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The Futility Experts
The Futility Experts

The Futility Experts


307 Pages, 5.5 x 8.25

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $22.95)

Publication Date: June 2018

ISBN 9781943156498

Rights: WOR

Schaffner Press (Jun 2018)
Schaffner Press, Inc.

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A wickedly funny examination of how not to age gracefully

Margaret Broucek's debut novel, The Futility Experts, is a wickedly funny examination of how not to age gracefully. Feeling trapped in a stagnant marriage, working a dead-end job, and desperately coveting the last good parking spot, Tim Turner decides to do what any middle-aged man not in his right mind would do; reinvent himself online as a 21-year-old marine . At the same time, Davis Beardsley, a professor of zoology obsessed with imaginary creatures, watches his chances for tenure circle the drain when a new department head takes a dim view of his teaching methods. Delivered with deadpan wit and keen insight, not to mention a decrepit Sasquatch, a Romanian adoptee hell-bent on destruction, and a trio of incontinent lapdogs, The Futility Experts will appeal to fans of Jami Attenberg, Gary Schteyngart, and anyone who likes their comedy with a little chaos.


"The Futility Experts starts with a bang and only gets more explosive from there . . . laughs and satisfying plot twists . . . I flipped pages till the night was dawn . . . an auspicious debut for this talented new voice." —Bill Roorbach, author, Life Among Giants, The Remedy for Love and The Girl of the Lake

"Margaret Broucek's The Futility Experts makes hilarious art out of disaster. An extravagantly comic, strangely moving novel. I loved it." —Brock Clarke, author, An Arsonist's Guide to Writer's Homes in New England

"Broucek's prose is stunning. Terrific turns of phrase, technicolor images, and a linguistic sensibility left-of-center enough to please and amuse without ever becoming gaudy or otherwise drawing undue attention to itself." —Ron Currie, Jr., author, The One-Eyed Man and God Is Dead

"What Kris Kristofferson said when he discovered John Prine is what comic writers are going to say about Margaret Broucek. She's so good that we'll have to break her thumbs." —David Carkeet, author of The Full Catastrophe

"The Futility Experts is my pick this year for fans of A Confederacy of Dunces. I loved this book and hope others will, too." —Bethanne Patrick, Lit Hub

"With a deft absurdist touch and biting wit, Broucek details the fraught lives of a Marine sniper impersonator and a struggling teacher with a yen for cryptozoology. Broucek has a wonderful gift for conceiving oddball situations and making them hilarious." —Thomas Urquhart, The Portland Herald Express

Author Biography

Margaret Broucek is a filmmaker and playwright whose works have appeared Off-Broadway and in festivals in the U.S. and Europe. She has had short stories published in the anthologies Sudden Fiction, Continued, Best of TriQuarterly, and also in Alaska Quarterly Review. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College.