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.