Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Butterfly in Philadelphia” as Want to Read:
A Butterfly in Philadelphia
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Butterfly in Philadelphia

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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 pi
Kindle Edition, 284 pages
Published May 18th 2015 by Swallow Tail Press (first published April 21st 2015)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Butterfly in Philadelphia, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Butterfly in Philadelphia

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of A Butterfly in Philadelphia
Donnie Burgess
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
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
Laura Larson
Feb 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: february-2019
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
Jan 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
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. ...more
John Nondorf
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Kim Hamilton
Nov 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
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
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
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 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. ...more
May 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
Pam Oconnor
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)  ·  review of another edition
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! ...more
rated it really liked it
Aug 12, 2015
Bobbi White
rated it really liked it
Jul 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Dec 12, 2018
rated it liked it
Jan 06, 2019
Damien Morris
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2019
Janice Rossano
rated it really liked it
Jan 31, 2019
rated it liked it
Nov 07, 2015
Tiffany Peterson
rated it liked it
Jun 17, 2020
Mildred Bromberg
rated it liked it
Feb 03, 2016
rated it it was amazing
Aug 03, 2018
Nadine Charity
rated it liked it
Aug 09, 2016
Brian D. Korn
rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2019
Ramesh kumar
rated it it was amazing
Jun 16, 2016
JoAnn O'Neill
rated it really liked it
Dec 28, 2018
Connie Eiceman
rated it really liked it
May 03, 2017
rated it it was ok
Sep 16, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 26, 2015
rated it liked it
Jan 03, 2019
rated it it was ok
Nov 29, 2018
Cecilia Dunbar Hernandez
rated it it was amazing
May 20, 2015
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Buc to Good: The Trials, Tribulations, and Triumph of Being...and Staying...a Pittsburgh Pirates Fan Through the '90s and 2000's
  • The Keepers of the House
See similar books…
Bruce Hartman has worked as a pianist, bookseller and attorney. The author of ten novels, he lives with his wife in Philadelphia. He has been writing fiction for many years.

His latest book (published in March 2020), THE PHILOSOPHICAL DETECTIVE RETURNS, is a sequel to his most popular book, THE PHILOSOPHICAL DETECTIVE, published in 2014. Both novels feature the iconic Argentine writer Jorge Luis B

News & Interviews

The American South has produced some Hall of Fame literary superstars: William Faulkner, Zora Neale Hurston, Harper Lee, Wendell Berry. And...
12 likes · 0 comments