ORDINARY MONEY by Louis B. Jones


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A delicately comic first novel about the effects of a million counterfeit 20-dollar bills on two suburban families. The twenties come from Bim Auctor, who hired Randy Potts to do carpentry and odd jobs around his Marin County place and then announced his intention of placing Randy in custody of the money--assuring him that if he didn't know where it had come from, he wouldn't get into trouble. But when Bim disappears, and Randy decides not to follow Bim's orders to keep a rendezvous in Curacao, he's suddenly on his own with twenty crates of bills that even the FBI identifies as genuine. Running out of places to stash them, he lodges one with his friends Wayne and Laura Paschke, who are down to Laura's last dollar since Wayne quit his housepainting job and got involved in a pyramid scheme to sell rare coins. Wayne doesn't know what's in the crate, but his daughter Kim takes time out from her sexual gropings with dorky, earnest Eric DeBono to discover what's inside--with the result that her friend Cindy Potts spreads the news all over Terra Linda High School that Kim's father is a counterfeiter. The complications unfold engagingly until the Treasury Department catches up with Randy and the mood shifts into a frenetic comedy--which Jones doesn't handle so well--but the fairy-tale ending is just about perfect. Likable, decent characters and understated humor make this a promising debut.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1989
Publisher: Viking