Photo © Helen Laser.
Michael grew up in Queens, earned a Master’s from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins, lived in Manhattan for many years, and has raised two children as a stay-at-home dad in Montclair. Along the way, he has also published many short stories, as well as feature articles and op-eds in the New York Times and other publications.
A local author with a lot of adult and YA titles under his belt and great reviews besides, Laser’s new adult novel, a dark comedy for adults, My Impending Death, is set in New Jersey.
"Laser works writing magic… [T]he novel becomes a seesaw of tender moments, total screw-ups, and a suspense that becomes unbearable… Laser... mounts a steamroller of a novel. This book is a well-written, welcome surprise."
"Laser’s third novel is a charming and satisfying story, funny without being an out-and-out comedy, a beautifully executed character study… Laser isn’t as well known as he ought to be, but, with any luck, this book will give him some serious exposure."
"With clever writing and surprisingly fitting humor…. My Impending Death is more a story about living than about dying… Infused with humor about both the most serious of topics and the most mundane elements of life itself, My Impending Death never disappoints."
—San Francisco Book Review, ***5 Stars***
"Michael Laser has written a down-to-earth New Jersey love story that convinces with every detail and rings powerfully true—a real achievement. Funny, mordant, soulful, with a sneaky plot that grabs you, My Impending Death is a hard book to put down."
"A well-developed cast of secondary characters, some intriguing high-tech cheating tools, and a late-breaking plot twist round out this entertaining debut that will go over well with fans of David Lubar and Gordon Korman."
"...the hyperbolic novel raises provocative questions: how do we teach students about ethics and honor in a corrupt world? Is there ever a good reason to cheat? Several characters in the book weigh in, but Laser reveals his true message through Karl's friend and longtime crush Lizette, whose disappointment in him is devastating. Karl is a realistically conflicted teen, and the hot topic and fast-paced story line hold appeal."
"When a student's life is laid waste by an evil school vice-principal with a McCarthy-like penchant for hunting down cheaters, geek genius extraordinaire Karl Petrofsky steps up to the plate and conspires to aid and abet a band of Robin Hood-like rogue cheaters in his high school….The message isn't all yuks, however, especially when Laser uncovers an ugly political underbelly beneath the city's education system. The lines between right and wrong become skewed as Karl begins to question authority and his future, and what results is a full-on Animal Farm style attack on No Child Left Behind, where readers find themselves illicitly cheering for the underdogs."