Say Nice Things about Detroit

Say Nice Things about Detroit

3.3 3
by Scott Lasser
     
 

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“Ambitious and ultimately accomplished . . . a perfect encapsulation of Detroit’s present moment.”—Dean Bakopoulos, San Francisco Chronicle

Twenty-five years after his high school graduation, David Halpert returns to a place that most people flee. But David is making his own escape—from his divorce and the death of his son

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Overview

“Ambitious and ultimately accomplished . . . a perfect encapsulation of Detroit’s present moment.”—Dean Bakopoulos, San Francisco Chronicle

Twenty-five years after his high school graduation, David Halpert returns to a place that most people flee. But David is making his own escape—from his divorce and the death of his son. In Detroit, David learns about the double shooting of his high school girlfriend Natalie and her black half-brother, Dirk. As David becomes involved with Natalie’s sister, he will discover that both he and his hometown have reasons to hope.

As compelling an urban portrait as The Wire and a touching love story, Say Nice Things About Detroit takes place in a racially polarized, economically collapsing city that doesn't seem like a place for rebirth. But as David tries to make sense of the mystery behind Natalie’s death and puts back the pieces of his own life, he is forced to answer a simple question: if you want to go home again, what do you do if home is Detroit?

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Editorial Reviews

Susan Richards Shreve
“Scott Lasser's new novel is a moving, fast paced, economical story of race, crime and hope. Weighted by the death of his son and the end of his marriage, David Halpert, a young lawyer, returns home to the chaos of a dying Detroit to discover a love affair and his own brush with violence as the book rushes to its stunning conclusion.”
Thomas Lynch
“In a city famous for ruin, a pilgrim’s tale of rebirth and renewal: Scott Lasser’s narrative gifts are abundant, his characters a compelling and convincing lot. Say Nice Things About Detroit, while true to life’s damages and sadnesses, is nonetheless a joyous, vital read.”
Colum McCann
“This is a sharp, clear portrait of who we are now. Scott Lasser continues to shape a very distinct literary map.”
Elmore Leonard
“You’ll love Scott Lasser’s style. His book spans a few years but keeps moving with dialogue that’s natural and alive: whites and blacks in Detroit, a setting you come to know and can feel what it’s about. I know; I’ve been here most of my life.”
Carol Haggas - Booklist
“Starred review. Lasser’s Detroit may be a troubled city, but it is one whose vibrant soul is writ large in the small actions of its loyal citizens. With a serene and steady hand, Lasser’s spare but intense tale is a smart, intimate homage to the power of second chances. Put this book in the hands of fans of Richard Ford and Richard Russo.”
Bruce Jacobs - Shelf Awareness
“Lasser… knows which side of 8 Mile Road matters, and his intimate understanding of the city makes for a captivating novel rich with details of the local vernacular, weather, food, music, crime and, of course, cars. While the double murder and diverse characters drive the narrative, the city itself plays a central role. Detroit is not just the setting for Lasser’s story—it’s a place with a beating heart (weak pulse notwithstanding) and enough guts to have a future.”
Thomas McGuane
“Scott Lasser has written a moving story of people whose lives are stalled until they face events and places they’d rather avoid. His book suggests that for people and cities, life’s greatest rewards are only achieved through struggle. A moving tribute to second chances and the august, desolate, melancholy city of Detroit.”
Harvey Freedenberg - Bookpage
“This appealing story may prompt some to hope (Detroit) will receive the chance at redemption that Scott Lasser so generously extends to his characters.”
CurledUp.com
“A mystery underlies Lasser’s thoughtful novel of a man returning to the city of his youth to assist elderly parents in distress, but only in a peripheral sense. The senseless murder of two people grows more meaningful and textured by the story’s end.”
Booklist
Starred review. Lasser’s Detroit may be a troubled city, but it is one whose vibrant soul is writ large in the small actions of its loyal citizens. With a serene and steady hand, Lasser’s spare but intense tale is a smart, intimate homage to the power of second chances. Put this book in the hands of fans of Richard Ford and Richard Russo.— Carol Haggas
Shelf Awareness
Lasser… knows which side of 8 Mile Road matters, and his intimate understanding of the city makes for a captivating novel rich with details of the local vernacular, weather, food, music, crime and, of course, cars. While the double murder and diverse characters drive the narrative, the city itself plays a central role. Detroit is not just the setting for Lasser’s story—it’s a place with a beating heart (weak pulse notwithstanding) and enough guts to have a future.— Bruce Jacobs
Bookpage
This appealing story may prompt some to hope (Detroit) will receive the chance at redemption that Scott Lasser so generously extends to his characters.— Harvey Freedenberg

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393084177
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/25/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
532,237
File size:
2 MB

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What People are saying about this

Thomas McGuane
Scott Lasser has written a moving story of people whose lives are stalled until they face events and places they’d rather avoid. His book suggests that for people and cities, life’s greatest rewards are only achieved through struggle. A moving tribute to second chances and the august, desolate, melancholy city of Detroit.
Elmore Leonard
You’ll love Scott Lasser’s style. His book spans a few years but keeps moving with dialogue that’s natural and alive: whites and blacks in Detroit, a setting you come to know and can feel what it’s about. I know; I’ve been here most of my life.
Colum McCann
This is a sharp, clear portrait of who we are now. Scott Lasser continues to shape a very distinct literary map.

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