Though he died in 1997, Robbins continues to pour out novels of fabulous vulgarity to equal The Piranhas (1991). How does he do it? With an anonymous cowriter fleshing out “a rich heritage of novel ideas and works-in-progress,” of course.
Said cowriter is wise to stay nameless. His/her flatfooted prose rivals Robbins’s best, i.e., worst. “The twinkling lights of the city painted a spectacular view of Manhattan,” as this newest late work opens in January 2000. Wall Street investment banker David Shea sips Dom Pérignon from a crystal flute and smokes Cuban cigars while being serviced by two athletic bisexual models in his 18th-floor apartment overlooking the East River. But all is not well: David is being hounded by Mayor Giuliani, whose eye is on a Senate run. In the good old days, back in high school, “David Shea was a handsome young man, tall and muscular, a football player. He was very charismatic. Every girl’s dream was to date Dave Shea.” Dave’s dark side: he cheats at football and in his studies; he’s so well-endowed he hurts the first girl he sleeps with (at age 13); he kicks a bully to death, lets a buddy take the manslaughter rap, and never looks back. At Rutgers his girlfriend commits suicide after he sells nude photos of her all over campus. As a football jock, he falls in with a gambler, later takes up illegal trading through off-shore accounts, fakes his income for the IRS with a bank job for cover. He survives being shot by his second wife for his infidelities. Eventually, his bank terminates him for suspicion. A sequel looks promised for this black-hearted, well-hung hustler—whose investment affairs are actually quite gripping.
Harold blesses his ghostwriter.