*A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER*
*A FINALIST FOR THE 2017 THURBER PRIZE FOR AMERICAN HUMOR*
Ken Pisani's sharp and hilarious debut novel AMP'D tells the story of a man who returns to his boyhood home after his arm is amputated, forcing the most awkward of family reunions as he struggles to feel whole again and falls in love with a voice on the radio.
"Hilarious and heart-breaking.” —Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Furiously Happy
“Complete with painfully wry observations and delightfully caustic wit, this novel is a gritty exploration of what it's like to feel incomplete in the world. All five fingers up for this bitterly satisfying tale.” —Kirkus Reviews(starred)
Aaron is not a man on a hero's journey. In the question of fight or flight, he'll choose flight every time. So when a car accident leaves him suddenly asymmetrical, his left arm amputated, looking on the bright side just isn't something he's equipped to do.
Forced to return to his boyhood home to recuperate, Aaron is confronted with an aging father (a former Olympic biathlete turned hoarder), a mother who's chosen to live in a yurt with a fireman twelve years her junior, and a well-meaning sister whose insufferable husband proves love isn't just blind, but also painfully stupid.
As Aaron tries to make the world around him disappear in a haze of Vicodin and medical marijuana, the only true joy in his life comes from daily ninety-second radio spots of fun science facts: the speed of falling raindrops, batteries made out of starfish, and sexual responses triggered by ringtones - all told in the lush, disembodied voice of commentator Sunny Lee, with whom he falls helplessly, ridiculously, in love. Aaron's obsession with Sunny only hastens his downward spiral, like pouring accelerant on a fire. Pressured to do something - anything - to move his life forward, he takes the only job he can get. As a "fish counter" at the nearby dam, where he concludes that an act of violent sacrifice to liberate the river might be his best, final option.
Two-time Emmy nominee Pisani's debut novel tells the heartbreakingly hilarious and quirky story of Aaron, whose life is derailed after a bad car accident that leads to the amputation of his left arm. Not that he was really winning the game of life anyway: before the accident all he had was a failed marriage and an unrewarding teaching job. Now, with no one to take care of him, Aaron holes up in his dad's attic in Paris, Ill., concocts cocktails of painkillers and medical marijuana, and attempts to abdicate from life, hoping to somehow avoid the way people treat him now that he's an amputee. He'll even go so far as to escape through a bathroom window if it means eluding the stares. Even as he continues to protest and make lists of all the things he can't do with only one arm, life keeps finding him in the form of an alligator, a boisterous kid with cancer, a job counting fish, an alluring radio personality, and another amputee. With lighthearted brevity and wit, Pisani manages to pull Aaron and his ragtag crew of friends and family through dark times grief, depression, hopelessness, death, and even extinction in the most entertaining and ridiculous ways.