SKIM

Sedentary lawyer Dave Pike's life perks up fast when his old friend fuddy-duddy Hollywood producer Maurice Baranowitz asks him to find out what's happened to $50,000 that's vanished from the budget of stylish, sexy director Mickey McDonald's new movie. Mickey's skimming, all right, as Pike eventually finds out with the help of alcoholic accountant Nico Nicolasiou; she's been dipping into the production budget to pay Dominic Nakamura for cocaine. By the time Pike gets the goods on her, though, he's run into Dominic's right-hand fist, Richie Morrissey, sent to Mickey's to remind her about a late payment—and even after calling off Richie, Dominic keeps trying to kill Pike (pistol, car bomb, Uzi), whose repeated escapes are so miraculous that you've got to laugh. Despite Pike's improbable heroics, first-novelist Pattillo keeps up the tension by taking out some of his potential allies—first Mickey, who responds to to Richie's bondage/rape by seducing him, then Maurice, who decides to move Dave's car—and by making the others (Nico, LAPD oficer Jan Bokkie) so unreliable that Pike needs all his fantastic luck to survive. Every kicky revelation of new petty venality (like Mickey's calculations about how many guys she'll have to kill to stay out of jail) is familiar, but handled with an edge of nervous comedy that packs as many punches as it telegraphs. A high-energy debut likely to score with Elmore Leonard fans.

Pub Date: May 1, 1991

ISBN: 0-939149-50-8

Page Count: 272

Publisher: Soho

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1991

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

THE AUTHENTICITY PROJECT

A group of strangers who live near each other in London become fast friends after writing their deepest secrets in a shared notebook.

Julian Jessop, a septuagenarian artist, is bone-crushingly lonely when he starts “The Authenticity Project”—as he titles a slim green notebook—and begins its first handwritten entry questioning how well people know each other in his tiny corner of London. After 15 years on his own mourning the loss of his beloved wife, he begins the project with the aim that whoever finds the little volume when he leaves it in a cafe will share their true self with their own entry and then pass the volume on to a stranger. The second person to share their inner selves in the notebook’s pages is Monica, 37, owner of a failing cafe and a former corporate lawyer who desperately wants to have a baby. From there the story unfolds, as the volume travels to Thailand and back to London, seemingly destined to fall only into the hands of people—an alcoholic drug addict, an Australian tourist, a social media influencer/new mother, etc.—who already live clustered together geographically. This is a glossy tale where difficulties and addictions appear and are overcome, where lies are told and then forgiven, where love is sought and found, and where truths, once spoken, can set you free. Secondary characters, including an interracial gay couple, appear with their own nuanced parts in the story. The message is strong, urging readers to get off their smartphones and social media and live in the real, authentic world—no chain stores or brands allowed here—making friends and forming a real-life community and support network. And is that really a bad thing?

An enjoyable, cozy novel that touches on tough topics.

Pub Date: Feb. 4, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7861-8

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15, 2019

Did you like this book?

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

Did you like this book?

more