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What People Are Saying

“Sean has a razor-sharp wit to match his intellectual curiosity. Consistently a treat to read.”

–Jake Sugarman, Salon

“Sean Murphy’s sharp, insightful writing is as delightful as seeing a really good movie; you find yourself thinking about it for days afterward as your previously held assumptions and beliefs are challenged. The fact that he can shine a light as thoughtfully as he does on subjects ranging from music to politics and sports to literature makes Murphy’s Law, Vol One a real treasure; the kind of book you can dive into anywhere and find the minutes turning to hours as he leads you to places you never suspected you could get so caught up in.”

-Robert Rodriguez, Beatles author and co-host of the Something About The Beatles podcast

“While there aren’t many political views that I agree with Sean on, there aren’t many things he writes that I don’t love. He makes me think by being reliably provocative, and he is occasionally quite convincing. Either way he is invariably amusing, thoughtful, and speaks past my brain directly to my soul — a talent that is rare but very needed in these times.”

— Mike Shields, Senior Republican Operative, CNN Contributor

“Sean Murphy’s work is a joy to read. He instantly and easily draws the reader into his world with authenticity and humor. It’s clear that Sean understands people — we often find a piece of ourselves and our lives in his words. At the end of each story I read, I wish there was more, yet still feel satisfied with the little gems of wisdom he imparts.”

–Cat Beekmans, Elephant Journal

“The musicians who Sean Murphy writes about set out, like so many of us, to change the world. Sean has the eloquent gift of letting you feel like you’re in the studio with them and then sitting front-row, best seat in the house, feeling the impact, watching them perform. Sean’s musical insight is a peek behind the curtain, a gift and rare view everyone wants to see.”

–Cerphe Colwell, Legendary Washington, DC DJ

Sean Murphy’s NOT TO MENTION A NICE LIFE offers a voice rarely seen — that whisper of human suffering that comes from an insular heart. It’s as if the photo negative suddenly spoke, and claimed to be the real image, the real person behind the living color and magnetism of what we find in our everyday moment-to-moment existence. As Byron moves into and through his “Terrible Thirties,” and the dot-com. boom of wild heights and terrifying drops, we move with him… but we also get to watch, and be that cautious eye which only has to watch, and doesn’t have to be. Which is both blessing and curse in this romp of Americana, half FIGHT CLUB, half CATCHER IN THE RYE for the middle-aged. Regardless, I’m hooked — and want to stay that way.

–Jesse Waters, author of Human Resources

The world of work, life, and love changed seismically in the early 2000’s and Sean Murphy’s narrator Byron, like everyone else, has been scrambling to keep up ever since…or wondering whether keeping up is even possible. In Not to Mention a Nice Life, Murphy’s masterful storytelling takes us on an honest, searing, sardonic ride through the decade that wasn’t.

-Jeremy Neuner, co-author of The Rise of the Naked Economy

It’s early in that lamentable decade of the 2000s, and while the good times continue to roll in corporate America, they won’t be rolling for much longer—and no one knows it better than Byron, the Everyman narrator of Sean Murphy’s witty and wise firecracker of a debut. If you liked Joshua Ferris’s AND THEN WE CAME TO THE END, you’ll love NOT TO MENTION A NICE LIFE. Byron might not have a future, but Sean Murphy certainly does.

–Greg Olear, author of Totally Killer and Fathermucker

Murphy has provided a wry sendup of the manners and mores of 21st century American culture, which inspects all the Prufrockian frailties and foibles we carry through life.

–Martha’s Vineyard Times

Murphy has cleverly transformed Byron from Lord to dot-com shlub. Instead of chasing minotaurs through labyrinths, he hunts for meaning among the cubicles. Not to Mention a Nice Life is a wry, acerbic, and terrifying critique of the notion that there is really nothing left to critique. Modern Corporate America is less an enemy than a state of reality. They have won. We have lost. Byron, like the rest of the 99%, is left with layoffs, failed stock options and the slight possibility of love. Read this very funny book. Like, right now. And then pour yourself an ice-cold laudanum.

-Sean Beaudoin, author of Wise Young Fool and Welcome Thieves

“Please Talk about Me When I’m Gone, which pulled me in from the first page and never let go, is a mosaic love letter from a son to his lost mother, so everyone in the bereavement club should read it. But this memoir is also a thoughtful, compassionate meditation on being alive. I nodded in recognition, dog-eared pages containing lines I loved, felt my eyes well with tears. In the end you should read it for the reason anyone reads good writing: to feel less alone.”

—Jenna Blum, NYT best-selling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

“As an oncologist treating a difficult and often fatal group of cancers, I witness firsthand as patients and their ‘villages’ cope with the diagnosis. So many decisions, so much emotion, and everyone does it a bit differently. No one path will serve; instead it is a truly individual course we choose. Sean Murphy’s book is a great new resource for patients and families, and frankly for us all.”

– Dr. John Marshall, Chief, Oncology at Georgetown Hospital

“As both the President of a colorectal cancer non profit, and more importantly a son who also lost his mother to this disease, I found this memoir emotional, educational, and edgy. I highly recommend this read for patients, survivors, caretakers, and physicians alike. Congratulations Sean, for this amazing story, your mother would be proud.”

– Michael Sapienza, President and Founder, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation

“Sean Murphy brings a poetic voice and insightful contemplations to the largely unexplored territory of dying and death. With deep compassion and philosophical curiosity, he processes his individual grief while confirming the universality of loss.”
—Roy Remer, Director of Volunteer Programs, Zen Hospice Project

“In some moments of profound experience, we see and feel in extraordinary ways. That is what happened to Sean Murphy after his mother’s death.  He has had the courage to look honestly at death, and the talent to express his love and grief in a way that will comfort and sustain his readers.”

–  Steve Goodwin, author of Breaking Her Fall

“Sean Murphy writes of his loss in a way that is compelling and insightful. Anyone early in the process of grief should hear his message—that you never get over the death of a loved one, and that’s as it should be.”

—Elizabeth Rogers, Social Worker, Advanced Illness Management Program

“An extremely moving, beautifully written, heart-felt and touching chronicling of the life and death of a parent.”

– Charles Salzberg, author of Devil in the Hole

“When I started Sean’s book, I read a section and said to myself, ‘I’m going to email Sean to tell him how amazing that sentence is.’ Then as I read a little further I thought, ‘No, I’m going to email Sean to tell him what an amazing depth of knowledge and perception he’s giving us.’ And then, yes, you got it, on the very next page he wrote something that made me think, ‘His Mom is looking down on Sean with unending love for what he just wrote. This is one amazing book!”

–Donald R. Gallehr, Director Emeritus, Northern Virginia Writing Project

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"As both the President of a colorectal cancer non profit, and more importantly a son who also lost his mother to this disease, I found this memoir emotional, educational, and edgy. I highly recommend this read for patients, survivors, caretakers, and physicians alike. Congratulations Sean, for this amazing story, your mother would be proud."

- Michael Sapienza, President and Founder, Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation

May 27, 2015