Synopses & Reviews
“Thanks to its wicked style and pacing, Mule
lets me forget Im reading serious literature while I follow its terrifying story into the land of the all-American damned.” — Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air
“Mule is swift, taut, and relentless, both a rip-roaring drug tale and a fascinating portrait of a decent human being whose morals slowly disintegrate under unbearable financial strain.” — Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton
James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do. A friend in Californias Siskiyou County grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, hell pull down enough cash to survive for months. And so begins the life of a mule.
A page-turning, Zeitgeist-capturing novel that plunges us into the criminal underworld with little chance to take a breath, Mule is about young people trying to make do in a moment when the American Dream they never had to believe in — because it was handed to them, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window — suddenly vanishes from the menu.
“With adrenaline-infused sentences and a seat-gripping story line, Mule is a novel that illuminates contemporary American desperation, both its dangerous precipices and its thrilling, overwhelming freedom.” — Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness
"Neilan spins many sparkling comic riffs on the tawdriness and sterility of American life." Booklist
"[J]uvenile fun for undiscerning lads with two hours to kill." Booklist
"If you can hang with Neilan's taste in rude jokes and non sequiturs, there's lots to like." Kirkus Reviews
"Neilan's wit is a razor that cuts and slashes mercilessly on every single page, in every single paragraph, so that your fingers will bleed even as the tears of laughter soak your face. So basically, you'll be reduced to a bloody, weeping mess, madly reading whole pages aloud as friends and family shake their heads and slowly back away." Jonathan Tropper, author of Everything Changes
"Comprising 50 percent sheer brilliance, 50 percent distilled cynicism, and 50 percent coronary-inducing humor, Apathy and Other Small Victories has more life, laughs, and story on every page than should be possible. A heartbreakingly funny paean to supercharged nihilism, it's the best book you'll read in years, and the funniest novel ever. If you dont love it, there's something wrong with you, and if you do, there is also something wrong with you but you won't care." Max Barry, author of Company
The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist. When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.
This gut-wrenchingly funny debut novel is about disillusionment, indifference, and one man's desperate fight to assign absolutely no meaning to modern life.
A novel about the recession generation and a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through.
About the Author
Paul Neilan is working on getting fired from his mind-numbing job at an insurance company in Portland, Oregon, where he spends most of his time hiding in the bathroom and weeping. Born of this and many, many other humiliations, Apathy and Other Small Victories is his first novel.