A Novel

eBook - 2000 | First edition.
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A powerful debut novel. --Booklist, starred review The crowded bar had made space an I could hear other people screaming byt no one came near me. It was a smaller circle than the one I had wrestled in but it was a circle and I went to work. I turned him around and pulled him to me, put a half nelson on him, forced his neck down. The circle opened up. There was a free space at the bar and I drove him forward, drove his face into the side of the bar. I moved my hand down his back and between his legs, picked him up and held him there, feeling his weight above my head, feeling the power in my muscles and I threw him to the floor. I wiped my shoe across the blood, lifted my foot and brought it down and brought it down, triumphant, foot on the back of a fallen opponent like a classical statue, like in the pictures my college wrestling coach showed the team at the beginning of each new season. White marble figures graceful in victory. --from Headlock
Publisher: Chapel Hill, N.C. : Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2000.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9781565127487
Branch Call Number: Internet Access
Characteristics: 1 online resource (265 pages).


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For a first novel, this one touches all the buttons that make you want to finish a novel. there's a payoff toward the end that is not sexual. "the river itself was dirtyu gray. thick looking and polluted. a clogged major artery moving through the states, falsely depicted as a bright blue line that cut the colorful map squares until it emptied into the gulf." "when the waitress brought the salsds I saw my mistake. there were blobs of blue cheese dripping over my lettuce and tomato, large spoonfuls of bacon bits dumped over the blue cheese, dozens of greasy croutons topping everything off. "I was surprised they didn't serve the salad in a bowl of lard." "Gary got tired after he ate. it took work to digest the amount of food he shoveled in and the rest of his body function slowed." "..And how he used to say he was the extra expert guesser. Derek said those were the days. I asked how his finals were going and he said he just had one more, macroeconomics. he'd read dad's book, and it was excellent." " '12 hours, ' Gary said. 'it's like an old-time movie with this guy coming for me.' " "the whole point of vegas was to legitimize these tough guys . when bugsy got killed it wasn't in some seedy back alley. he built las vegas. he made them all gentlemen. when they took him out it was in Beverly Hills." the two main characters are from nyc. they drive across the continent to get to vegas. Gary, the cousin, a huge man, owes a lot of money , due to gambling. He needs Dess to count cards for him at blackjack. Dess is a wrestler who was kicked off his team, due to an uncontrollable temper. Like a good independent movie, there is the Gwyneth paltrow introduced as the girlfriend, in the last one eighth of the book. the author tends to repeat certain of his effects. but, the readiing of it is a powerful one. I didn't fall in love with the characters. guess that qualifies it as a "noir novel," huh?

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