Late Night Library

Rookie Report

     “So if you can go into my head and change shit around, why haven’t you done that already? If you can just make me believe you, why didn’t we just start there?” Billy says, annoyed with himself that he’s even dignifying the argument this way.
     “It is intimate. People typically do not wish to have an intimate procedure performed on them without permission. The procedure does not strictly require consent, but consent facilitates the experience.”
     “You sound like an R-rated hypnotist,” Billy says. “You’re supposed to be the goddamn Devil, and you care about whether you have permission to change people’s minds?”
     Lucifer produces no evident reaction.
     “Fine,” Billy says, out of patience. “You have my consent. Go on ahead in there. Touch my brain. Make me believe you.”
     “I shall,” Lucifer says.
     Great, thinks the Safety Manager. Here we go.
     Billy hears something. A tiny pop, like somebody had been shuffling their feet on carpet and then poked him in the back of his head. And something happens in his skull. Something shifts, grinds, as though his brain is a pile of rocks and one, deep in toward the center, has just disappeared. And suddenly something is different. He doesn’t see the guy across from him as just a guy anymore, or even as a potentially-dangerous crazy guy. He sees him as the physical embodiment of a grand architecture of evil. The Devil. The Prince of Darkness.

-Excerpt from The Weirdness by Jeremy P. Bushnell, courtesy of Melville House.


Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.

Jeremy Bushnell: Agnostic slacker allies with Satan against depressed sorceror. Contains sex.

The Weirdness

LNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

JB: The Seven Unitarian Universalist Principles and the first edition Dungeon Master’s Guide?

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

JB: At least one thing that is true for every thing that is funny. Or reverse that.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

JB: Nicholson Baker’s wonderful The Mezzanine, which is a book that contains the funny and the true in a better balance than I’ve ever achieved. On a happy note, I read his Room Temperature for the first time this year, which was almost as good as getting to read The Mezzanine again for the first time.

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

JB: Q. What was the earliest thing you can remember writing? A. An Ultraman fan comic—I drew it in crayon. I sold this to a nice neighbor lady for I think a dime so it also represents my first literary sale. A kind introduction to the business, I suppose.

Get a copy of The Weirdness at IndieBound.

Bushnell, Jeremy - cr. Lex TerenchinJeremy 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.


Sometimes my husband comes home covered in blood. Which is weird on its own, but especially weird because he’s a pharmaceutical sales rep. And when we’re talking blood, we’re not talking Carrie buckets of pig blood (at least not yet, I hope). We’re talking more flecks, a splatter, sometimes even so fresh that we can get it out of his suit. While he has the money to buy new suits if they get ruined, suit shopping can be a hassle, because my husband is tall and thin and off-the-rack stuff never quite fits, too short in the sleeves, and presentation is key, he always says, in his line of work. Sales is sales and he does look, let’s say, very sharp going to work every morning, but then usually around 6 pm he gets home, and sometimes there’s the blood.

-Excerpt of “Clean and Friendly” from Misadventure.


Late Night Library: Summarize your book in 10 words or fewer.
Nicholas Grider: Strange people keep getting “good” and “bad” confused.

Misadventure CoverLNL: If this book were the lovechild of two others, who are its parents?

NG: The book’s parents would probably be two books in particular—Brief Interview with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace and Minds Meet by Walter Abish. The former for the gallery of behavioral oddity and the latter for the gallery of writerly oddity.

LNL: What ingredients go into the recipe of your writing style?

NG: Disorientation, disconnection, perversity, urgency, gallows humor and hope.

LNL: Name one book you wish you could read again for the first time.

NG: David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.

LNL: Answer a question you wish people would ask you about writing.

NG: Q. Why are your characters and stories so strange? A. Life is strange. At least mine is. I’m not sure how I would go about writing a normal story about normal people, and I’m not sure I would want to.

Get a copy of Misadventure.

Nicholas GriderNicholas Grider is a writer and artist living in Milwaukee. He received an interschool MFA from California Institute of the Arts. His photography has been exhibited internationally, and his writing has appeared in Caketrain, the Collagist, Conjunctions, DIAGRAM, Guernica, and Hobart, among others. Misadventure is his first book.

Posted on: March 7, 2014 · Blog, Homepage, Rookie Report ·Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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