A Butterfly in Philadelphia

Swallow Tail Press (April 2015)
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 pieces of a painting called “Chaos Scape 19” and sends his own ripples of chaos into the world.

A BUTTERFLY IN PHILADELPHIA is a satirical comic novel and at the same time a coming of age story for the two narrators, Spencer Casey and Lindsay Pangborn, who, like most young people, manage to navigate successfully through the chaos they inflict on the world.

Jack Magnus of Readers’ Favorite Book Reviews gave A Butterfly in Philadelphia five stars and made the following comment:

“Bruce Hartman’s contemporary fiction novel, A Butterfly in Philadelphia, is sly and witty. Spencer and Lindsay Pangborn are marvelous characters and the perfect narrators for this disarming story. Hartman never tries to inject humor into his story; he simply makes it happen, and he does so quite well. The story is absurd, yet filled with pathos that sometimes borders on the grotesque. I had a marvelous time reading this book. It made me smile from the very first pages through to the end, though I’ll probably never look at a jigsaw puzzle in quite the same way again. A Butterfly in Philadelphia is one of the strange, comic masterpieces that you’re quite lucky to run across once in a very great while. It’s most highly recommended.”

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