as well as the victim of heartbreak himself. The novel is full of the kinds of conversations shared by intelligent, earnest young people everywhere; the parallels between their idealism and uncertainty and those of their adopted country are handled with great skill. Being here is what you re doing, when you re here, Jacob observes to a friend; this freedom from responsibility and traditional aspirations is what both attracts Jacob and makes him uneasy. The unhurried pace and lack of conventional plot seem deliberate; instead, it s Jacob s ongoing redefining of exile and his discovery of self in an unfamiliar community that provide meaning and richness.

Customer Reviews

A so so no plot - I don't know what

I gave this a 3 because the writing is descriptive, about a gay man but not being overly dependent on that as the point and where it takes place. It seems as a typical writer writing about a writer not able to write while living abroad. I keep reading it because I paid for it and usually finish a book I start. I'm looking for something else and when I do I'll put this aside after being 3/4 through.
AN UPDATE: I now think of this as Albert Camus like only not anywhere near the French master. Still reading....


This is a thoughtful novel, but the typography for occasional Czech words and place names (on nearly every page) is a mess. Can't this be fixed?

Necessary Errors
View in iTunes
  • $6.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: Aug 06, 2013
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
  • Print Length: 480 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings