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Mule: A Novel of Moving Weightby Tony D'souza
Synopses & Reviews
“Thanks to its wicked style and pacing, Mule lets me forget Im reading serious literature while I follow its terrifying story into the land of the all-American damned.” — Walter Kirn, author of Up in the Air
“Mule is swift, taut, and relentless, both a rip-roaring drug tale and a fascinating portrait of a decent human being whose morals slowly disintegrate under unbearable financial strain.” — Lauren Groff, author of The Monsters of Templeton
James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do. A friend in Californias Siskiyou County grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, hell pull down enough cash to survive for months. And so begins the life of a mule.
A page-turning, Zeitgeist-capturing novel that plunges us into the criminal underworld with little chance to take a breath, Mule is about young people trying to make do in a moment when the American Dream they never had to believe in — because it was handed to them, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window — suddenly vanishes from the menu.
“With adrenaline-infused sentences and a seat-gripping story line, Mule is a novel that illuminates contemporary American desperation, both its dangerous precipices and its thrilling, overwhelming freedom.” — Dean Bakopoulos, author of My American Unhappiness
"James is a writer living the good life in 'wild and lusty' Austin, Tex., a man who finds himself, 'At thirty... suddenly making and spending money in a way I never had.' But it's not long after he meets Kate, another bright young thing, that 'both of our careers were gone,' casualties of the Great Recession. The couple moves to Northern California, where James meets Kate's old friends and quickly realizes that he could buy their marijuana crop cheap, haul it cross country, and make a tidy profit. Things fall neatly into place as James assumes the middle-man role between his California grower and his Floridian dealer and the money — along with big trouble — starts pouring in. D'Souza does an admirable job of creating likable characters in James and the people around him, but there's only one way that this narrative can go. Or rather, there are any number of possibilities, but one obvious choice. The same actions — pick up drugs, encounter/overcome obstacles, deliver drugs — repeated too often, and too much time spent on the road, pushes anything but the basic plot into the background, creating a compelling but anemic read. (Sept.)w" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
A novel about the recession generation and a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through.
In an Ivory Coast village where Christians and Muslims are squaring off for war, against a backdrop of bloody conflict and vibrant African life, Jack Diaz—an American relief worker—and Mamadou, his village guardian, learn that hate knows no color and that true heroism waits where we least expect it.During lulls in the violence, Jack learns the cycles of Africa—of hunting in the rain forest, cultivating the yam, and navigating the nuances of the language; of witchcraft, storytelling, and chivalry. Despite the omnipresence of AIDS, he courts a stunning Peul girl, meets his neighbors wife in the darkened forest, and desperately pursues the village flirt. Still, Jack spends many nights alone in his hut, longing for love in a place where his skin color excludes him.
Brimming with dangerous passions and the pressures of life in a time of war, Whiteman is a stunning debut and a tale of desire, isolation, humor, action, and fear.
From an award-winning “savvy storyteller”* comes a page-turning, zeitgeist-capturing novel of a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through the recession.
James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do.
A winter in the mountains of Californias Siskiyou County introduces a tempting opportunity. A friend grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, hell pull down enough cash to survive for months.
James navigates life as a mule, then a boss—from moneyhungry friends to gun-toting drug lords, from Sacramento to Tallahassee, from just making the weight move cross-country to making thousands of dollars a day. The risks keep rising, forcing him to the next criminal level. A kidnapping, a shootout, a bank vault—it all culminates in a swirl of action.
Absorbing and timely, Mule perfectly captures the anxieties of plunging into the criminal world and of being a young person making do in a moment when the American Dream you never had to believe in—because it was handed to you, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window— suddenly vanishes from the menu.
About the Author
Tony DSouza is the author of three novels, including the award-winning Whiteman. He has contributed to The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Outside, Salon, Granta, McSweeneys, O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Fantasy, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize, Florida Gold and Silver Medals for fiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and the NEA, Tony was nominated for a National Magazine Award for coverage of Nicaraguas Eric Volz murder trial and spent three years in Africa with the Peace Corps.
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