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Savage Life
     

Savage Life

by James Rogers
 
A novel of fast food and fast lives; drink and mad cow disease; luxury yachts and tacky diners; hit men and urban dread.

Overview

A novel of fast food and fast lives; drink and mad cow disease; luxury yachts and tacky diners; hit men and urban dread.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fiction inspired by the Thatcher era continues to filter out of England, taking the form, in this instance, of sophomoric satire. The cast of disagreeable characters is easily distributed among the new class divisions that 1980s money erected. At the bottom, there is Gaz Hoskins, an incompetent teenage housebreaker, whose dreams hardly go beyond a new pair of overpriced designer sneakers. At the top, the Machiavellian Dorian Savage rules over his life insurance empire with an insatiable need to strike a deal. Stuck in the middle is Colin Nutter, an overwhelmed aging yuppie trying to keep a foothold on his treadmill sales job at Savage Life while worrying about his wife, children and mortgage. The tightly chaotic plot is set in motion when Gaz breaks into Nutter's home while Nutter and Savage are yachting. Gaz's discovery of a photo of Savage leads him to the revelation that the millionaire is his long-lost father. Before the book's end, Gaz will have comically disrupted every corner of Savage's self-satisfied world, and Nutter will have lost his job and unwittingly put out a contract on his former boss. While these unlikely relationships make for an obvious satire of class distinctions, Rogers keeps the pace fast and loose as he takes pot shots at such sitting targets of contemporary British life as rap music, junk food, theme pubs and wank mags. It may have read funnier in England than it does here. Though this is Rogers's third novel, it's the first to be issued in the U. S. (Sept.)
Eils Lotozo
If you're curious, Savage Life will keep you reading to the bitter -- and I do mean bitter -- end. -- The New York Times Book Review
Kirkus Reviews
A rollicking account of a summer in London endured by a varied and compelling collection of characters: a first US publication for Rogers. Fourteen-year-old Gaz wakes up thinking of his own worst enemy, Dog. Unfortunately, Dog, the brawling boyfriend of Gaz's porn-star sister, lives with them in the same dirty flat. And since Gaz's (agoraphobic) mother can't leave the house, things get a mite depressing for the pimple-faced teenager, leading him into a complex life of petty crime, and sending the story forward in this offbeat corkscrew comedy. Breaking into the house of neighbor Colin Nutter, Gaz steals his camera, develops the film, and finds nudie shots of his prim wife, as well as photos of Gaz's own long-lost father, Colin's ostentatious boss Dorian Savage. Although Gaz tracks Dorian down at his suburban estate, a quickie reconciliation isnþt in storeþhis father needs to be worked on. In fact, Dorian assumes itþs all a sick practical joke from the hand of Colin, whom he immediately fires. Colin, understandably irate, puts out a hit on Dorian's life. Dave Richardson, would-be assassin and also Dog's boss in the burglar alarm business, has taken his own drunken yarn-pulling a bit too seriously and now feels obligated to kill Dorian, so as not to ruin his "reputation" as a gun for hire. Meanwhile, Colin can't figure out how he lost a thousand pounds when he was out with Richardson (the down payment) and what to do about his wife, whoþs become a fanatical Jehovahþs Witness set on converting him. After Dorian is killed (at the hands of Gaz, who feels an Oedipal fascination with Dorian's young live-in? by the sabotage of Richardson?), the frenetic finaleis on as Dog, Richardson, Colin, and Gaz convene in a graveyard where Richardson is burying the body parts of his landlord. Showing an adept ear for dialect and a flair for humor, Rogers romps into the discouragingly absurd world of post-Thatcher England.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781852423841
Publisher:
Serpent's Tail Publishing Ltd
Publication date:
09/28/1998
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
5.03(w) x 7.82(h) x 0.74(d)

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