Perfect for fans of Ben Winters and Sarah Pinsker, violence is a thing of the past — but could new horrors lie in wait?
Imagine a world devoid of violence—a world where fists can’t hit, guns don’t kill, and bombs can’t destroy. In this tantalizing novel of possibility, this has become our new reality.
The U.S. president must find a new way to wage war. The Pope ponders whether the Commandment “Thou Shalt Not Kill” is still relevant. A dictator takes his own life after realizing that the violence he used to control his people is no longer an option.
In the first days after the change, seven people who have experienced violence struggle to adapt to this radical new paradigm: Dab, a bullied middle schooler; Marcus, a high school student whose brother is the last victim of gun violence in America; Ann, a social worker stuck in an abusive marriage; Richard, a professor whose past makes him expect the worst in the present; Gabriela, who is making a dangerous border crossing into the U.S.; the Empty Shell, a dissident writer waiting to be tortured in a notorious prison; and Julian, a white supremacist plotting a horrific massacre.
As their fates intertwine, the things each of the seven experience become emblematic of the promise and perils of the new world. The future holds bright new possibilities for ending terrorism, racism, and even hatred itself. But although violence is no longer possible, that doesn’t mean that some among us won’t keep trying. Mindless cruelty is still alive and well—and those bent on destruction will seek the most devious means to achieve it.
“As you explore more and more of this radically changed world, you also start to think more and more about the implications these ideas bring. And I’m pretty sure that’s what Michael wants the reader to do: It’s not just a tale for entertainment, it’s food for thought.” Crossing the Pond Reviews (read the full review here)
“Michael Landweber has written an intriguing novel questioning what life could be like if, in a mere day, direct personal violence became impossible. With intense imagery and heart-tugging characters, the author maps the globe upon which people are freed from that most primal of fears: bodily harm. This fascinating story will keep you reading, wondering what its people will dare to accomplish; and it will urge you to wonder, too, what you might be capable of, what boldness you might find, if you knew no one could physically hurt you.” Catherine Wallace Hope, award-winning author of Once Again
“Deeply imaginative, and shifting from unsettling to inspiring in just a few sentences, Michael Landweber’s The Damage Done is destined to be one of the most daring books of 2022. Stories intertwine with subtlety and skill, and Landweber brings complexity to his characters with deceptive ease. A necessary addition to any bookstore or bookshelf.” E.A. Aymar, author of The Unrepentant and They’re Gone
“Mike Landweber’s wide-ranging cast of characters submerges us in a realm where violence no longer exists. Thought provoking, engaging, and powerful, this novel invites us to hope for a better, though still imperfect, world.”
Susi Wyss, author of The Civilized World
“In this wildly inventive novel, Michael Landweber paints a portrait of a world where physical violence is impossible, but humans still find ways to hurt. It’s a sweeping story about connections, love and loss, second chances, and redemption that will linger in readers’ minds long after they turn the last page.” Tara Laskowski, author of The Mother Next Door and One Night Gone
Published by Crooked Lane Books
Mar 08, 2022 | 352 Pages