A Novel
Percival Everett

A New York Times Book Review "Editors' Choice"

“Everett casts his line, as it were, pretty far, and some of the things he reels in, along with a few red herrings, are weighty indeed: racism, anomie, disillusionment, the meaning (or lack thereof) of one man’s life—the American nightmare, in brief, at the end of the line. The setting, the protagonist and the eccentric and pathetic cast of characters will haunt you long after you close the book. I haven’t read anything like it since Georges Simenon. And, as in Simenon’s Inspector Maigret novels, the prevailing mood is one of existential despair.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Book

A baffling triptych of murder mysteries by the author of I Am Not Sidney Poitier
Ogden Walker, deputy sheriff of a small New Mexico town, is on the trail of an old woman’s murderer. But at the crime scene, his are the only footprints leading up to and away from her door. Something is amiss, and even his mother knows it. As other cases pile up, Ogden gives chase, pursuing flimsy leads for even flimsier reasons. His hunt leads him from the seamier side of Denver to a hippie commune as he seeks the puzzling solution.

In Assumption, his follow-up to the wickedly funny I Am Not Sidney Poitier, Percival Everett is in top form as he once again upends our expectations about characters, plot, race, and meaning. A wild ride to the heart of a baffling mystery, Assumption is a literary thriller like no other.

Additional Reviews

“[Percival Everett] is so original and ingenious that he defies categorization. . . . [Assumption] is a quick, bracing and ultimately enigmatic work about the deception of appearances—anything we take for granted, Mr. Everett means to show us, may turn out to be a lie.”—The Wall Street Journal

“You think you know things about Ogden [Walker], and the killers he’s pursuing, but Everett will chip away at every one of your assumptions until, in the very last pages, you’re in an entirely different, much more unsettling story. Imagine sitting down with a Tony Hillerman novel and suddenly finding yourself in a Jim Thompson nightmare, but it’s so compelling that you can’t turn away. That’s the ride Percival Everett takes readers on, and the one disappointment may be that there’s absolutely no chance for a sequel.”—USA Network, “Character Approved”

“Everett, who has put his uniquely wacky spin on genres from Greek myths to westerns, does the same for crime fiction in his effective follow-up to I Am Not Sidney Poitier. . . . [A] shocking tale.”—Publishers Weekly

“What makes [Assumption]—theoretically, a collection of three related novellas—Here’so powerful is the way that it bait-and-switches expectations and archetypes. . . . Through meticulously precise prose, Everett creates a world where all that we rely on for guidance tends to fail us. . . . Magnificently disorienting.”Electric Literature, “Sunset and Sunrise on Bleak Horizon: The State of the Revisionist Western”

"Wonderful . . . unsettled and unsettling, laced with the dark humor for which Everett is known."—Oxford American