978-0-593-04462-9 / 9780593044629

Love Is a Racket


Publisher:Bantam Press



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About the book:

Love is a Racket begins with the sound of a man's fingers being broken--a clear indication that, in this story, compassion is presumed dead. Fortified by a staunch lack of compromise, John Ridley's second novel is an exceptional example of LA noir: a ferocious look at the murky lives blighted by insincerity and shallowness. Jeffty Kittridge is a failed scriptwriter, con man, gambler and regular stroller down the boulevard of broken dreams. He owes $15,000 to a loan shark and when he isn't drinking his sorrows away, he moves from one failed plan to the next. Such relentless bad luck morphs again with the arrival of Nellis, his junkie friend and master of a supposed 'can't-lose-poker-scheme.' However, circumstance goes awry again--but Jeffty finds salvation in a beautiful homeless woman, Mona, and a con that hinges on a legendary Hollywood love triangle. There is a compelling narrative voice in Jeffty that transcends his low-life status and imbues his plight with poignant honesty. Love is a Racket is testament to Ridley's mastery of humour; it's full of sharp lines that will routinely make you laugh out loud: "My good luck was that LA's a great place to work. Except for the smog and the gang violence, the brushfires in summer, the rain and floods in winter--it's great." Danny Graydon

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