Nick Bones Underground

Phil M. Cohen

January 1, 2013

Shmulie Shim­mer promised he’d call his father, Abe, but he nev­er did. And Shmulie nev­er broke a promise to his father.

Pro­fes­sor Nick Fried­man takes a wild ride through a dystopic and dan­ger­ous New York City search­ing for his old high school bud­dy Shmulie Shim­mer. Shmulie is the inven­tor of Lerbs, the most pop­u­lar design­er drug ever. Fried­man and his wise­crack­ing AI com­put­er, Mag­gie, encounter a world of odd and some­times dead­ly char­ac­ters above and below ground. 

Told with sar­don­ic humor, Nick Bones Under­ground offers an imag­i­na­tive world and asks thought pro­vok­ing ques­tions: Is it pos­si­ble to over­come the bur­den of past deeds? What is the nature of being human? Can an AI com­put­er change gen­der and con­vert to Judaism? How did Nick Fried­man become Nick Bones? Who is Rob­bie the Rab­bi? Is it pos­si­ble to get a good cup of cof­fee at the Out­taluck Café?

Discussion Questions

A noir detec­tive romp, set in the not-so-far future, about two estranged yeshi­va friends and the adults they turned into. Pro­fes­sor Nick Fried­man and Shmulie Shim­mer’s friend­ship was forged in being the two bad boys in their Flat­bush yeshi­va — the first day of school, Shmulie hands Nick half his ham and cheese sandwich.

Years lat­er, Nick is a pro­fes­sor in post-apoc­a­lyp­tic Brook­lyn, a place where no one cares about acad­e­mia. He dou­bles as a pri­vate detec­tive, nom de guerre Nick Bones. Shmulie has devel­oped a ridicu­lous­ly addic­tive design­er drug. Nobody knows who he is — not his fel­low gang­sters, not the law, and least of all his father, who hires Nick to track down Shmulie. With Nick Bones, we move deep­er into the case and deep­er through this sur­re­al and all-too-prob­a­ble sci­ence fic­tion world, wit­ness­ing a sur­pris­ing­ly ten­der rela­tion­ship between two friends adrift in a world that’s just as lost.