MATCHSTICK MEN by Eric Garcia

MATCHSTICK MEN

KIRKUS REVIEW

Garcia, whose loony imagination previously conjured up herb-eating dinosaur private eyes (Casual Rex, 2001, etc.), now produces a pair of foible-rich bunco artists. Frankie, who wants to hit just one big score, is a bona fide slob. Roy, who’s thinking of maybe retiring, keeps his obsessive-compulsive disorder in check with pills from Dr. Mancuso—except that the doc has moved, and until Frankie gets Roy shrunk by Dr. Klein, he’s almost certifiable. Once stabilized, Roy still isn’t sure he wants to go along with Frankie’s big idea: to hustle Saif the importer’s forgeries of famous art forgers’ work. Roy, sad to say, wants to go straight. At the instigation of his new shrink, he’s found Angela, the teenage daughter he never knew he had—the result of his long-ago marriage to Heather, who left him when she was four months pregnant—and now he’s enamored of her, fatherhood, and legitimacy. Angela, however, wants to learn a few flimflams. To Frankie’s disgust, Roy reluctantly teaches her one or two. She adores them, particularly the 7-11, and the stage is now set for the author’s double con, which will leave Roy flummoxed twice, first by Saif flashing a badge and Angela firing a gun, then by Frankie gaily living off Roy’s Bahama-stashed millions with a certain scheming teen by his side.

Great grifter dialogue, loopy dupes, and world-class conniving—not to mention more twists than a corkscrew and a truly poignant character in Roy, soon to be played by Nicolas Cage in the forthcoming Ridley Scott film.

Pub Date: Dec. 10th, 2002
ISBN: 0-375-50522-9
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Villard
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2002




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