A Little More Human

A Little More Human
A Novel
Fiona Maazel

“This idiosyncratic thriller, set in Staten Island, is layered with secrets.”The New Yorker

“[Fiona Maazel is] a dazzling prose stylist with a gift for creating characters caught in extraordinary situations that defy credulity. Imagine a situation comedy written by Phillip K. Dick or a telenovela penned by Thomas Pynchon.”Los Angeles Times

About the Book

A dazzling new novel from the author of the “weird, thrilling, and inimitable” Woke Up Lonely (Marie Claire)
Meet Phil Snyder: new father, nursing assistant at a cutting-edge biotech facility on Staten Island, and all-around decent guy. Trouble is, his life is falling apart. His wife has betrayed him, his job involves experimental surgeries with strange side effects, and his father is hiding early-onset dementia. Phil also has a special talent he doesn’t want to publicize—he’s a mind reader and moonlights as Brainstorm, a costumed superhero. But when Phil wakes up from a blackout drunk and is confronted with photos that seem to show him assaulting an unknown woman, even superpowers won’t help him. Try as he might, Phil can’t remember that night, and so, haunted by the need to know, he mind-reads his way through the lab techs at work, adoring fans at Toy Polloi, and anyone else who gets in his way, in an attempt to determine whether he’s capable of such violence.

A Little More Human, rife with layers of paranoia and conspiracy, questions how well we really know ourselves, showcasing Fiona Maazel at her tragicomic, freewheeling best.

Additional Reviews

“Fiona Maazel collapses a whirlwind of genres into a tragicomic tromp through memory and mind.”GQ

“Fiona Maazel’s prose is delightfully quirky, insanely amusing and impossible to put down: Once again, she knocks it out of the park with a tale that pulls no punches and looks the borders of genre square in the eyes before tearing it all down.”Newsweek

“‘Tempest’-like plots are hatched and mysteries surface. Washing up in a boat graveyard is a body that newspapers call ‘the Swimmer.’ (To identify him, characters travel to Denmark, which gives the novel’s conspiracy a Pynchonian multinational quality.) The brain-damaged patients in the Snyder Center present the kind of cognitive idiosyncrasies reported by Oliver Sacks. . . . This is, in other words, an unquestionably brainy book.”The New York Times Book Review

“Brooklyn novelist Maazel has always gone her own way, resulting in brilliant and bizarre books like Last Last Chance and Woke Up Lonely. Her latest novel follows a nursing assistant with a failing marriage and an intriguing second life: By night, he’s a mind-reading superhero, complete with costume, named Brainstorm.”—Men’s Journal

“A tragicomic tale of an extraordinary schlub just trying to hold his life together.”O, The Oprah Magazine

“[Fiona Maazel’s] writing is bright and shiny, as fun to follow as that bouncing ball.”Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

“Deeply rewarding reading.”—Tor.com

“Maazel has rifled deftly through genres to create something in a class entirely by itself.”The Millions

A Little More Human, in its spiraling, fast-paced, witty prose, is stylistically reminiscent of the best of Vonnegut and Pynchon. . . . [Fiona Maazel] layers and constellates the conventions of science fiction, satire, noir, domestic drama, and the superhero narrative to create her own magnificent hybrid.”Washington Independent Review of Books

“Maazel takes a dark, inventive look at the cost of pushing humans to their limits.”Booklist

“Fresh fiction from the author of Woke Up Lonely (2013) and Last Last Chance (2008). . . . Maazel gets the manifold ways in which contemporary life is ridiculous. She also understands the ways in which comedy trends toward disaster. And, finally, she’s smart enough to interrogate the ways in which comedy and tragedy are the same. A treat for Maazel’s fans.”Kirkus Reviews

“Maazel’s willingness to bring in almost any subject and filter it through her characters gives the writing the exhilarating rush of a roller coaster.”PopMatters

“[A Little More Human] blends science fiction, satire, farce, literary mystery, and comic book adventure that probes the human heart. . . [with] clever, incisive prose.”Publishers Weekly

“[A] humorous romp. . . . Recommended for Maazel fans, lovers of tragicomedy, and all who enjoy the absurd.”Library Journal

“A literary-pop crossover to watch.”Library Journal

“[A] dazzling tragicomedy. . . . A Little More Human intelligently questions how much we really know ourselves.”Chicago Review of Books

“Fiona Maazel is an explorer, a risk-taker, a mad scientist—an artist, in other words—and A Little More Human is her most brilliant and uncompromising novel yet. Take this book home and read it right away, preferably in your superhero suit.”—John Wray, author of The Lost Time Accidents

“Listen, skip the blurbs and just buy the damn book. Fiona Maazel is one of the funniest and finest we've got.”—Sam Lipsyte