The Weirdness: A Novel

The Weirdness: A Novel

3.7 9
by Jeremy P. Bushnell
     
 

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"This book is wild. And smart. And hilarious. And weird ... in all kinds of good ways. Prepare to be weirded out. And to enjoy it."
—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

What do you do when you wake up hung over and late for work only to find a stranger on your couch? And what if that

Overview

"This book is wild. And smart. And hilarious. And weird ... in all kinds of good ways. Prepare to be weirded out. And to enjoy it."
—Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

What do you do when you wake up hung over and late for work only to find a stranger on your couch? And what if that stranger turns out to be an Adversarial Manifestation—like Satan, say—who has brewed you a fresh cup of fair-trade coffee? And what if he offers you your life's goal of making the bestseller list if only you find his missing Lucky Cat and, you know, sign over your soul?

If you're Billy Ridgeway, you take the coffee.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
01/20/2014
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. (Mar.)
From the Publisher
“Wonderfully weird and entertaining.”
Esquire

“An utterly charming, silly, and heartily entertaining coming-of-age story about a man-boy who learns to believe in himself by reckoning with evil… a welcome antidote to heavy-handed millennial fiction. Instead of trying to find profundity in party conversation or making his readers shudder in melancholy recognition of their thwarted lives, The Weirdness finds virtue in absurdity. Thank goodness — or darkness — for that.”
Boston Globe

“Arriving as a practitioner of such supernatural humor, loaded with brio, wit, and sophisticated jollity, like the literary godchild of Max Barry, Christopher Moore, and Will Self,  comes Jeremy Bushnell… An engaging reading experience.”
Paul Di Filippo, Barnes & Noble Review

Liberty Hardy (RiverRun Bookstore) picks The Weirdness as one of the Must-Read Books from Indie Presses in 2014 & the Best Book Cover of 2014, on Book Riot

“In many ways, this is an illuminating parable for these times… you’ll just wish you had more of this delightful novel still left to read.”
San Francisco Bay Guardian

“A whimsical approach… an aspiring author in New York who wakes one day to find that Satan has just brewed him a cup of fair-trade coffee — and has a little deal to discuss.”
Tampa Bay Times

“[The Weirdness] is immensely entertaining, and more than being merely diverting, is truly funny.”
Harvard Crimson

“The novel is truly a ’weird’ read, though unforgettable… An open-minded, modern reader will fully appreciate this bizarre and unusual work of fiction, the author’s first novel.”
Fairfield Mirror

One of “the week’s most exciting books”
Book Riot

“Absolutely, positively one of the most original takes on the nearing middle age, suffering male writer bit… Bushnell manages to turn this story on its head in what should be the most ridiculous novel you’ve ever read.”
The Picky Girl

“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

The Weirdness manages to soar beyond the potentially familiar tropes of urban fantasy with a strong sense of style and character… Bushnell’s debut novel is a clever, darkly satiric tale of the devil, literary Brooklyn and the human penchant for underachievement.”
Shelf Awareness

“This book is wild. And smart. And hilarious. And weird … in all kinds of good ways. Prepare to be weirded out. And to enjoy it.”
Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

“Jeremy Bushnell has written an irreverent, chaotic, comically inventive novel that makes New York City look like the insane asylum some suspect it is. It steadfastly refuses to bore you, and by the end has something important to say about the way we dream.” 
—William Giraldi, author of Busy Monsters

Kirkus Reviews
2014-01-23
The devil went down to Brooklyn, looking for a little help from some hipsters. In a story that can't decide at all whether it wants to be parody or horror, this debut novel by Bushnell shudders to an unpredictable end. Our hero is Billy Ridgeway, and he's a giant loser. A wannabe novelist who works at a sandwich joint in Brooklyn, he can't even carve out enough privacy to hook up with his sort-of-girlfriend, Denver. His life is thrown for a loop when he returns to his ratty apartment one morning to find Lucifer Morningstar himself sitting on his couch, ready with a PowerPoint presentation of his pitch to Billy. The devil, it turns out, needs Billy to steal a powerful talisman, the Neko of Infinite Equilibrium, from a nearby warlock named Timothy Ollard, in return for a lucrative book deal. "Just walk into the horrible tower and get the stupid cat and give it to Satan and everything could be different. You could get your book published. You could save the world," Billy muses. Added to the mix is the Northeast Regional Office for the Right-Hand Path, an international conglomerate of witches and warlocks. This is all played for arch comedy in the vein of Christopher Moore or S.G. Browne, but there's something off-putting about the execution of Billy's deity-riddled adventure. First of all, Billy and his poet/filmmaker/actor buddies are all frivolous urban clichés with no real substance. Secondly, Bushnell's plot stays focused on the back-stabbing Brooklyn literary scene, with a denouement that centers on a disastrous literary reading and a rivalry with a smartass critic. (This is long before Billy and a companion are transformed into sex demon wolf things, mind you). It's imaginative in some ways, but a plethora of deus ex machina tricks reveal that there's not much heavy lifting going on behind the curtain. Exactly the sort of novel a literary blogger would write. Proceed with caution.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781612193151
Publisher:
Melville House Publishing
Publication date:
03/04/2014
Pages:
288
Sales rank:
586,204
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

JEREMY BUSHNELL is the fiction editor for Longform.org, and is also the lead developer of Inevitable, a tabletop game released by Dystopian Holdings. He teaches writing at Northeastern University in Boston, and he lives in Dedham, Massachusetts. This is his first novel.

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The Weirdness: A Novel 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
StickyAL More than 1 year ago
Very entertaining!  Never takes itself too seriously… Laugh out loud funny… And their are some beautiful little nuggets of truth tucked away in the colorful prose.  I really enjoyed this… It is a good read….
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. Could not put it down. Never wanted it to end. Such a piquant combination of humor, pathos, love and longing. Who doesn't love the struggle of good and evil and everything in betwen? Read this book! You will be a better person for it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ds book is so wirld
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book. Great characters, lots of twists and turns. Weird? Yes! It a good way. Can't wait for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Of course whether you choose the mess our defacto leading guy has with his writing, being ptesent with his lady, having sex with not your girl as a sex magic hell beast....or just not returning his dads calls; Billy left the devil plenty of room tototaly wreck his roll.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
anonomas More than 1 year ago
Aptly titled!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read earlier this year. So much hype, so much a waste of time. A really stupid book. I hope the author didn't give up his teaching job to write full time.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is no faust one persons kisses are anothers peanut cups as usual procedee with caution and try sample borrow you shows the independence of cats