Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Apathy and Other Small Victories

Apathy and Other Small Victories

A Novel

Paul Neilan

St. Martin's Press




A scathingly funny debut novel about disillusionment, indifference, and one man's desperate fight to assign absolutely no meaning to modern life.

The only thing Shane cares about is leaving. Usually on a Greyhound bus, right before his life falls apart again. Just like he planned. But this time it's complicated: there's a sadistic corporate climber who thinks she's his girlfriend, a rent-subsidized affair with his landlord's wife, and the bizarrely appealing deaf assistant to Shane's cosmically unstable dentist.

When one of the women is murdered, and Shane is the only suspect who doesn't care enough to act like he didn't do it, the question becomes just how he'll clear the good name he never had and doesn't particularly want: his own.

“The malaise of cubicle culture may be well-trodden comedic territory by now, but Neilan's debut skewers office life with a flourish for the grotesque.” —The Village Voice


Chapter One

I was stealing saltshakers again. Ten, sometimes twelve a night, shoving them in my pockets, hiding them up my sleeves, smuggling them out of bars and diners and anywhere else I could find them. In the morning, wherever...


Praise for Apathy and Other Small Victories

“If Camus and Bukowski had written A Confederacy of Dunces and combined it with the screenplay for Office Space, it would have been this book. A triumphantly, weirdly hilarious comedy.” —Neil Pollack, author of Never Mind the Pollacks

“Neilan's wit is a razor that cuts and slashes mercilessly on every single page, in every single paragraph, so that your fingers will bleed even as the tears of laughter soak your face. So basically, you'll be reduced to a bloody, weeping mess, madly reading whole pages aloud as friends and family shake their heads and slowly back away.” —Jonathan Tropper, author of Everything Changes

“Comprising 50 percent sheer brilliance, 50 percent distilled cynicism, and 50 percent coronary-inducing humor, Apathy and Other Small Victories has more life, laughs, and story on every page than should be possible. A heartbreakingly funny paean to supercharged nihilism, it’s the best book you’ll read in years, and the funniest novel ever. If you don’t love it, there's something wrong with you, and if you do, there is also something wrong with you---but you won't care.” —Max Barry, author of Company

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Paul Neilan

Paul Neilan recently left his mind-numbing job at an insurance company in Portland, Oregon, where he spent most of his time hiding in the bathroom and weeping. Born of this and many, many other humiliations, Apathy and Other Small Victories is his first novel.

Paul Neilan

Paul Neilan

From the Publisher

St. Martin's Press

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