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The Weirdnessby Jeremy P. Bushnell
Synopses & Reviews
With the literary muscle of Victor LaValle's Big Machine and the outlandish humor of Kevin Smith's Dogma, this debut reveals the dark underbelly of the NY literary scene.
At thirty, Billy Ridgeway still hasn't gotten around to becoming a writer; he thinks too much to get anything done, really, except making sandwiches at a Greek deli with his buddy Anil. But the Devil shows up with fancy coffee one morning, promising to make Billy's dream of being published come true: as long as Billy steals The Neko of Infinite Equilibrium, a cat-shaped statue with magical powers, from the most powerful warlock in the Eastern United States.
The Devil's bidding sends Billy on a wild chase through New York City, through which Billy discovers his own strength, harnessing his powers as a hell-wolf and finally fighting the warlock face-to-face. God even makes a guest appearance, and He's not who you thought He was.
Bushnell's stunningly imaginative debut is about finding meaning in life, confronting your biggest critics, and discovering that a boring life might be the best life of all.
"In Bushnell's debut, sad-sack aspiring Brooklyn-based writer Billy Ridgeway seems to have hit a rut: he's lost his girl, a local literary critic just panned his writing, and his roommate has suddenly disappeared. Bantering with Anil, his best bud and a coworker at the sandwich counter where he works, seems to be Billy's only solace throughout the day. But everything changes when the Devil shows up at Billy's apartment with a seemingly benign request. Fuming at his literary rival Anton Cirrus, desperate for a book deal to impress his girlfriend, Billy allows temptation to get the better of him and sets off on a supernatural romp into Manhattan to locate the Neko of Infinite Equilibrium — a mystical toy cat stolen by a powerful warlock. The lightly philosophical, somewhat cursory plot works best when modern New York sensibilities clash with dark-magic tropes — Lucifer presenting his plan via PowerPoint, the invigorating logistics of turning into a hell-wolf, soul jurisdiction treaties signed by conflicting deities. A comedic literary thriller situated between the world of Harry Potter and the Brooklyn of Jonathan Ames, Bushnell's debut effectively mines well-trodden terrain to unearth some dark gems." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Jeremy Bushnell is a professor at Boston University, specializing in courses in literature and video games. He is the fiction editor for Longform.com, and is also the lead developer of Inevitable, a tabletop game released by Dystopian Holdings. He lives in Boston. This is his first novel.
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