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A Butterfly in Philadelphia

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3.70  ·  Rating details ·  30 ratings  ·  10 reviews
A RANDOM ACT OF CHAOS...

Spencer Casey is a 20-year-old high school dropout who works in a failing puzzle factory in Philadelphia, chopping up Masterpieces of Western Art into jigsaw puzzles. He is tired of being an effect instead of a cause. On the night before the factory is to close, inspired by the image of a butterfly flapping its wings in China, he scrambles the piece
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Paperback, 277 pages
Published April 21st 2015 by Swallow Tail Press
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3.70  · 
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 ·  30 ratings  ·  10 reviews


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Donnie Burgess
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone

Spencer Casey is a simple man from Philadelphia who never made much of a difference. When his aunt Lorraine sees a job posting in the local hair salon, he takes the job hoping to get the attention of Monique, the salon owner’s daughter. She doesn’t seem to notice. Now, Artistic Puzzles Inc. pays Spencer to not make much of a difference, chopping Masterpieces of Western Art into a thousand pieces at a time. When he starts chopping up ‘Chaos Scape 19’ by Armand Brigantine –cut into the same thousa
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Laura Larson
Normally I dislike books with multiple POVs. 2 is fine, but more than that gets complicated and often difficult to follow. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this was done. It was fascinating to see how one small action changed the course of so many lives. There were so many threads I really didn't know how on Earth it was all going to be tied together. Character development was minimal- really only what was necessary for the story. With so many characters I got a bit confused at times. All ...more
Jeff
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a lot of fun. It reminds me a bit of Confederacy of Dunces in that it's a fast paced story with a multitude of colorful characters and quite a few laugh out loud moments. I didn't think it was a masterpiece in the same way that Dunces was, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend it to others looking for a solid comedic story.
John Nondorf
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Clever story with some good messages. Lots of characters that are pretty well developed. Didn't really care for all the negative stereotyping of overweight people, but overall, a decent book.
Kim Hamilton
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Bizarrely funny

Moving on, this novel reads like slapstick.
I'm looking forward to the next installment.
A satirical comedy to find your fuunybone.
Clarissa Simmens
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Food and heat are major requirements for life. In Bruce Hartman’s hands, these two necessities become the backdrop for his wittiest novel thus far. Populated with multi-faceted characters, A Butterfly in Philadelphia is a seemingly chaotic aggregate, but like a jigsaw puzzle of a thousand pieces, it will eventually form an orderly landscape. The bonus, of course, is the underlying humanism Hartman always manages to inject into his novels. Whether we are reading about Lindsay’s dinner order of gl ...more
Kristy McRae
May 23, 2015 added it
Shelves: abandoned
I wanted to like this one...I've enjoyed this author's books in the past. There were some quirky characters that I found interesting, but I just kept drifting away....it could have been the timing. Life got busy, and I just never made it back into this story. I may pick it up again one day, and give it another go.
Barb
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
This is really a train wreck of a story: workers in a puzzle factory discover the far-reaching consequences of their actions when they scramble different jigsaw puzzles in the same boxes. The situations were so implausible that they almost became plausible again. I picked it up because Amazon reviews referenced the local color, but that wasn't enough to redeem this very strange novel.
Pam Oconnor
May 21, 2016 rated it liked it
A Butterfly in Philadelphia was a good light read for vacation. Sounds like there may be more of these stories about Spencer by the way the book ends. It was certainly a different way of writing from so many different viewpoints.
Bruce Hartman
Apr 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Recommends it for: adults
Recommended to Bruce by: The Muse
This is the first non-mystery novel I have published. It's a satirical comic novel and at the same time a coming of age story, though not YA fiction because of some of the themes. Since I wrote it, all I can say is: Highly recommended!
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Bruce Hartman has worked as a pianist, bookseller and attorney. The author of eight novels, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia.

His eighth novel, a legal thriller entitled THE DEVIL'S CHAPLAIN, was released in May, 2018. This book tells the story of a young attorney, Charlotte Ambler, who volunteers to represent a death row inmate, a once-prominent biologist named Christopher Ritter, who assert
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