"Random is everything you would hope from Penn Jillette and so much more. Random numbers are seemingly crazy, unconnected, and unpredictable: this fabulous, wondrously compelling, funny, and original novel is all that too. As for laughs—it passed the the fling-up-the-head-snort-and-slap-the-thigh test a dozen times in the first few pages alone. Hugely recommended."
—Stephen Fry, actor/writer
"Bravo, Bobby Ingersoll. Encore, Penn Jillette!"
"Jillette (Presto!), the magician best known as the verbal half of Penn and Teller, unveils an entertaining Las Vegas picaresque . . . Jillette's acerbic wit and perfect pacing keep this afloat. Readers will hope Jillette has more fiction up his sleeves."
"Jillette is one of our weirder national treasures. [His] unironic hero is Bobby Ingersoll, a nobody who makes his living driving strip club ads up and down the Strip . . . After accidentally ripping off some gangbangers during a botched robbery, Bobby drops it all on a roll of the dice and suddenly finds himself a multimillionaire with an epiphany: 'The Dice now owned Bobby. He owed his life to Chance' . . . An average joe's free-spirited, madcap romp through the last days of American empire."
"Penn Jillette is half of Penn & Teller, the longest-running magic show in Las Vegas. This is his crime-fiction debut, and he has put together a wild story set in Sin City that is sinfully diverting . . . [A] crackerjack caper."
"The reader on your list who loves to laugh will thoroughly enjoy Random by Penn Jillette. It's the story of an almost-twenty-one-year-old who inherits a pile of debt from his horrible father, and it's due to the (even more horrible) loan shark when the guy turns 21. Will a roll of the dice eliminate all his problems? Lucky is the person who gets this book, to find out."
—QSaltLake Magazine, Holiday Gift Guide
"As conjured up by Penn Jillette, master magician and best-selling author of both fiction and nonfiction, Random takes us on a crazy, dizzy, and inventive journey in which Las Vegas born and bred Bobby Ingersoll opts to let Chance guide his life . . . Like a night in Vegas experienced with a buzz on, this all becomes a tipsy ride . . . Entertaining reading for anyone who likes a gamble."
"[Random] is the story of Bobby Ingersoll, who finds himself responsible for his father's gambling debts, and who places his faith—or something like it—in 'Random,' the philosophy of basing life choices entirely on the roll of his 'lucky' pair of dice. What follows is a rollicking exploration of what happens when we give over every decision—from what to eat to whom to marry to how or when to die—to the random fall of two numbered cubes."
"The book explored an interesting story that could have gone very differently if someone actually tried to live by the dice in this manner, but then again, if Bobby's life had immediately crashed and burned, it would not have made for a very interesting novel."
"Random, is a corker about a Vegas guy in a tight spot who has a stroke of luck—and turns it into a life philosophy. It hits the world on Oct. 11— place a bet on it."
—J.D. Heyman, CultureWag
After a near miss with a vicious Las Vegas gangster leads to good fortune, a truck driver abandons his fate to chance.
Jillette is one of our weirder national treasures, having graduated from MTV–era oddball to perpetual residency in Vegas, but he’s also written delightful mongrels like his 2004 comic noir Sock. Here, the writer turns to that which he knows, specifically the bizarro fishbowl that is Sin City, the weird science of percentages, and games of chance. Our unironic hero is Bobby Ingersoll, a nobody who makes his living driving strip club ads up and down the Strip. Bobby might have remained a nobody if his pops hadn’t gotten in deep with gangster Fraser Ruphart to the tune of $2.5 million and some change. After accidentally ripping off some gangbangers during a botched robbery, Bobby drops it all on a roll of the dice and suddenly finds himself a multimillionaire with an epiphany: “The Dice now owned Bobby. He owed his life to Chance. He had a superpower under our yellow sun. Bobby knew and accepted that life was Random. Bobby was enlightened. Siddhartha was dead. Bobby was Buddha.” Rolling the dice to make all of life’s extraneous decisions gives Bobby some much-needed joy but also inevitably gets him into trouble. Not that he doesn’t have a lot of fun first, although whether it’s to readers’ amusement or dismay may depend on their personal appetites for vice and folly. Among other misadventures, all punctuated by Jillette’s sardonic cultural asides and math lessons, Bobby gets a full-body tattoo, learns a few lessons in sexual fluidity, romances a gold-digging grifter, and buys a private detective agency so he can become a wealthy crime fighter. You know, like Batman. But even Batman probably didn’t count on a client whose case is rattling the cage of a dangerous casino heist crew, the unlikely return of Ruphart, and a showdown at the Trump International Hotel.
An average joe's free-spirited, madcap romp through the last days of American empire.