Ultimate Rush

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As the sole rollerblading courier at a San Francisco delivery service, Chet Griffin is the fastest messenger in town. Every day, he delivers critically confidential packages, but when he hands over an already-opened envelope containing a floppy disk with billion-dollar information, a deadly serious customer demands satisfaction. On a routine run, one of Chet's co-workers gets murdered, the finger's pointed at Chet, and he finds himself on a rush job to save his own life. Driven by family ghosts and a little-guy ...
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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1998 Hardcover First Edition (1st printing) New in Very Fine jacket Book. 12mo-over 6?"-7?" tall. This is a New and Unread copy of the first edition ... (1st printing). Read more Show Less

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New York, New York, U.S.A. 1998 HB First Edition New in New jacket First Edition; HB in new condition; Dust Jacket in new condition with mylar.

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As the sole rollerblading courier at a San Francisco delivery service, Chet Griffin is the fastest messenger in town. Every day, he delivers critically confidential packages, but when he hands over an already-opened envelope containing a floppy disk with billion-dollar information, a deadly serious customer demands satisfaction. On a routine run, one of Chet's co-workers gets murdered, the finger's pointed at Chet, and he finds himself on a rush job to save his own life. Driven by family ghosts and a little-guy rage against the big-guy machine, Chet enlists the help of his skateboarder-chick best buddy and his superhacker roommate, and takes off across the city to track down the evidence he needs to clear his name - and put away the bad boys who want him dead.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Check out Chet Griffin! He's a tattooed, snake-owning, San Francisco-dwelling, way attitudinous dude! He works as a Rollerblade messenger by day and surfs the Internet as an outlaw computer hacker by night until his courier jobcombined with his relentless pursuit of the ultimate adrenaline highgets him mixed up in an illegal investment scheme. Soon the Chinese and Italian mafias, the police and the FCIC (Federal Computer Investigations Committee) are chasing him and his punk-rock girlfriend through the streets, the sewers and the public transportation system of his native city. Chet may be little more than an amalgam of Generation X stereotypes, and the contrived plot leans a little heavily on previous cyberthrillers like Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash and extreme-sports action movies like Point Break, but Quirk knows how to keep an action plot twisting along, and his relentlessly bubbly, hip one-liners hit as often as they miss. Readers who don't mind MTV and ESPN2 clichs will enjoy the amusement park of a plot, a handful of engaging charactersparticularly Chet's wheelchair-bound roommateand some memorable wisecracks. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Anthony Rapp perfectly voices a cast of motley characters in this Gen X-hued story about Rollerblading messengers in the San Francisco youth culture who get embroiled with shady inside traders intent on murdering the messengers when they learn too much. It will appeal to cyber- oriented young people who speak in the same attenuated, abbreviated, yet technocharged and casually profane language as the characters in the book, i.e., a young woman, thugs, the pumped-up hero, and a genius suffering forom cerebral palsy. Other listeners may be left at the gate if they don't have a twentysomething available to translate the cyberbabble. The production values of this audiobook are very good, particularly Rapp's narration. The story is hindered by trying to live up to its promise of nonstop action, which, in the end, it can't deliver.--Mark Pumphrey, Polk Cty. P.L., Columbus, NC
Library Journal
Quirk's first novel is a slick mystery-suspense tale set on Rollerblades in San Francisco, city of steep streets. Chet Griffin is a Rollerblading package courier selected for some very lucrative and illegal deliveries. When people start getting killed and Chet is charged, he returns to hackinghe's already got a criminal record for itto clear himself, friend Denny, and girlfriend Ho (for Ho Chi Minh). They end up in a three-way shootout with Italian and Chinese gangsters and the S.F. police, who are portrayed here as inert, cowardly, and corrupt. The plot is the weakest part of this title, not too original and hard to swallow in parts, but that's forgivable. Read Quirk for his characters and dialog, which crackles throughout and carries the story even when the narrative is strained. What's the "ultimate rush"? A clue: it's neither Rollerblading nor hacking. An entertaining work for mature readers.Robert C. Moore, DuPont Merck Pharmaceuticals, Framingham, Mass.
Kirkus Reviews
A profane, slangy, ludicrously violent "roller punk" thriller that's as uneven as the slippery San Francisco streets, sewers, and cyberspace it revels in. With a tattoo of Ralph Waldo Emerson on one shoulder and a boa constrictor in his parlor, Chet Griffin is a sex-starved slacker addicted to sugar highs and the heartstopping adrenalin thrills derived from sleepless nights of computer hacking and restless days as the city's only in-line skating message courier. His low-paying, high-anxiety job helps him forget his crack-addicted tattoo-artist younger brother Bobby, his dead parents, his supersuccessful, wheelchair-bound, software-genius roommate Denny, and their bass-playing lesbian skateboard punk queen chum, Ho Chi Minh Pixie, with whom Griffin is hopelessly infatuated. When first-novelist Quirk stays on the street with his breezily insouciant cast of postmodern, fin-de-siŠcle bohemians, his narrative sputters along with hilariously manic Hunter Thompsonlike word-spray. But, alas, the plot must thicken: Griffin's sleazy boss, Mel Corlini (his sister is an equally sleazy police lieutenant), starts paying him under the table to run computer discs between a prestigious investment- banking firm and a group of Chinese and Italian crack smugglers. Griffin asks no questions until a fellow courier is gunned down in the financial district by a platoon of Armani-clad hoodlums named after Star Trek characters. Griffin's own escape is followed by a absurd rooftop-to-BART-stopchase, the first of many minutely choreographed cinematic action scenes wholly lacking in menace. A kinky romance blossoms between Griffin and Ho as Griffin applies his hacker skills in playing far too many bad guys(including a sadistic cyber-smasher named MP Phred) against one another. Newcomer Quirk's feverish plotting runs away with an otherwise funny, stylish tale of overeducated, underappreciated, urban bottom-dwellers using youthful stamina and high-tech toys to befuddle a dull, grown-up world.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688152703
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/1998
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.51 (w) x 9.62 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I turn to see Ho strutting through the door. She kicks her skateboard into the corner and sings in a falsetto Elton John impersonation, "D-D-D-Denny and the Chet."

"Hey, girl!" I go, bouncing from my seat. I ain't seen you in two weeks. How about a hug for your favorite Chet?"

"Denny first," she says, parrying my attempt and striding forward.

She stops dead and looks at the blatant act of fellatio displayed in ridiculous close-up on our tube. "Which one is this?"


"Jesus! You guys have seen this one a shitillion times! Don't you have it memorized by now?"

"It's research. I might become the understudy to this guy."

Ho blows a bubble in my face.

I notice Ho's fluorescent green gum exactly matches her tank top and the skate wheel she uses as a hair scrunchie, which puts her hair-blue today into a kind of postfuturist cheerleader's bob.

No, Ho is not Chinese. Her moms was one of those flower children who was so confident in the immortality of the Groovy Revolution that she named her kid "Ho" after Ho Chi Minh, never foretelling that the word ho would soon adopt even more nefarious connotations. Ho refuses to change it.

Today she is sporting the word SLUT magic markered across her bare tummy. Her belly button is pierced with a Roman Catholic claddaugh ring.

Ho, by the way, has a way sweet butt. To make things worse, she skates in spandex. She's caused many a traffic accident.

"Anywayyyyy. . ." Ho makes a face at Denny, like, Too bad you have to live with such a dwid, and says, "This is a late congratulations Ho-hug to celebrate your promotion at Datavox."

She bends down and embraces Denny. "Ew," she says, wiping her hands on Denny's shirt. "You arejust the droolmeister today, aren't you?"

Denny laughs. "Keeps me well lubed."

"Do I have to drool to get one?" I say.

Ho smiles at me, tousles my hair, and we hug.

"How's Megan?" asks Denny.

"We broke up," says Ho, without emotion.

"No!" I say.

"Whoa, shit," says the ever-sensitive Denny.

Ho sighs and puts her hands on her hips. "Yeah. Two weeks ago today."

"Why didn't you tell us?"

She slaps her thighs. Time for Ho to go off. "I just wanted to deal with it on my own for a while! I hate telling the same story me and Megan agreed to tell everybody over and over again. I wanted to hunker down and retrench. Plus I didn't think I could deal with everyone asking me How's Megan? like a bunch of pull-string dolls."

"So what went down?" I ask.

"Typical shit. She wanted to go back to her straight world. Taking flak from her parents about still not being married and all that. Fetus envy — that would be my dylmosis."

"Man!" I go. "What was that? Two years?"


"So who moved out?"

"She did. To Idaho."

Our jaws drop. "Not even!" me and Denny chorus.

"Even," says Ho.

"Damn, another Californian bites the dust," I say. But then I notice Ho is holding her breath and tightening her lips, so I shut up.

Me and Denny share a brief glance. This bums us big time. The Gay Pride Parade was just about a month ago, and I still remember Megan and Ho, leading the parade with Dykes on Bykes. It was Megan's first parade. Not exactly out, Megan would only go if she got to wear a leather mask, but Ho seemed tolerant. Seeing them straddling the Harley, shouting and smiling together, Megan's arms around Ho's stomach, there had been no hint of a rift. The only thing I remember being crestfallen about was that neither of them had gone bare-chested.

Ho tsks at herself and blinks her big green eyes.


Impulse strikes like a cobra. I reach into my back pocket, pull out my last Hershey's Kiss, and hold it out to Ho, smiling proudly.

She doesn't move. She just stares at it. I look at what I am offering. It's misshapen and greasy with my sweat. My ears flare. Then Ho smiles lightly and takes it.

I look at my toes.

Denny, trying not to hurl, reverses his chair and heads back to his computer.

Ho swallows hard and looks at me. "So why are you home early from fetching sticks?"

"Got off early. Made five hundred big ones today, baby."

"How did you swing that?"

"Took Watermelon Hill in like a minute and a half."

"You're shitting me."


"From way up there on Sacramento?"

"Chet, much as the street surfer in me wants to admire your utter hypeness, as your chum I have to say that is totally the boneheadedest thing you've ever done — and that's saying a lot, for you. You are soooo like gonna be Watermelon Two."

"True, the Cliff claims one fatality, but that was a mere skateboarder." I put my hand to my heart and raise a finger. "Jam a blader."

"I could expound lengthily upon the idiocy of that comment, but I really must be going." She snags her plank.

"You're not gonna hang?" I ask, disappointed.

"Got to hook up with my skate buds at the Fort Farley half-pipe. Then I got to go rehearse."

"You're performing tomorrow night?"

"Yeah. Coming?"

"Wouldn't miss it for Halloween with Elvira."

I'm starting to feel a familiar agitation. Pinpricks dance up and down my spine. I bend down, shovel in the last of my soggy sugar nuggets, vacuum-slurp up the purple milk, wipe my mouth on my wrist band, and take a deep breath.

Ho slaps my shoulder. "Want to come cool out with me, Chet?"

"No," I say, my face twitching. I stare at my bedroom door.

"Damn, Chet. You're so addicted, it scares me."

"I got it under control."

"If you say so. Catch you later, Denny."

"Peace out, Ho," says Den, not looking up from his computer.

Ho drops her deck, mounts, and soars out the door, trailing a blue mane.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 15, 2003

    Great for a different read

    I'm thoroughly impressed with this book because it is entirely different from my usual genre (historical fiction/military). I could relate to the story, with the hacking and skating keeping my mind in a constant state of remembering. The characters are well developed and quite believable, but the dialogue is brutal. I don't know anyone who uses that much slang AND constantly makes up a new a word every sentence. I believe this is Quirk's first, which makes it that much more impressive because I'm sure many suits told him to give up. Quirk has the talent, but I hope he drops the dialogue techniques in his future endeavors. One time is just the right amount.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2002

    Fast-Paced Book Worth Reading

    I'm surprised to see that only two people wrote reviews for this book. Not only that, I'm also stunned at the fact that BN.COM doesn't carry this book either. Anyway, it's such a great book that is fast-paced, page turning, hip, modern with unique characters... (Hey, the main character owns a pet snake, does deliveries on rollerblades, has tattoos everywhere) but that's only the tip of the iceberg. This is highly recommended!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2002

    great book

    One of my favorites. Amazing writing. Fast paced, just all around great.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2000


    If you are looking for a great book that keeps you on the edge of your seat... this is the book for you.

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