A Highly Unlikely Scenario; Or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World, by Rachel Cantor

I received a free review copy of this ebook from Edelweiss, on behalf of the publisher

Kwinks, a GoodReads member, has the best description for this book–better than any I could come up with on my own. So, I’m going to quote them here:

Did you ever have a friend who was SO EXCITED to tell you about this WILD dream she had the night before and you listen, patiently, as she begins to describe it? You quickly realize that it just goes on and on and has no point. Some of it is interesting, most of it makes no sense, and quite a bit is just plain repetition (Felix has a red afro!).

Yeah, that is this book.

Yes, that is Rachel Cantor’s A Highly Unlikely Scenario; Or, a Neetsa Pizza Employee’s Guide to Saving the World. I supposed you could describe it to listening to someone telling you what their latest drug trip, but I shudder to think what drugs that person would have to be on to produce something as weird as the tale Cantor tells.

A Highly Unlikely Scenario

Leonard works as Listener for Neetsa Pizza, a corporation with a cult-like devotion to Pythagoras. During his shifts, he takes phone calls in an entirely white room. When he’s not on duty, he helps take care of his nephew, Felix, while Leonard’s sister works at Jack-O-Bites. In their world, a distant Leader theoretically maintains order while fast food franchises/corporations/religions run the day-to-day lives of the people in the unnamed walled city. There are more than a few hints that the situation is not as stable as the corporations would like. Neo-Maoists and other freedom fighters bomb or attack fast food joints. Baconists squabble with Cathars over the Voynich Manuscript. As if all this wasn’t weird enough, Leonard starts getting calls from Marco Polo instead of us usual complaints calls. So, yeah.

Somehow, Marco is able to contact Leonard using something he learned from Tibetans on his way back from Cathay. He and Leonard grow to be friends after a few weeks. Then Isaac starts to contact Leonard. Isaac and Leonard’s grandfather have been guarding Kabbalist mystical secrets throughout history. Marco is inadvertently about to blab to his ghostwriter. Isaac exhorts Leonard to stop him, which Leonard does. Isaac continues to give Leonard missions to stop other geniuses through history from revealing these secrets. Along the way, Leonard’s nephew picks up Kabbala left and right, they meet Leonard’s future wife, and end up in the middle of a revolution.

That’s the plot, in a nutshell, of this brief book. A Highly Unlikely Scenario is not for the faint of heart or for readers who don’t like a heavy dose of the surreal in their fiction. Anything can—and probably will—happen in this dementedly wacky tale.

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