“Roll over Canterbury Tales, tell John Irving the news. Tim O’Leary’s sharply observed pandemic narrative of wine and woe turns out to be a superspreader event of laughter that perfectly captures the resilience of humanity under house arrest.”
— Adam Novak, author of Rat Park and Take Fountain
AVAILABLE APRIL 9TH, 2024
THE CORONA VERSES blurs the line between novel and short story collection, connecting ten tales that explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the fictional town of Santa Pulmo. Tim O’Leary employs his trademark humorist approach to characters navigating love, loss, isolation, fresh starts, and the myriad of other experiences of the pandemic.
Santa Pulmo was a quiet little beach community—until Corona came calling. Many suspected that Danno was patient zero, exposed at a Juggalo concert in Reno, only to return as a superspreader. But how Corona arrived in Santa Pulmo is only part of the story.
In The Corona Verses you will also meet Danno’s sidekick Pugs, clad in doctor’s garb, hawking bogus cures in a strip mall parking lot; a homeless traveler who discovers redemption; a conspiracy theorist trapped aboard a ship with snake-handling religious nuts, a 1980’s sitcom star, and a militia that can’t shoot straight; a teenager experiencing new freedom behind his mask; a disenchanted Catholic priest searching for God in a karate dojo; a yacht-rock idol who escapes to Santa Pulmo to finally find peace; and Al the UPS delivery man, who connects the community and saves the town from a race war.
Perfect for readers who love exploring the ties that bind communities together in times of despair and fans of Tom Perotta, BJ Novak, and Carl Hiaasen, The Corona Verses is an unexpected collection that both faces the darkness of the human condition and explores the levity and even comedy that comes with being alive.
MEN BEHAVING BADLY is O’Leary’s new frank, unflinching follow-up collection to 2017’s successful DICK CHENEY SHOT ME IN THE FACE. Here O’Leary does the impossible: dive into the psyches of the most destructive men– a stalker, a Klansman, public shooters— and creates narratives that neither rationalize, nor over-empathize. Refreshingly, these stories deliver both valuable insight, and perspective-enhancing humor. Employing fiercer social commentary and broader imagination, these new stories are concerned with justice, redemption, mockery of a decaying and violent culture and the often greedy men behind it. But for every grubby and disastrous man, there’s hope in the form of the unexpected: a centenarian whose invisibility is a weapon, a retired Montana rancher, a California tomato farmer, an elderly Black woman from Brooklyn with some powerful knitting needles, two fly fishermen–even the Earth herself. While nostalgia, humor, and blunt delivery hook the reader, O’Leary is dead serious about calling out liars, the indignities of American retirement, contagious gun violence, and other social and political ills.
PRAISE FOR MEN BEHAVING BADLY:
Bristling with complex comic characters, the stories in O’Leary’s latest collection mine, with a feral brand of dark humor, many of our deepest afflictions: gun-violence, wealth disparity, mental health crises, political vacuousness, ad infinitum…This is an incriminating, daunting look in the mirror for a brand of masculinity that is “playing footsie with the grave digger.— Chris Dombrowski, author of Body of Water
Dissects the simmering rage within…page-turners, funny and irreverent.— Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Searching for the funny in a chaotic world.— Billings Gazette
DICK CHENEY SHOT ME IN THE FACE: And Other Tales Of Men In Pain is an enthralling and award-winning story collection to be re-issued alongside MEN BEHAVING BADLY. Unpredictable, humorous, sometimes dark, and surprisingly heartfelt, these stories explore the secret life of men as they pass into adulthood, middle age, and old age, confronting lust, pain, guilt, bewilderment, and mortality. In eighteen stories we meet: a distraught husband who experiences heartbreak and salvation after his wife dies in a car accident caused by a texting teenager; a successful man who returns to his hometown and finds his first love stacking jars at a local Costco; a sheriff in a Western town who confronts a pedophile and his own past abuse; an Iraq war veteran turned bodyguard who encounters the biggest threat of his life in a Las Vegas Nightclub; a successful attorney who abandons his legal career to play the iPad guitar, and Henry who is shot in the face by…Dick Cheney.
PRAISE FOR DICK CHENEY SHOT ME IN THE FACE: And Other Tales Of Men In Pain:
Humanity in all its emotional confusion, shot through with sympathy, humor and even a little hope— The Oregonian
One of the best collections of short stories I have ever read.— Jerome O. Brown, author of Calves in the Mudroom
An enthralling story collection. Explores the secret life of men as they pass into adulthood, middle-age and old age confronting lust, pain, guilt, bewilderment, and mortality in 18 stories.— Montecito Journal