All the Money in the World

Overview

What happens to a criminal defense attorney when his biggest client, a charming and seductive drug dealer, trades him in to the Feds? What happens to his college-age son when he tries to discover who's telling the truth? Robert Anthony Siegel's stunning first novel, All the Money in the World probes the dark underside of family and professional life, where morals are turned inside out. For thirty years, Louis Glasser has built his career defending thieves, con men, and drug pushers. In turn, he's risen from New ...
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Overview

What happens to a criminal defense attorney when his biggest client, a charming and seductive drug dealer, trades him in to the Feds? What happens to his college-age son when he tries to discover who's telling the truth? Robert Anthony Siegel's stunning first novel, All the Money in the World probes the dark underside of family and professional life, where morals are turned inside out. For thirty years, Louis Glasser has built his career defending thieves, con men, and drug pushers. In turn, he's risen from New York's teeming Lower East Side to a luxury apartment on Gramercy Park. But when he makes a Faustian bargain with marijuana dealer Brian Brianson, the price becomes more than he can afford. Lou is plunged into a lawyer's nightmare of government investigations, grand juries, and indictments, and he sees his world crumble about him. At the threshold of adulthood, his son, Jason, faces a morally ambiguous world in which no one can be trusted - least of all the father he's always admired and the drug dealer who's offered him a career in the "organization."

In Siegel's remarkable debut novel, Lou Glasser, a New York criminal defense attorney, represents some of the city's finest drug dealers. When his best client is arrested, Lou comes to the rescue--and soon discovers that the DEA is after him, not his client. 272 pp. 15,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Louis Glasser goes from rags to riches and back again. As a very successful defense attorney, he handles the cases of drug dealers, pornographers, and the shady elements of society. His motivation to succeed is not justice but money. He finds himself the target of an investigation and learns that his long-time client has fingered him in something dirty. Glasser, while greedy and self-serving, somehow manages to be a compassionate man as well, and Siegel unfolds a straightforward story of his downfall. Along the way, Jason, Glasser's son, looks at his father with contempt, pity, and envy but also with love and a loyal belief in his innocence. Although this first novel is well written, there are questions left unanswered and subplots that float in and fizzle out. By the end there are no big moral lessons, no last-minute hero to save Glasser from prison. A melancholy tale; recommended for large collections.Shirley Gibson Coleman, Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., Mich.
Kirkus Reviews
Discontinuous takes on how Manhattan's criminal justice system devours a seemingly smart Jewish lawyer who battened on it for nearly three decades.

Although grossly overweight and irredeemably profligate, good- hearted Lou Glasser has claimed much of what he's wanted from life. At age 59, in 1987, the up-from-the-Lower-East-Side bar member has more than enough to eat, a Jaguar, a Chelsea co-op, a son in his senior year at Harvard, and a thriving if raffish practice comprised mainly of low-level drug dealers. One fateful day, however, the feds nab longtime Glasser client Brian Brianson. An immensely wealthy narcotics trafficker who jumped bail 17 years earlier (with Glasser's knowledge), Brian can't bear the idea of long-term incarceration. Accordingly, he turns on the roguish but guiltless Glasser, identifying him as the kingpin of a global smuggling ring. Anna Freeburg, a careerist in the US Attorney's New York City office, buys this fantastic story, and Glasser is soon indicted on a series of world-class charges. Meantime, Jason (his self-absorbed scion) reaches out to Brian and Anna in a vain effort to get Glasser off the hook. Wise to how the system works, the cash-strapped advocate brings the seriocomic proceedings to an abrupt close by copping a plea (to harboring a fugitive), which nets him a four-month sentence in a minimum security institution. Upon release from prison, a still chastened Glasser (now 40 pounds lighter) insists on rifling through his family's none-too- felicitous past. At the close, he's sitting in an all-night Brooklyn diner with Jason and ne'er-do-well brother Eddy, who bickers with his nephew about picking up the check.

A debut effort that seems less a novel than a shticky series of set pieces.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780517316887
  • Publisher: Random House Value Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/28/1998

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