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Joshua King has more reasons than most young writers to produce that Great First Novel-and they're sitting in his father's bank account. Before dying of a tragic Viagra overdose, Josh's father put a stipulation in his will: Josh cannot claim his fortune unless he writes a bestselling novel in the next five years. The last thing Josh wants is a purpose in life: he's far too busy traveling, taking drugs, and growing his hair. He's very uncomfortably ensconced in a dirty Delhi flophouse, but it's the perfect place ...
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Overview

Joshua King has more reasons than most young writers to produce that Great First Novel-and they're sitting in his father's bank account. Before dying of a tragic Viagra overdose, Josh's father put a stipulation in his will: Josh cannot claim his fortune unless he writes a bestselling novel in the next five years. The last thing Josh wants is a purpose in life: he's far too busy traveling, taking drugs, and growing his hair. He's very uncomfortably ensconced in a dirty Delhi flophouse, but it's the perfect place to meet drifters and druggies, users and seekers-the kind of people who know how to find Baba.

Author Biography: Every writer dreams of producing a literary work that defines his or her generation. For J.D. Salinger, it was The Catcher in the Rye; for Alex Garland, The Beach. But for Will Rhode, it's, well, something like The Beach-but different. Born in London, Rhode has worked for Reuters in India, made films in Thailand, and wrote financial journalism in Hong Kong. He worked as the editor of Risk, a financial magazine, until he worked up the courage to quit and write a paperback original.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This uneven first novel about the misadventures of British 20-something slacker Joshua King has a delightfully offbeat premise: before he commits suicide with an overdose of Viagra, Josh's father, worried that Josh is wasting his life, stipulates in his will that in order to inherit some of his millions, Josh must write a bestselling novel with "a significant part" for the elder King-and he's got five years to do it. The trouble is, Josh is not a novelist. Ostensibly a freelance journalist for a Delhi paper, Josh is mostly loafing his way through India after earning a certificate in word processing. He has little interesting life experience to draw on, so he engineers a scheme that will furnish the raw materials for his novel. His plan is to find mysterious drug dealer Baba-supposedly the head of an international drug ring with ties to Bollywood-earn his trust, steal his money, write the tale of derring-do (incorporating his father, of course) and cash in on his inheritance. Far-fetched? Completely. Engaging? Fitfully. Rhode doesn't always hit the right note in describing Josh's unscrupulous antics; the character's na ve recklessness and immorality often seem merely silly and unpleasant rather than humorously over-the-top. There are also strained attempts to explore the connection between fiction, reality and the creative process. Rhode's prose is brisk and clean, however, and his dialogue snappy and believable. The sheer originality of the plot keeps the pages turning. (Apr. 1) Forecast: Younger readers with dreams of traveling the world and/or writing a novel are the custom-made audience for this debut, and Rhode's tongue-in-cheek title will speak to them. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
British slacker in India has to become a successful author within five years if he’s to inherit a fortune. Joshua King is a spoiled loser. Born in London, he had a privileged upbringing and expensive education, but he never made it through university. He’s spent the last few years living in India, where he has contributed a few articles to a local newspaper (Hindu Week) but has spent most of his time doing drugs and going to rave parties. He was, in fact, such a disappointment to his father (a very successful real estate developer who amassed a large fortune before dying of a Viagra overdose) that he was disinherited—almost. His father’s will stated that Joshua could receive £5 million if he was able to publish a bestselling novel (his father as one of the characters) within five years. Joshua is doubtful he can pull it off, frankly, but he has no other prospects, so decides to give it a go. Thinking that a crime thriller would have the best chance of selling big, he goes back to his editor at Hindu Week and pitches him a story about a local drug- and diamond-dealer named Baba. Assigned to investigate Baba’s activities, Joshua teams up with Yasmin Hoogland, a Dutch tourist whose English boyfriend, James Braxton, has been arrested for drug possession. Yasmin convinces Joshua that they can pull off a heist, robbing Baba of enough heroin and diamonds to buy James out of prison and leave a couple million apiece for themselves. Most normal people would hear bells going off at this point, but Joshua has as little experience of the world of crime as he does of the world of work. The scheme, if nothing else, will give him something to write about. A bit arch, but a good start all the same:British author Rhode, now New York-based, has a sharp eye, a sharper tongue, and he knows how not to waste words.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594480140
  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publication date: 4/6/2004
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.98 (d)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2004

    Excellent Book. This Is What I've Been Searching For

    This book was how do you say...interesting. After getting this book from a friend, a 'screening' copy, I sat down and began to read, then I had to get to my next class. So as soon as I got home I began to read it until I fell asleep and resumed when I had time the next day. This Novel is great so interesting and Rhode's descriptions are so vivid, they paint a clearcut picture in your mind. I would suggest this book to the 'off-centre' friend or just to sit and read. Gives a perspective on the 'aspiring' journalist, the slacker and the druggie. I would buy it without a doubt in my mind.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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