Review: The Weirdness by Jeremy Bushnell

4th March 2014

pg1*I received this ebook from the publisher Melville House in exchange for an honest review.

Billy Ridgeway is a do-nothing. He works at a Greek deli when he can make it on time. He thinks his girlfriend may have dumped him, but he’s not sure. And the short stories he’s written are pure crap – he’s got a writeup in an NYC lit magazine to prove it. When the Devil shows up in his apartment with good, no, great coffee and offers to publish Billy’s novel if he’ll just do him a tiny favor, Billy isn’t even tempted. Ok, maybe a little. All he has to do is steal the Neko of Infinite Equilibrium, a cat statue, from a powerful warlock.

At first, Billy can’t be bothered. If he can’t even get his girlfriend to return his calls, how could he possibly face a warlock? But soon, whether or not Billy wants to help the Devil isn’t an option as he’s in up to his neck and discovers he’s a hell wolf and that his entire life up to this point has been a lie. As he races across the city, Billy learns a lot about what he’s capable of, and if he lives through this weirdness, maybe he’ll be able to do something after all.

The Weirdness is absolutely, positively one of the most original takes on the nearing middle age, suffering male writer bit. Because frankly, had this been another story about a guy who is too lazy to get off his ass and do something, I’d have hated it. Hell, I may not have even finished it. But Jeremy Bushnell manages to turn this story on its head in what should be the most ridiculous novel you’ve ever read.

Instead, Billy and his really lovely counterparts, specifically his best friend Anil, are people you feel for. They’re doing what they have to in order to make it. Maybe Billy hasn’t been doing his part, but he’s obviously unhappy. He has a job that is fine but isn’t a career. His writing isn’t transcendent. His love life…yeah, it’s not great. In a lot of ways, Billy has just shut down, and he can’t figure out how to restart until the Devil shows up. And ain’t that the way of things? Ok, maybe the Devil doesn’t really show up in order for you or me to get out of our funks, but it takes something pretty out of character or, in this case, out of this world.

Add this to your Goodreads shelf.

  • Ti Reed

    This sounds way, way out there but also like it’s something I could easily wrap my brain around.

    • http://www.thepickygirl.com Jenn

      It is way, way out there and departs from everything you think you know about this sort of book. But it’s also super fun and thoughtful.

  • http://www.lovelaughterinsanity.com/ Trish

    Sounds like a really fun and offbeat kind of book. Though how could it not be with a title “Weirdness.” I’ve been curious about Melville House (love their tweets)–I’ll have to check this one out.

    • http://www.thepickygirl.com Jenn

      They put out some great stuff, and this is definitely one of that collection of great stuff. As you say, totally offbeat but really fun. And I usually hate anything supernatural in a book, particularly when it starts off without it.

  • Nishita

    This book and the characters sound like so much fun. I think I will like this one a lot.

  • http://wellreadfish.blogspot.com/ Jen @ The Well Read Fish

    I’m working on a story right now about Maneki Neko, called “Lucky Japanese Cat.” It’s only tangentially about the cat, but still…title role!

    • http://www.thepickygirl.com Jenn

      Too funny!