“The world is my sad, sparsely attended party.”

Generation Why | A Novel

Adam, Annie, and Ivan leave their homes in the heartland and head to the West Coast chasing a runaway American dream. They don’t find it, but each finds a different way to experiment, to varying degrees of success, with adulthood.

Adam is a 26-year-old bartender and part-time blogger who entertains his dozens of readers with opinions about hamburger condiments. He clings to a self-made set of life rules with the integrity of a junior high student, and these rules are starting to weigh down his longtime girlfriend Annie. The relationship that worked so well in college makes less and less sense to Annie so far removed from graduation, and she finds the call of the boring grown-up world ever more enticing. Meanwhile, their friend Ivan, a college dropout and habitual ne’er-do-well, feels his own call to the grown-up world in a place he never could have imagined.

Alternately a reflection on romance and self improvement, pop culture and technology, and the weirdness of the times, Generation Why is a strange but very funny document of life for young people in the 2010s.


“Very often I have the feeling that I’ve missed some bit of crucial information that everybody else is privy to. That, in the one-week orientation to Life—probably held at some sleep-away camp with canoes and fishing and all kinds of other stuff I can’t stand but that everyone else loves—I was in the bathroom while the teacher said, ‘And never forget this, this is the most important thing you need to know about Life…’ but I came back just in time to miss it and to see everybody else nodding vigorously.”

Download a free PDF of the first five chapters of Generation Why.

Couldn't stop reading

Read this book. It drew me in on the first page and wouldn’t let up. It’s funny, engaging, and uses the freedom of digital self-publishing to seem more “real” than a lot of other realistic fiction books. Matt Stokes has mastered the art of articulating what everyone’s thinking. The characters are so relatable it can make you uncomfortable (but in a good way). Required reading for twenty-somethings and people who remember being twenty-somethings and want to feel better about themselves.

Amazon Customer Review

A fantastic read!

It grabbed me from the beginning and it hasn’t let. Perfectly my type of humor. Once I finish, I’ll update the review. Loving it!

Amazon Customer Review

single best work of art from the 21st century

The natural aroma of the book makes you dream of simpler times. This novel will tug at your heartstrings and one will often find oneself wondering “why”? The artwork reminds one of a quaint stick-figure family. The sheer disdain for hash-tag culture is so bold, one cannot help but be inspired to reach for the stars. Only a sleazebag wouldn’t love this book. Bravo to this game-changing masterpiece of the modern era. As the mayor of a small town, I don’t know much about anything but there’s one thing that I know, this book ROCKS!

Amazon Customer Review

Made my Beach Trip!

I read Generation Why while at the beach, and by the time I finished, numerous people had asked what I was reading that was so funny! I laughed out loud a lot! Stokes has a way of expressing the thoughts of his characters in such a genuine way…. anyone who is, knows or has friends/family members in their twenties will find this novel a true-to-life look into the humorous, intelligent, but also wayward and narcissistic personalities of the generation. I predict we’ll be hearing more from Mr. Stokes…..soon, I hope!

Amazon Customer Review

Why? Why NOT?!?!

Stokes has crafted a minor masterpiece of modern literature. Generation Why has something that (figuratively and literally) every twenty-something can relate to. Laugh, cry, and learn about yourself in horrifyingly funny ways you never thought possible, but always thought about.

Amazon Customer Review

Great Read

I totally enjoyed this book. A fun read, could really relate to the characters (even though I’m way past my twenties). Can’t wait to see more from this author.

Amazon Customer Review


Book read good. Me enjoy laughlaugh funny haha. I still no buy.

Amazon Customer Review