NC Literary Hall of Fame



The Precariousness of Done by Tony Houck

Brandylane Publishers
$15.95, paperback
ISBN: 978-1-947860-14-8
February, 2019
Fiction: Psychological / Latino
Available from your local bookstore or

"The Precariousness of Done is a powerful work: a moving, courageous and daring narration of the difficulties of a person with obsessive-compulsive disorder. A valuable and enriching contribution to the struggle against the stigma that millions of anonymous sufferers heroically, resiliently and secretly battle to overcome."
—Pedro Martín-Barrajón Morán, Director Crisis and Emergency Management PSYA SPAIN, S.L.

"Houck paints a vivid Spanish backdrop for a complex entanglement of characters whose stories are rich with suspense and longing. Both emotionally haunting and full of heart, The Precariousness of Done is a strong debut from a writer who knows how to twist his way through a tale."
—Greg Shemkovitz, author of Lot Boy

"In The Precariousness of Done, Houck has without a doubt created a captivating story of depth that leaves the reader reflecting on the fear that drives our desire to protect ourselves and others. Each of us can relate to the sometimes hindering and sometimes motivating influence our own personal fears have on our path in life."
—Meg McSherry, LCSW, Courage Health & Wellness, Fredericksburg, VA

Meet Ethan, a bright yet painfully shy former exchange student to Spain. He has returned to Las Rozas during the town’s annual fiestas—complete with carnival, bullfights, street vendors, and pickpockets. Ethan’s “Spanish family” welcomes him into their home despite having their own problems, and he becomes inextricably involved in the personal affairs of two sisters, for better or for worse.

Next meet Thomas, another American living in Spain, whose obsessive-compulsive disorder wreaks havoc on his daily life and keeps him from connecting with his family, and even worse, being with the woman he adores.

Full of Spanish zest, layers of love, and the nuances of mental disorders, this smart and sexy book is sure to evoke joy and sorrow. Find out how these men’s lives mysteriously intertwine in this wonderful novel about culture, family, and the precariousness of “done.”

Tony Houck’s burning enthusiasm for Spanish language and culture was sparked by a two-week tour of Spain during high school. Thirty years later, this family man and severe obsessive-compulsive is still bitten by the bug to travel and explore. Set in the Spanish town where he lived, studied, ate tripe, ran with the bulls, and got his heart broken, The Precariousness of Done is his first novel.

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