Anyone who's bet his or her future on Wall Street, strapped on a pair of skis or savored a well-told story will want to read...

THIS IS HOW IT REALLY SOUNDS

An impressive and dramatic novel about three men who share a surname and intertwining fortunes.

Pete Harrington is a fading rock star who's shocked to find his fancy car being repossessed. Harry Harrington used to be the best “extreme skier” in the world, dominating a sport few knew existed. Wall Street financier and greed-hound Peter Harrington has “amassed hundreds of millions of dollars in five short years” through legal tactics that have hurt many other investors. He has made “more in interest each day doing nothing than most people earned working all year.” Meanwhile, Pete’s $8 million holdings have shrunk to $400,000 due to a poor investment—in Crossroads Partners, an enterprise set up by Peter. Now Pete must sell off costly tchotchkes to pay off his debts, as “fifteen years of his life turned into yellow tags at a secondhand store.” He becomes obsessed with payback. Pete wants more than anything else to walk up to Peter and sock him in the nose. “Once in a while somebody’s got to kick the crap out of greed,” he says. He hires an old CIA retiree, Charlie Pico, to teach him how to deliver the best possible punch. Meanwhile, friends remind Pete that he'll be committing assault, so maybe he can do the deed in China? Pete is a sympathetic jerk whose odyssey is fun to follow as he trains for the big confrontation and recalls a fight he once had with the bass player from the rock band Uncle Sam’s Erection. Harry’s storyline is less tightly connected to the others, with dazzling skiing scenes in which he courts death and races megaton-sized avalanches. 

Anyone who's bet his or her future on Wall Street, strapped on a pair of skis or savored a well-told story will want to read this one.

Pub Date: April 21, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-250-04882-0

Page Count: 368

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Feb. 5, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2015

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ANIMAL FARM

A FAIRY STORY

A modern day fable, with modern implications in a deceiving simplicity, by the author of Dickens. Dali and Others (Reynal & Hitchcock, p. 138), whose critical brilliance is well adapted to this type of satire. This tells of the revolt on a farm, against humans, when the pigs take over the intellectual superiority, training the horses, cows, sheep, etc., into acknowledging their greatness. The first hints come with the reading out of a pig who instigated the building of a windmill, so that the electric power would be theirs, the idea taken over by Napoleon who becomes topman with no maybes about it. Napoleon trains the young puppies to be his guards, dickers with humans, gradually instigates a reign of terror, and breaks the final commandment against any animal walking on two legs. The old faithful followers find themselves no better off for food and work than they were when man ruled them, learn their final disgrace when they see Napoleon and Squealer carousing with their enemies... A basic statement of the evils of dictatorship in that it not only corrupts the leaders, but deadens the intelligence and awareness of those led so that tyranny is inevitable. Mr. Orwell's animals exist in their own right, with a narrative as individual as it is apt in political parody.

Pub Date: Aug. 26, 1946

ISBN: 0452277507

Page Count: 114

Publisher: Harcourt, Brace

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 1946

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FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

This is good Hemingway. It has some of the tenderness of A Farewell to Arms and some of its amazing power to make one feel inside the picture of a nation at war, of the people experiencing war shorn of its glamor, of the emotions that the effects of war — rather than war itself — arouse. But in style and tempo and impact, there is greater resemblance to The Sun Also Rises. Implicit in the characters and the story is the whole tragic lesson of Spain's Civil War, proving ground for today's holocaust, and carrying in its small compass, the contradictions, the human frailties, the heroism and idealism and shortcomings. In retrospect the thread of the story itself is slight. Three days, during which time a young American, a professor who has taken his Sabbatical year from the University of Montana to play his part in the struggle for Loyalist Spain and democracy. He is sent to a guerilla camp of partisans within the Fascist lines to blow up a strategic bridge. His is a complex problem in humanity, a group of undisciplined, unorganized natives, emotionally geared to go their own way, while he has a job that demands unreasoning, unwavering obedience. He falls in love with a lovely refugee girl, escaping the terrors of a fascist imprisonment, and their romance is sharply etched against a gruesome background. It is a searing book; Hemingway has done more to dramatize the Spanish War than any amount of abstract declamation. Yet he has done it through revealing the pettinesses, the indignities, the jealousies, the cruelties on both sides, never glorifying simply presenting starkly the belief in the principles for which these people fought a hopeless war, to give the rest of the world an interval to prepare. There is something of the implacable logic of Verdun in the telling. It's not a book for the thin-skinned; it has more than its fill of obscenities and the style is clipped and almost too elliptical for clarity at times. But it is a book that repays one for bleak moments of unpleasantness.

Pub Date: Oct. 21, 1940

ISBN: 0684803356

Page Count: 484

Publisher: Scribner

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 1940

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