Confessions of a Contractor

Confessions of a Contractor

3.6 13
by Richard Murphy
     
 

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Selected as a "sizzling beach read" by the New York Daily News, Richard Murphy's debut novel explains what it really means to be a full-service contractor.

Henry Sullivan has spent seventeen years renovating houses for wealthy women, and he owes his success to a few simple rules: don't take on too many jobs at once-and don't sleep with clients. Over

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Overview

Selected as a "sizzling beach read" by the New York Daily News, Richard Murphy's debut novel explains what it really means to be a full-service contractor.

Henry Sullivan has spent seventeen years renovating houses for wealthy women, and he owes his success to a few simple rules: don't take on too many jobs at once-and don't sleep with clients. Over the course of one complicated summer, Henry breaks those rules when he works on the houses of two very different women who used to be friends. Henry falls for both women, and finds himself erecting an emotional house of cards as he attempts to complete their jobs while piecing together the mysterious events that demolished the women's friendship.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In screenwriter Murphy's breezy debut, Henry Sullivan, a single, in-demand L.A. contractor, can pick and choose his high-end home renovation jobs. Henry's self-imposed rules-don't sleep with clients and don't take on too many projects at once-go out a half-finished window when he falls for two clients at once: Sally Stein, a single and successful purse designer, and Rebecca Paulson, an unhappily married mother of twins who is Sally's former best friend. Why the two women he loves are no longer speaking becomes so intriguing to Henry that he begins to dig for answers while simultaneously finishing (or, rather, attempting to finish) both their houses. How Henry finally solves the mystery is neatly wrapped up at the end of this amusing tour through the perils of poking around in others' intimate spaces. (Aug.)

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Kirkus Reviews
Hollywood screenwriter Murphy taps into his own lengthy history in the home-repair business to craft a debut novel about the uneven relationships between love and shelter. Murphy's fictional doppelganger Henry Sullivan, a blue-collar contractor, is having a hell of a summer. After 15 years working a hammer, this home-repair whiz has learned a few tricks, including maintaining a firm grip on his common sense while clients are losing their minds. "Nothing epitomizes the American dream like a house," he says. "It is the reason renovation has become the most expensive drug on the market, and the reason some people can't stop doing it once they start." Henry breaks his own rules by sleeping with Sally Stein, a charismatic purse designer who finds him to be a perfect accessory. At the same time, he can't stop thinking about new client Rebecca, the wife of repellent real-estate guru Derrick Paulson, who buddies up to Henry to help him salvage his doomed marriage. As if the self-possessed Sullivan doesn't have enough trouble with his love triangle, he's also coping with retaliatory strikes by a vengeful oncologist who believes Henry slept with his wife; good-humored teasing by charming Mexican crew members Hector and Miguel; and his own unresolved feelings about a long-ruined relationship with a sexy Web designer named Gia. Murphy has a good feeling for dialogue, which gives the book's uncomfortable relationships a strong sense of realism, despite the eccentric and sometimes outright crazy behavior of Henry's love interests, and he ably captures the absurd humor that often springs from extreme wealth. But where the novel's real charms lie is in Sullivan's insightful observations of the thornyrelationship between humans and their domiciles. Zen and the art of home repair: Home-improvement addicts, architectural hobbyists and amateur couples counselors should get plenty of mileage here. Agent: Lydia Wills/Paradigm
From the Publisher
"Sexy, and filled with enough dTcor details to keep any HGTV addict happy."
-People (three stars)

"Entertaining. You don't so much read a novel like this as watch it unfold, scene by scene."
-Los Angeles Times

"A mix of True Confessions, Architectural Digest, and Psychology Today."
-USA Today

"Murphy captures the absurd humor that often springs from extreme wealth. But where the novel's real charms lie is in [its] insightful observations of the thorny relationship between humans and their domiciles."
-Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780399155079
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
08/14/2008
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 10.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 - 14 Years

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