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The Weirdness: A Novel Paperback – March 4, 2014
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“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
One of “the week’s most exciting books”
“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.”
“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.”
“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
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast shipment. Book in great condition! So excited to give this gift to my step daughter for her birthday! We saw this book in the airport and she had to have it!Published 12 months ago by Michelle R
This novel really held my interest from the start - the need to know the motives behind the supporting characters made the pages fly by. Read morePublished 13 months ago by JMU
I read this book in its entirety over a couple of days' worth of long train rides. It's involving, keeps you turning the pages waiting to see what will happen next. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Sarah Gordon
plot line is pretty unique. siding with the devil for the good of mankind is not something you see every day. also, pretty humorous.Published 21 months ago by mark
the tittle says it all, it's a weird novel, sometimes funny and sometimes too ridiculous but readablePublished 21 months ago by vero s
I love quirky, strange, off-the-wall novels, but this one just didn't measure up for me. The opening is quite good, but the book quickly descends into predictable and tired. Read morePublished 23 months ago by bonnie_blu
As the title suggests this story is, uh, "weird". But also very very entertaining.Published 23 months ago by S. Cousins
The Weirdness is a thoroughly enjoyable revisiting of the Faust legend. The protagonist, Billy Ridgeway, is an easily distractible, thirty-year-old writer, on the verge of losing... Read morePublished on June 30, 2014 by MsDemeanor