KEN PISANI, writer guy



"Complete with painfully wry observations and delightfully caustic wit, this novel is a gritty exploration of what it's like to feel incomplete in the world. All five fingers up for this bitterly satisfying tale."

– Kirkus starred review (read full review here)

“‘AMP’D’ is a lot like life—sad and funny and messy and weird, occasionally all at the same time. What really makes this novel work is Pisani’s ability to tell a good story, one that doesn’t heavily imbibe on worn out tropes or easy answers.”

Chicago Review of Books (read full review here)

"With lighthearted brevity and wit, Pisani manages to pull his ragtag crew [of characters] through dark times—-grief, depression, hopelessness, death, and even extinction—-in the most entertaining and ridiculous ways."

Publishers Weekly (read full review here)

“This is the sound of one hand clapping for AMP’D. Profane, sweet, funny.”

New York Times best-selling author Patton Oswalt

"I don't like novels but I liked this one, which made me mad. And happy. Lots of mixed emotions here, if I'm being honest. Hilarious and heart-breaking. I missed the characters after the book ended. Make them come back, Mr. Pisani. Make them come back now. I have a knife.”

— Jenny Lawson, New York Times best-selling author of Furiously Happy

“Brilliant. Great prose, great characters—vivid and really, really different.  I loved all the strange stuff. The circumstances were unique, and I really cared about the characters. Astoundingly good.”

— W. Bruce Cameron, New York Times best-selling author of A Dog’s Purpose and 8 Simple Rules For Dating My Teenage Daughter

“Darkly funny and highly entertaining, a perfect blend of humor and sorrow AMP’D is the type of book that you ration out because you never want it to end.”

— Dan Marshall, author of Home is Burning, an Entertainment Weekly Best Book of 2015

“All thumbs up. I admired the voice, the quirkiness of the situation, and the characters possess a tenderness that is saving. AMP’D falls into a tradition of voice: Vonnegut comes to mind, but so does J.P. Donleavy, Catcher in the Rye, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, A Fan’s Notes. It feels like a modern novel with modern issues.”

— Joseph Monninger, author of Game Change, two-time NEA fellowship recipient

“Alternately poignant and wryly funny . . . Pisani’s portrait of a disabled man self-deprecatingly embracing his own brokenness is oddly compelling and understatedly comical.”


“I can't tell you how brilliantly funny Pisani's book is! AMP’D is a must read!”

— Jane Metzler, FOX News Radio

“One of the funniest, most devastating, and insightful novels you'll read all year.”

— Ian Simmons, “Kicking the Seat” podcast

“It's vivid and vital and funny and gutsy—but unfortunately, we won't be able to accept it for publication.”

— McSweeney’s rejection letter

“I hope you'll understand if I decline [to read your book]. I’m no judge of fiction.”

— Mitchell Zuckoff, award-winning author of Lost in Shangri-La and 13 Hours, Ken’s college roommate apparently still mad at him for that thing.




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“AMP’D” tops BookBub’s list of “18 New Books That Will Make You Laugh Out Loud”




“I just figured out what the world needs now. It needs Nikolai Pushkin, hero of Ken Pisani’s wonderfully strange and deeply felt new novel. Funny, surprising, bizarre, tender, The Defection and Subsequent Resurrection of Nikolai Pushkin is a reminder not merely of what great storytelling can mean to us. But perhaps more importantly, about the vital need for us to see how wounded, fragile humans find strength, hope, and joy in this loony world.”

—John Kenney, author of the Thurber Prize winner Truth In Advertising and The New York Times best seller Love Poems For Married People.

“The only person with more moves than hockey prodigy Nikolai Pushkin, snatched from behind the Iron Curtain in the late stages of the Cold War to become a member of the downtrodden Buffalo Sabres, is author Ken Pisani who chronicles what comes next. Pack a lunch of soul food and borscht. Take the ride. Say hello to Leonard Bernstein, Ed Koch and, oh, wait a minute, Vladimir Putin. Hold on through the curves and pay attention. This is wonderful.”

—Leigh Montville, three-time New York Times best-selling author and former Sports Illustrated senior writer

The Defection and

Subsequent Resurrection

of Nikolai Pushkin

A new novel coming soon!

Click to read chapter 1