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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Weirdness: A Novel Paperback – March 4, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“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

About the Author

JEREMY P. 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. The Weirdness is his first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Melville House (March 4, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612193153
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612193151
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #421,169 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just finished The Weirdness, one of those books that you start reading and then can't put down because you need to know what happens next. The main character is Billy, someone everyone knows. He just can't seem to get his s*** together, but then he gets a visit from an Adversarial Manifestation, a.k.a. the Devil, capital "D". The book takes off from there, and I won't reveal any plot points, but I will say it made me laugh out loud in several places, and although Billy is a screw up, I came to really like him and appreciate his predicament. The action moves along at a brisk pace, and the twists and turns in the plot are fantastic. Nevertheless, the story holds together well. Pick this one up and you aren't likely to regret it. Can't wait to see what's next from this author.
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Format: Paperback
Billy Ridgeway is a failed writer until the devil shows up offering to publish him—in exchange for a favor. But if Billy can’t even get his girlfriend to return his calls, how can he possibly face a warlock and save the world? Full of hell wolves and even a higher power, The Weirdness is possibly the most original (and fun) novel of the year. —Jenn Ravey, Bloggers Recommend
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I lost count of how many times I laughed out loud reading this book. Chock full of fascinating characters and loaded with unexpected twists and turns. This is not your average 'deal with the devil' story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jeremy P. Bushnell, The Weirdness (Melville House, 2014)

Full disclosure: I have known Jeremy IRL since the early nineties.

When I started reading The Weirdness—and I have to admit, I was planning on finishing the novel I was in the middle of before starting this, but I'd left it at work on a day I had to go to the hospital for an outpatient procedure, and this had popped up in the mail the day before and so I had it sitting on the desk next to me and grabbed it—I had planned to use it as a time-killer until I finished the novel I was actually reading at the time. You know how that goes. A week later, I had finished The Weirdness, and nothing else in my house save a cookbook had gotten any face time. I expected it to be a decent book—Jeremy and I wrote collaborative poetry together, I know the boy can write—but I was still unprepared for the book I got. Much of this has to do with its publisher. I am a huge fan of Melville House when they're publishing nonfiction (Melville House is the home of the mighty Trevor Paglen, after all), but my excursions into their fiction catalog have always left me less than satisfied. Until now.

You will think you know what the title of The Weirdness signifies relatively early on. Billy Ridgeway, struggling writer (well, he still believes so) and neurotic, wakes after a long night of drinking with his best friend Anil and meditating on the presence of bananas at bodegas to find the devil in his living room. No soul-stealing required, the devil explains while sipping coffee (which turns out to be infernally good); perform one minor task and Lucifer will put a few words into a few ears, and poof, Billy Ridgeway will be a published novelist. It's a tempting offer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Billy Ridgeway is a thirty-something, aspiring writer, floundering his way through his life in Brooklyn, and the NYC literary scene.

Underemployed, fighting with his girlfriend, and not making the desired progress on his novel, Billy heads to a local bar with his friend Anil, where he proceeds to get drunk.

Waking up the next morning with an absurd, thirty-something hangover, Billy finds the devil in his kitchen, brewing a pot of coffee. Satan tells Billy that he has a proposition for him -- if Billy will help Satan procure a stolen, magical statue from a warlock named Ollard, Satan will reward Billy with a deal in a large publishing house, and a five-figure advance on his novel.

What is a hungover, broke, and desperate thirty year old to do?

*****

I enjoyed this novel. I don't generally read fantasy - and personally hesitate to categorize this novel as a fantasy read -- because it feels smarter than a typical fantasy book. Is Literary Fantasy a genre? That's how I'd classify this novel.

The book is comprised of the classic "good versus evil" battles, and also contains magical elements - as well as mystical creatures (Satan, God, hell-wolves and warlocks, to name a few), but, the plot is exceedingly inventive and hilarious. Satan makes a fantastic pot of coffee, and utilizes PowerPoint. A magical machine is masked as a waving cat sculpture that can often be found in generic Asian restaurants. So, it's fantasy.

The writing though, is witty and intelligent (which I sometimes, though not always, find lacking in fantasy novels). The banter among the characters is educated and rife with strong vocabulary; the sentences are well formed and easy to follow.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I'm still chuckling from an early scene in the book where the Devil is the only one who laughs at the protagonist's joke with one big haw. Overall, an amusing hipster version of good versus evil and a reminder to write what you know. Or at least what can hold your interest. This one held mine.
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