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Good fun, good writing
Quirky, fun, tongue-in-cheek double-cross with a twist. Ahhh, what's not to like? Breezy dialog. Lovable rogue of a first-person narrator. Good local SF Bay Area color, computer stuff, a trip to Vegas, some sex and booze, computer highjinks. A good book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 2, 2009
NORMAN DIETZ SHINES IN THIS NARRATION
Ready for a wry satire with mini bites and maxi humor? Then don't miss a word of 'Con Ed' as read by writer, actor, solo performer Norman Dietz. Known to audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada, Mr. Dietz has performed his original works on numerous stages. He has also compiled these works for publication in Fables & Vaudevilles & Plays, and The Lifeguard and the Mermaid. Mr. Dietz is the perfect voice for protagonist Kip Largo, with a touch of world-weariness, an echo of been-there-done-that, and hints of hope for a big score. Kip, you see, is a con man, one of the best. Unfortunately, one of his schemes (a diet product) earned him only jail time, but that's behind him now as he's living in Palo Alto where he's attempting to hit it big with selling vitamins on the Internet. One night, as he's passing some time in a bar he watches a hustler at work. Said hustler doesn't have Kip's know-how and Kip has a soft spot for those in his profession - he'd really like to help but has no desire to return to jail. Nope, no way. Then his son, Toby, comes knocking on the door asking for bed, board and help. Seems that Toby has run up some heavy gambling debts. As Kip explains it, 'Toby has the stupid Gotcha! grin of a 15-year-old boy. Unfortunately for both of us, Toby is 25 years old.' Nonetheless, Kip takes his fatherly responsibilities seriously and has no choice but to con again in order to save his son. Enter Edward Napier, a millionaire owner of an over-the-top Las Vegas hotel with a below par work ethic - a perfect hit for Kip's easy money scheme. Kip hires an ex porn actress to pose as an executive to help him and he's off. Or, is he? - Gail CookeWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
hard boiled thriller
He was once the king of the Grifters, but after spending several years as a guest of the state, Kip Largo stays clean as he fears a return engagement. Instead he lives in a dump in Palo Alto, has no friends or family who will talk to him, and ekes out a meager living at a dry cleaner and selling vitamins over the net. --- When the femme fatale blonde approaches him with her scheme, Kip thinks beauties like her ignore guys like him except as expendable pawns. She offers him a plan to con her spouse Las Vegas casino owner Ed Napier out of $20 million. Kip¿s share will save his offspring Toby from further beatings and eventually death from Russian mafia enforcers who demand he pay back his debt of several hundred thousand dollars and growing. Well aware of the risk, Kip obtains investment money from the mob, puts together a team including a programmer, and offers Pythia, a program that predicts stock price changes especially with the dot-com mania though as he sets in motion the game he fears he is being out-conned by a drop dead gorgeous blonde and her husband. --- This is a terrific cautionary tale warning about repeating stock market bubbles and corrections and not to trust the media to play hard-boil at the start (not after the horse has left the stable). The subplots involving other stings, the dot.com investment mania, and the reporters failing to investigate the '90s investment craze (Iraq is media déjà vu) add fascinating depth for a fun prime story line. Modern day Noir readers will wonder whether Kip can pull off the scheme and train his son in the art of the con while wondering along with the hard boiled hero whether he is being set up by the beautiful blond. --- Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.