Saturday , 23, December 2017 Leave a comment

When the devil moves in next door to Cooper Smith Cooper’s house, Cooper doesn’t know what to make of him at first. But when the unexpectedly neighborly Scratch helps the unemployed actuary find a job at a local insurance company with the help of some inside information into the activities of Death, Cooper decides the old devil might not be so bad after all.

The only problem, Cooper thinks, is how to conceal from his fellow actuaries his newfound ability to perfectly predict the time and place of people’s deaths. And then, there is also the small matter of the screams of his recently deceased neighbor coming from Scratch’s basement furnace to consider.

AN EQUATION OF ALMOST INFINITE COMPLEXITY is a sardonically funny debut novel from J. Mulrooney. Now in paperback and featuring a redesigned cover! 474 pages, $19.99.

From the reviews:

  • J. Mulrooney has crafted a modern fable that illustrates the primacy of the Socratic imperative. In telling the story, the author employs a mordant wit to throw well-deserved darts at journalists, government employees, police officers and baby boomers.
  • Best book in a while. What happens when you are a failed insurance actuary and the devil and his dysfunctional spawn, Death, move in next door? Why, you turn it into a career advantage! As others have said, the humor is very “Douglas Adams-like” with a lot of chuckles and few LOLs. Well worth the read.
  • The best debut novel I’ve read in years. The author hits it out of the park with a truly original story, a crisp writing style and a sophisticated sense of humor that brings a new dimension to this age old tale of “good” versus “evil”. In fact, both good and evil are almost unrecognisable in this tale of a disillusioned Satan who is desperate to retire after the revelation that his traditional role as “Prince of Darkness” is completely irrelevant and no one needs his help finding their way into Hell.
  • This book is FUNNY. I don’t mean like “Louis C.K. talking about necrophilia” funny that passes as comedy today, but actual intelligent wit. This book has wry, dry, absurdist, ironic, observational, satirical, droll and situational comedy. I literally laughed out loud on several occasions, and chuckled merrily on many others. Fans of Douglas Adams will be delighted; the style and sensibility is reminiscent of his “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” or “Good Omens” by Prachett & Gaiman, if they’d been influenced by C. S. Lewis and and G. K. Chesteron.
  • I got this book not really knowing what to expect. Quite frankly, I was blown away. Far from being a simple piece of entertaining fluff, I would describe it as a true work of literature. The concept is so clever and the characters so well thought out that I still think about it days after finishing. The lovelorn protagonist is beyond hopeless, but his journey through the story comes with a bizarrely satisfying payoff at the end. Unexpected, brilliant, clever and entertaining.

AN EQUATION OF ALMOST INFINITE COMPLEXITY is probably Castalia House’s most underrated work. But it is a very good, very clever novel. If J. Mulrooney was a New Yorker instead of a Canadian and was published by a boutique New York City-based publishing house instead of Castalia, he’d very likely be hailed as the next Dave Eggers or David Foster Wallace, except, of course, that Mulrooney’s work is considerably more amusing.

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