The Jeremy Cook Novels


These three books feature linguist-hero Jeremy Cook in various trying circumstances:
--In 
Double Negative (1980), at the Indiana daycare center/research institute where Cook labors, one of his colleagues turns up dead in his office.
--In 
The Full Catastrophe (1990), Cook moves in with a couple to try to save the marriage, which is "linguistically troubled."
--In 
The Error of Our Ways (1997), Cook shares the stage with a wealthy St. Louis businessman, and both men must deal with the errors in their lives.  

All three novels were 
New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year and were republished in 2010 by Overlook Press.

Double Negative is a thoroughly enjoyable piece of work. It is a murder mystery told with a very personal kind of light-hearted charm.
--
Newgate Callendar, New York Times Book Review

Intelligent, unpredictable, memorably funny.  A fresh, unusual book, written with a sure instinct for what brings pleasure.
--
San Francisco Chronicle

Certain books elicit a smile of fond recognition whenever they are mentioned—you feel as though you belong to an elite club composed solely of people who have read them. Double Negative is one of those rarities.
--Susan Sandler, Mystery Guild Editor

An intellectual delight.
--
Los Angeles Times

A comic chronicle of marital misunderstandings . . . hilarious, wildly inventive, and eerily accurate . . . Read this terrific book.
--Los Angeles Times

 

A comic masterpiece. . . . It ought to become one of the best-loved novels of the year.
--Kansas City Star

Carkeet captures with precision and humor the daily conversations that can raise anger to a fever pitch between well-intentioned people who love each other.

--Deborah Tannen

Hilarious.

--Chicago Tribune

Mr. Carkeet’s fine book, which affectingly portrays the perils of middle-aged manhood, is a study of the subtle anthropology of everyday communication.
--New York Times Book Review

A clever and compassionate look at the miscommunication and misunderstandings that occur between men and women, husbands and wives, father and daughters.
--Seattle Times

 

It is possible to write a book that is both funny and profound, and David Carkeet has done it in The Error of Our Ways
--San Francisco Chronicle 

 

Shrewd and wickedly funny.
--Variety

A baseball novel so funny that audiobook manufacturers hesitate to record it for fear of vehicular liability.

--David Kipen, in The Atlantic

 

Somehow, Carkeet creates cartoon ballplayers with genuine emotions. The result is equal parts Freud, Casey Stengel, and Jonathan Winters. Slump is not just a fine novel—it’s a good story as well.--The Village Voice

This is one of the funniest novels I know, making David Carkeet a worthy heir to Ring Lardner, though with a softer heart.  
--Nicholas Dawidoff, in 
The Wall Street Journal

This is a sly, cunning, and devious book. It has the giddiness that can only come from a great comic novel. I Been There Before is also a very sad and touching comment on the tragedies of Twain’s life.
--Houston Chronicle

 

I Been There Before is a delightful way to learn more about the “old” Twain . . . while meeting, and falling in love with, the “new.” . . . If there’s a sequel in the works, Mr. Carkeet, please don’t withhold publication until 2061.
--David Bianculli, in The Philadelphia Inquirer

A stimulating display of wit, erudition, humanity, and narrative force.
--Time

What a unique and engaging voice has David Carkeet. From Away is humanely funny, mysterious, and most unpredictable. It's filled with unexpected delights, most of which come courtesy of his wise-cracking, edge-seeking protagonist Denny Braintree. I'm not sure how Carkeet does it, but I'm glad he does. Fresh and unafraid. Enjoyment guaranteed. 
--T. Jefferson Parker

Imagine Preston Sturges and Ruth Rendell collaborating and you've got From Away. Beautifully plotted, emotionally resonant and, most of all, hilarious. 
--Jonathan Kellerman

What an incredible achievement by an incredible writer. 
--Brock Clarke

Bibliography of Novels

Double Negative (The Dial Press, 1980; Penguin paperback reprint, 1982; Washington Square Press paperback reprint, 1991; Felony & Mayhem paperback reprint, 2005; Overlook Press paperback reprint, 2010; Mystery Guild combined edition with From Away, titled Double Carkeet, 2010); also published in Mystery Guild, British, Japanese, German, Greek, and Serbo-Croatian editions; French edition published in 2013 by Monsieur Toussaint Louverture: Le linguiste était presque parfait

 

The Greatest Slump of All Time (Harper and Row, 1984; Penguin paperback reprint, Contemporary American Fiction Series, 1985).

 

I Been There Before (Harper and Row, 1985; Penguin paperback reprint, 1987). Excerpted in The Mark Twain Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Work, ed. Shelley Fisher Fishkin (Library of America, 2010). 

 

The Full Catastrophe (Simon and Schuster, 1990; Washington Square Press  paperback reprint, 1991; Overlook Press paperback reprint, 2010); also published in Literary Guild, German, and Turkish editions. A French edition, Une putain de catastrophe, appeared in 2014 from Monsieur Toussaint Louverture. A play adaptation by Michael Weller premiered at the Contemporary American Theater Festival in Shepherdstown, WV, directed by Ed Herendeen (July-August, 2015). It has also had staged readings at the Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, the Berkshire Theater Group's Unicorn Theater in Stockbridge, Mass., and the Repertory Theater of St. Louis. 

 

The Error of Our Ways (Henry Holt, 1997; Owl/Holt paperback reprint, 1998; Overlook Press paperback reprint, 2010). Excerpted in St. Louis Magazine, Jan./Feb. 1997, 36-41. French edition, titled Des erreurs ont été commises, from Monsieur Toussaint Louverture, April, 2017.  

 

From Away (Overlook Press hardcover, 2010, Overlook paperback, 2011; Mystery Guild combined edition with Double Negative, titled Double Carkeet, 2010); French edition, La peau de l'autre, Editions du Seuil, 2012.