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The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution

$11.99$22.95

a novel by Lisa de Nikolits

Print: 978-1-77133-649-9 – $22.95
ePUB: 978-1-77133-650-5 – $11.99
PDF: 978-1-77133-652-9 – $11.99

302 Pages
September 20, 2019

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Longlisted, 2020 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic
(Adult Fiction)

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about a couple experiencing a mid-life crisis. The husband loses his job as editor of a financial magazine. Neither are happy with their aging bodies. He seems to have gotten by with charm and frozen emotions. The wife has no idea how angry she is with him for his detachment. It is her idea to sell the house and just travel. But he is not coping well with retirement, so he simply walks off a ferry in Australia and leaves her. He steals a cat (well, he steals an expensive SUV that happens to have a cat onboard) and he flees Sydney, ending up in Apollo Bay, a few hours south-west of Melbourne, where he falls in with a group of anarchists and punk rockers in a tattoo parlour, planning revolution. Meanwhile, the wife sits tight in Sydney with no idea of where her husband might be or what happened. She moves into the red-light Kings Cross area, befriending the owner of the hostel, a seventy-year-old ex-cop drag queen from Saint John, New Brunswick, and waits to hear from her husband. When she learns that her husband is fine, consumed by wrath, she invokes the angry spirit of an evil nurse, a key player in the terrible Chelmsworth sleep therapy in which many patients died (historical fact). While Lyndon gets in touch with his original career ambition to become an artist and wrestles with anarchism and capitalism, Margaux gets in touch with her rage and meets people who can help her deal with it. A serio-comedic thriller about a post-retirement couple who embark on an unintentionally life-changing around-the-world adventure, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is about the meaning of life, healing from old wounds, romantic love at all ages, and how with love and passion, we can make a difference, at any age.

“Lisa de Nikolits sets readers on a rollercoaster ride of clever twists and unexpected turns. The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is a lot of fun and filled with some believable, yet zany characters. It bounces between the viewpoints of Lyndon and Margaux, a retired couple whose marriage speeds steadily downhill after Lyndon decides to call it quits and runs off. It’s the ultimate story of marriage meltdown told in a style all Lisa’s own, and this one should be on everybody’s must-read list.”

—Dietrich Kalteis, author of Zero Avenue

The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is a very adult Alice in Wonderland with a dash of The Conjuring: readers will be smiling one moment and breaking out in goose bumps the next. As one character succinctly points out, “Things come to light in the darkness.” Warm, witty, wildly imaginative and inspiring, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution puts the “joy” in joyride! Lisa de Nikolits is one of the most exciting authors in CanLit today and this funny, fearless new novel will not disappoint her fans.”

—Heather Babcock, author of Filthy Sugar (2020).

“Lisa de Nikolits has written another page turner—this time a novel of transformation—with especially captivating secondary characters, including a large affectionate Maine Coon cat. Addictive—and a joy to read. ”

—Elizabeth Greene, author of A Season Among Psychics

“What a fabulous, gripping story The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is. A hugely consequential and restorative story, written with an unerring ability to draw the reader so completely into the riveting landscape. We bond with this band of humans we grow to care deeply about. This startling mutiny is at times unnerving—a full-tilt unravelling—mutating into magnificently odd odysseys—driven by catalysts that cut to the core—triggering an acceleration of angst born of stockpiled sorenesses—a deft and at times, disconcerting dismantling—a penetrating and powerfully probing dissection—a searing account of an impulsive and headlong escape from the numbing, succumbing of previously indiscernible accumulated hurts— thus unleashing swathes of acute and unsettling undercurrents, made apparent as crucial core issues are laid bare—revealing the poignant dilution of individualism—of authenticity—mangled into societal masquerading—piercing and acute self-scrutiny as significant and unforeseen memories are dredged up— revelling in this saga’s spirited and gutsy guides and gurus, who pop up and prop up, to soothe, support, smooth, unravel and disconcert—presenting challenges—offering and initiating expanding perspectives—encompassing a myriad worldly and otherworldly issues and awarenesses—teeming with unanticipated and suspense-filled consequences.”

—Shirley McDaniel, Artist

“Lisa de Nikolits’ imagination has a seemingly unlimited cast of colourful characters and she uses several of them to full effect in this, her latest look into her wonderous mind. Like rows of dolls on a shelf, Ms. de Nikolits picks a few at random, dresses them up and builds a fantastic story around them. Less rotten than Rotten Peaches, less furious than No Fury Like That, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution has more fun than No Fury Like That, but has its serious, introspective moments as well. An Oakville couple having a mid-life crisis in Australia is the stepping off point of another off Ms. de Nikolits’ imaginative adventures, full of colourful characters and witty, but realistic dialogues about life, anarchy, capitalism and tattoos.”

—James Fisher, The Miramichi Reader

“Prepare for a wild and wondrous ride! The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is a page-turner like only Lisa de Nikolits can deliver. Featuring a cast of memorable characters—including a functionally dysfunctional family of four; a Maine Coon cat named Queenie; a former punk-hacker-turned-anarchist barber; an olive-eyed albino cross-dresser; and the malevolent ghost of a former psychiatric nurse—and set in the picturesque (and sometimes seedy) Australian cityscape, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution gives fans something to truly sink their teeth into, from start to surprising ending. Mark my words: After reading de Nikolits’ latest tour de force, you’ll never look at familial relationships the same way again.”

—Ruth Zuchter, author of The Mother Suite

“This cathartic and ultimately healing book conjures paranormal horror from historic events our collective consciousness would seek to gloss over, punk rock and rolling readers into a tumble of lapsed and bizarre behaviour that breaks a conventional marriage in two. As both players swirl into deep self-discovery, a supporting cast of eccentrics, gurus, bikers and a spirit medium guide the unceremoniously separated pair toward an intense crescendo where the forces of witchery are called into battle and freedom-loving values are jerryrigged to outlive life.”

—SK Dyment, author of Steel Animals

“Be Your Own Revolution and steal back your world! Live your life to the fullest and be the person you want to be, not what others want! The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution offers characters that are realistic, flawed and yet have redeeming qualities as, once again, author Lisa de Nikolits, gives us a novel that is unique, has many powerful messages and makes everyone wonder which way would they align? Filled with suspense, action, intrigue, deceptions, betrayals, unknown answers, family love, discord and change, plus an anarchist’s occult beliefs, [this is a]perfect blend and recipe for a noir novel, a serio-comic thriller with five-star flavor.”

—Fran Lewis, Just Reviews

“Lisa de Nikolits has penned a taut, tight thriller involving domestic disputes, death and a wonderfully jarring book title. Along the way there’s a stolen cat, a suspicious boating accident in Sydney Harbour, Australia, assorted crimes and a slew of quirky, compelling characters that will keep you reading. If you’re a fan of off-beat mysteries with a dash of dark humour, this novel is for you.”

—Nate Hendley, True-Crime Writer, author of The Boy on the Bicycle: AForgotten Case of Wrongful Conviction in Toronto

“Lisa De Nikolits’ The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution gallops off to a frantic start with a drowning off Sydney Harbour and a jeep and cat theft in Kirribilli. Margaux and Lyndon, a previously happy bourgeois couple from Oakville, Toronto, have embarked on an “Around-the-World-For-However-Long-We-Want” trip but Lyndon’s mid-life crisis derails their plans. A collision of accidental meetings brings more excitement into these two retirees’ lives than either could have reasonably imagined. They encounter anarchists, white witches, demon ghosts, tarot readers, tattoo artists, and more. De Nikolits grabs the reader by the scruff of their neck and pulls them along, willingly, for a wild, unexpected, and zany ride.”

—Myna Wallin, author of Anatomy of an Injury

“Lisa de Nikolits takes you on a wild ride through the disintegrating lives of a husband and wife who are lost, figuratively and literally, in Sydney, Australia. Told from the alternating points of view of Margaux and Lyndon, the narrative rolls out in a kind of stream-of-consciousness that grabs at your heart. On their volatile journeys, they each encounter people who change their lives. Lyndon meets an aging anarchist who tries to save the world; a woman’s tortured soul reaches out to Margaux in repeated visions. In this unique novel, de Nikolits explores the lives of desperate people struggling to find meaning in the modern world.”

—Sylvia Maultash Warsh writes the award-winning Dr. Rebecca Temple mystery series and is author of The Queen of Unforgetting

“Her creative powers at a peak, in The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution, Lisa de Nikolits, a sage wrapped in a cloak of language, offers us a crystal ball to gaze upon ourselves. With Lisa’s brand of camp and mysticism, the story zig zags, spirals with vortices, depths and explosive happenings as she weaves a story of magnitude – a disappearance and a demonic spirit to a punk rock tattoo parlour and a protest of such vision it plays on the world’s stage. You come to love the characters, you want to remain in the book, which seems to read the reader on the inside. We become part of its structure. The Occult Persuasion will haunt and guide you long after you finish it. Lisa has written a masterpiece that firmly places her as one of the best Canadian writers of our time.”

—Brenda Clews, author of A Fugue in Green

Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits is an award-winning author whose work has appeared on recommended reading lists for both Open Book Toronto and the 49th Shelf, as well as being chosen as a Chatelaine Editor’s Pick and a Canadian Living Magazine Must Read. Her published novels include: The Hungry Mirror; West of Wawa; A Glittering Chaos; The Witchdoctor’s Bones; Between The Cracks She Fell; The Nearly Girl; No Fury Like That (which will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo, in 2019); and Rotten Peaches. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto and is a member of the Sisters in Crime, Toronto Chapter, Sisters in Crime, Mesdames of Mayhem, The International Thriller Writers.

5 reviews for The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution

  1. Renée Knapp

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits
    reviewed by Cranky Reviews – January 11, 2020
    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/44903099-the-occult-persuasion-and-the-anarchist-s-solution

    Well, this book was quite the surprise. I thought it was going to be a story about love that went wrong. But it is way more than that. The cast of characters is quite quirky. There is even a very expensive Maine Coon cat involved in the adventure. Every turn of the page brings a new question and even had me wondering about my own beliefs. We are even introduced to the world of the occult. 5 Cranky Stars.

    The story is about a couple, Margaux and Lyndon from Toronto, Canada who are taking an around the world trip for as long as they want. Lyndon lost his job just before retirement and Margaux sees it as the perfect time to take this trip of a lifetime. However, Lyndon suddenly disappears. The story is told from each of their perspectives by alternating chapters. The situations they get into are both scary and funny. One minute you are crying along with them and the next laughing. For instance, Lyndon meets an aging anarchist who is a tattoo artist, becomes enamored with the art of tattooing and begs to be taught. Turns out he is quite good. In the meantime, Margaux is visited by the ghost of a former nurse at the former psych hospital. Her experience is rather frightening.

    Cranky – The Book Curmudgeon
    Jan 11, 2020
    Cranky – The Book Curmudgeon rated it it was amazing
    5 CRANKY STARS

    Well, this book was quite the surprise. I thought it was going to be a story about love that went wrong. But it is way more than that. The cast of characters is quite quirky. There is even a very expensive Maine Coon cat involved in the adventure. Every turn of the page brings a new question and even had me wondering about my own beliefs. We are even introduced to the world of the occult.

    The story is about a couple, Margaux and Lyndon from Toronto, Canada who are taking an around the world trip for as long as they want. Lyndon lost his job just before retirement and Margaux sees it as the perfect time to take this trip of a lifetime. However, Lyndon suddenly disappears. The story is told from each of their perspectives by alternating chapters. The situations they get into are both scary and funny. One minute you are crying along with them and the next laughing. For instance, Lyndon meets an aging anarchist who is a tattoo artist, becomes enamored with the art of tattooing and begs to be taught. Turns out he is quite good. In the meantime, Margaux is visited by the ghost of a former nurse at the former psych hospital. Her experience is rather frightening.

    All in all, a really good read. I hated for the story to end as I miss these characters. Even though you must read the whole story to understand the title, it is an excellent title for this book.

  2. Renée Knapp

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits
    reviewed by ebook addicts – January 31, 2020
    https://ebookaddicts.net/review-the-occult-persuasion-and-the-anarchists-solution/

    With a title of The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution i wasn’t really sure what to expect – is it going to be horror, thriller or something else completely? In actual fact it covers all those genre’s with a little bit of dark humour thrown in.

    When Lyndon is fired from.his job his wife Margauex announces they should sell up their home and go on a round the world cruise and start to live life, but little did Margauex know her husband was about to fake his own death during the trip!

    We start with Margauex in bits saying her husband has jumped overboard, though she has no proof he has and when it turns out that he willing walked off the yacht she is filled with rage – which I have to admit is perfectly understandable considering the circumstances! Lyndon steals a car (which just so happens to have very expensive cargo – a Maine Coon cat!) after leaving the yacht and as the story unfolds from this point out you are met some very colourful characters, rage filled ghosts and an anarchist tattooist! Honestly like I say I wasn’t sure what to to expect from this story but I really enjoyed the journey that Lisa de Nikolits took us on with Margauex and Lyndon, I did find myself chuckling sometimes throughout the book. 4 stars.

  3. Renée Knapp

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits
    reviewed by My Bookish Bliss – January 31, 2020
    https://mybookishbliss.com/the-occult-persuasion-and-the-anarchists-solution-by-lisa-de-nikolits-review/

    Lisa de Nikolits has delivered a resounding winner in The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution. I had no idea what to think about the novel from the title alone. However, after reading, it has become crystal clear to me just what Lisa is trying to convey.

    I loved this novel. It is intelligent, witty, and downright different than anything I have ever read before. This tale is told from the perspectives of Lyndon and Margaux, who are a long-time married couple who thought that they were living the dream, yet both were unhappy with their lot. One thing leads to another, and the seemingly magical Jason enters the picture for both spouses in a way that defies reality.

    The undercurrent that flows through this novel made a home inside my head. With every page I read, I kept thinking to myself, how is this going to work? What does this have anything to do with anything else? Yet, it all does come together and becomes entirely plausible. The writing is everything that writing should be and more.

    I am purposely vague as I don’t dare give anything away. All I can really say for sure is that you will want to read this book. In that vein, I want to officially award The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution a full 5 out of 5 stars.

  4. Renée Knapp

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits
    reviewed by Wall-to-Wall Books – March 17, 2020
    https://wall-to-wall-books.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-occult-persuasion-and-anarchists.html

    Lisa definitely has her own style. There is no one else that writes books like she does. Her books are quirky, different, and very original. This is getting very mixed reviews but its because not just anybody can enjoy her books. You definitely have to be into that kind of thing. Good thing I am! It took me a minute to figure out what she was doing with this story, where she was going. Then once I did I realized how brilliant she is. I swear, every book she tries to outdo herself.

    I loved these characters and became very attached to them. It is amazing how sometimes you’re feelings about the characters can flip-flop halfway through the book. And that’s exactly what happened here. In the beginning I didn’t really care for Margaux but I loved Lyndon and Jason (well, I always loved Jason! LOL) and his Anarchist friends. Then about half way through the book I fell in love with Margaux, probably around the time the ghost showed up! Love a good ghost story! By that time Lyndon was just pissing me off. I thought it was great how Lisa brings them together again in the end, just brilliant!

    So… He leaves her, he finds some Anarchist’s and starts following them. She finds a ghost and a Tarot card reader (the Occult) and starts following them, or rather, the ghost followers her and not pleasantly either. They both get some very sound advise on life and love. They end up hooking back up in the end under horrible circumstances. But by this time both of them are very different people. Can they give it another go and make it work this time around?

    Lisa seems to do this to me everytime – every book I yell “Get out of my head!”

    This time Lyndon steals a car with a Maine Coon cat in it – I have a Maine Coon cat!!! Named Martina. And she mentions the REM song – Its the End of the World as we Know it. Well REM happens to be one of my favorite groups! And that is my favorite song! Seriously Lisa – Get outta my head!!

    Thanks Lisa, my friend, muah muah! Can’t wait for your next one! I seriously think I am your number one fan!

  5. Renée Knapp

    The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution by Lisa de Nikolits
    reviewed by Quiet Fury Books – March 25, 2020
    http://quietfurybooks.com/spotlight-on-the-occult-persuasion-and-the-anarchists-solution-by-lisa-de-nikolits/

    When you read a lot, as I do, stories can sometimes bleed into one another, with content feeling too similar and predictable. I wanted to step off the rails into the unexpected, and this book provided exactly that experience in the best way possible.

    I’d love to tell you all about this book, but I don’t want to spoil any part of the adventure. It’s crazy, fun, enlightening, insightful, and poignant. I laughed and cried. I felt it, understood it, related to it. I was inside the story with the characters every step of the way.

    This book, and perhaps the author, is a little bit rebellious. It fights the status quo and laughs at itself, all while offering a quietly powerful message on our relationships with each other and with our planet.

    I loved everything about this story, the characters, and the writing.

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