Schopenhauer's Maxim

Joe Formichella


Synopsis: What Primary Colors by Anonymous did for the Clintons, Schopenhauer’s Maxim by Formichella does for the politics of the religious right. Part political intrigue, part fairy tale, and all humor, at its darkest and most noir.


ISBN: 978-1-60489-169-0 Hard cover $30.00   Sale Price $22.00

ISBN: 978-1-60489-170-6  Trade paper $18.95    Sale Price $9.95

286 Pages

  About the Author: 

Joe Formichella is the author of Murder Creek; Waffle House Rules; Staying Ahead of the Posse; Here’s to You, Jackie Robinson; The Wreck of the Twilight Limited; and A Condition of Freedom. He is the editor of Shoe Burnin’: Stories of Southern Soul.




 Excerpt from the Book:

Part I


            This time the recorded message was different. “I know you’ve been getting these messages. If you’re not interested in my proposal, that’s fine. I would have preferred we had a chance to talk about it, but will stop bothering you if that is your wish. I’ll call back one last time to get an answer, one way or another.”

            Jerry Weaver didn’t know how to react. He hated games, was not good with ultimatums, and loathed waiting. Because of the message change, he no longer felt like he was in control, and that bothered him, more than a little. The calls had started at 7 that morning, a Sunday morning in April of 2005. Every hour on the hour his cell phone had rung, the view screen announced “WITHHELD” by way of ID, he let the voice mail pick up and the same female caller said, “I have a very important project I’d like to discuss with you, a project uniquely suited to your skills. I will call you again in exactly one hour.” That’s it. No name, no number, just a promise to call back.

            He’d  spent the first few calls trying to attach a name or a face to the voice, though had been unable to discern any distinctive qualities, no immigrant accent, ESL formality, Southern drawl, Midwestern twang; no Creole lyricism, big city attitude or West Coast altitude. That didn’t mean much, he knew. In his life, in both his fame and his infamy, there were doubtless scores more people who knew him, or thought they knew him, than he’d ever recognize.

            No one who really knew Jerry would have been surprised by his behavior.  He was famous for not answering his phone. Famous. The peculiarity, in fact – something too many castigated as a weakness – was part of a body of evidence amassed in a campaign to malign and silence him a decade ago. One of his former co-workers was actually quoted saying, “He never answered his phone: he just checked messages.”

            Thing is, it worked, the campaign. He was maligned, and for all practical purposes, silenced. Who’s to say what part that particular charge, about not answering his phone, played in its success? Jerry wouldn’t discount anything, at this point.