From the Publisher
“Levison is a sly storyteller . . . by turns funny, sad, and insightful.”—Booklist
“Plenty of humor in [Levison's] gruff caper, but he punctuates the laughs with just the right hint of sadness. . . . A lean crime story and a stark alternative to glossier capers.”—Kirkus Reviews
Praise for Iain Levison:
“Levison is the real deal . . . bracing, hilarious, and dead on.”—The New York Times Book Review
“There is a naked, pitiless power in his work.”—USA Today
“Mr. Levison writes tight, punchy prose, with deadpan humor and a mixture of savvy about and sympathy for his fellow working stiffs.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Exciting, funny, poignant and sociologically important.”—Chicago Tribune
“An amusingly bleak little (im)moral fable. . . . A gleeful satire.”—Detroit Free Press
“Loaded with hilarious deadpan humor.”—Dallas Morning News
Levison, author of the memoir A Working Stiff's Manifesto, delivers a ticklish novel about three hapless friends who turn to crime as a last desperate crack at prosperity in their rundown Pennsylvania coal town. Stoner roommates Mitch and Doug are trapped in dead-end jobs. They decide, along with dog-walker friend Kevin, to take something back from the world that's been ripping them off for years, but as their hilariously inept bungling reveals, the trio is far from criminal masterminds. Levison plays the threesome's antics for serious laughs as they argue and fall all over each other trying to pull off a caper that will land them enough money to buy a new car. Needless to say, things don't look good for the three Dillinger-lites. With a nose for half-baked dreams and a keen ear for how man-children talk and "think," Levison offers an honest and humorous romp through lower-middle class frustration. (Oct.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
After boosting a TV, three blue-collar dropouts think they're smart enough to try a far more dangerous heist. Once again plumbing the depths of working-class desperation, Levison (Dog Eats Dog, 2008, etc.) strikes a more plaintive chord than ever. That's not to say there isn't plenty of humor in his gruff caper, but he punctuates the laughs with just the right hint of sadness. Leading a motley crew of amateur criminals is Mitch Alden, manager at a fictional but very recognizable big box store here called Accu-mart. The only way to cope with the high stress and low pay is to self-medicate, but after shelling out $50 for a weed run, Mitch finds himself "wondering if dreading your job so much that you paid the last of your money to avoid working it with all your mental faculties intact might be an indicator that it was time to get a different one." He recruits two buddies to supplement their beer bashes and drug habits by helping him fleece Accu-mart out of a television. Kevin is the family man who just can't seem to get it right, operating a fly-by-night dog-walking service and balancing his role as a husband and father with the realities of being an ex-con. Doug is definitely the dimmest bulb of the three, a low-level dealer with negligible aspirations who also happens to be canoodling with Kevin's wife. After their big score, Mitch gets ambitious. The gang experiences epic failure at Ferrari theft; gets into bed with a dirty doctor to push his illicitly obtained hoard of Oxycontin; and finally plans the big heist to earn millions for an afternoon's work. There's not much to like about any of the players, but it's hard to dispute their logic when Mitch argues, "If money doesn't buyhappiness, why do guys guard it with guns?"A lean crime story and a stark alternative to glossier capers.