Publisher, Date:
Brooklyn : Melville House, [2014]
249 pages : illustrations ; 19 cm
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  Library Journal Review

Cantor's debut novel melds whimsical sf with time traveling-philosophical, metaphysical, and political-in a literary equivalent of a mashup between Christopher Moore and Naguib Mahfouz. In an undetermined time and place, the world is run by the Leader (of unnamed sect), while rival fast-food chains compete for philosophical control of people's hearts and minds. The Pythagorean Neetsa Pizza chain is the employer of our erstwhile hero, Leonard, whose primary occupation is to sit in his White Room, recite Pythagorean meditations, listen to customer complaints, and relieve their pain through compassion...and pizza coupons. Leonard soon becomes embroiled in a mystery involving calls from a 13th-century explorer named Marco, dead mystics, and his own deceased grandfather, imploring him to save the world. With the help of his nephew Felix, adept at practicing awesome karate kicks but not so adept at avoiding being thrown in compost heaps, Leonard steps foot outside his White Room into the world of warring neo-Maoists, Latter-day Baconians, and Heraclitans, in search of answers-and maybe a little love. Verdict Cantor's novel will be a great hit for fans of Douglas Adams's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe. There's a lot going on here, and all of it is amusing.-Julie Kane, Sweet Briar College Lib., VA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Leonard is an exemplary "Listener" in his job manning complaints hotline for the Pythagorean pizza chain, Neetsa Pizza. He is satisfied working from home, and has not ventured outside in over three years. His sister Carol says the world is broken, but Leonard's chooses to believe "bits of the world might be damaged, but never permanently so," and makes it "his mission, through Listening, to heal some part of it." Everything changes with a call from Marco, an imprisoned explorer returned from Cathay who refuses Leonard's pizza coupons and forces him to deviate from his safe, calculated responses. Cantor's wildly inventive debut novel is a mix of the comical and mystical, in a future ruled by fast-food conglomerates run by competing, antiquated sects. When Carol leaves Leonard with her son to attend missions with her book club, Leonard must finally leave the comforts of home to face the tumultuous world outside. Rife with deadpan humor and memorable characters mixed with time travel and supernatural powers, Cantor suspends disbelief and creates a loony world entirely of her own, which is terrifically funny and effortlessly enjoyable. This highly entertaining and adventurous tale will leave readers rooting for Leonard to save the world, with or without his coupons. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Cosmic and comic, full of philosophy, mysticism and celestial whimsy. Both profoundly wild and wildly profound."nbsp; --Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe In the not-too-distant future, competing giant fast food factions rule the world. Leonard works for Neetsa Pizza, the Pythagorean pizza chain, in a lonely but highly surveilled home office, answering calls on his complaints hotline. It's a boring job, but he likes it--there's a set answer for every scenario, and he never has to leave the house. Except then he starts getting calls from Marco, who claims to be a thirteenth-century explorer just returned from Cathay. And what do you say to a caller like that? Plus, Neetsa Pizza doesn't like it when you go off script. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Meanwhile, Leonard's sister keeps disappearing on secret missions with her "book club," leaving him to take care of his nephew, which means Leonard has to go outside. And outside is where the trouble starts. nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; A dazzling debut novel wherein medieval Kabbalists, rare book librarians, and Latter-Day Baconians skirmish for control over secret mystical knowledge, and one Neetsa Pizza employee discovers that you can't save the world with pizza coupons.
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