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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Lush Life

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Lush Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780312428228
ISBN10: 0312428227
Condition: Standard
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Excerpt

Prologue

The Quality of Life Task Force: four sweatshirts in a bogus taxi set up on the corner of Clinton Street alongside the Williamsburg Bridge off-ramp to profile the incoming salmon run; their mantra: Dope, guns, overtime; their motto: Everyone’s got something to lose.

“Is dead tonight.”

The four car-stops so far this evening have been washouts: three municipals—a postal inspector, a transit clerk, and a garbageman, all city employees off-limits—and one guy who did have a six-inch blade under his seat, but no spring-release.

A station wagon coming off the bridge pulls abreast of them at the Delancey Street light, the driver a tall, gray, long-nosed man sporting a tweed jacket and Cuffney cap.

“The Quiet Man,” Geohagan murmurs.

“That’ll do, pig,” Scharf adds.

Lugo, Daley, Geohagan, Scharf; Bayside, New Dorp, Freeport, Pelham Bay, all in their thirties, which, at this late hour, made them some of the oldest white men on the Lower East Side.

Forty minutes without a nibble . . .

Restless, they finally pull out to honeycomb the narrow streets for an hour of endless tight right turns: falafel joint, jazz joint, gyro joint, corner. Schoolyard, crêperie, realtor, corner. Tenement, tenement,

tenement museum, corner. Pink Pony, Blind Tiger, muffin boutique, corner. Sex shop, tea shop, synagogue, corner. Boulangerie, bar, hat boutique, corner. Iglesia, gelateria, matzo shop, corner. Bollywood, Buddha, botanica, corner. Leather outlet, leather outlet, leather outlet, corner. Bar, school, bar, school, People’s Park, corner. Tyson mural, Celia Cruz mural, Lady Di mural, corner. Bling shop, barbershop, car service, corner. And then finally, on a sooty stretch of Eldridge, something with potential: a weary-faced Fujianese in a thin Members Only windbreaker, cigarette hanging, plastic bags dangling from crooked fingers like full waterbuckets, trudging up the dark, narrow street followed by a limping black kid half a block behind.

“What do you think?” Lugo taking a poll via the rearview. “Hunting for his Chinaman?”

“That’s who I’d do,” Scharf says.

“Guy looks beat. Probably just finished up his week.”

“That’d be a nice score too. Payday Friday, pulled your eighty-four hours, walking home with what, four? Four fifty?”

“Could be his whole roll on him if he doesn’t use banks.”

“C’mon, kid”—the taxi lagging behind its prey, all three parties in a half-block stagger—“it doesn’t get better than this.”

“Actually, Benny Yee in Community Outreach? He says the Fooks finally know not to do that anymore, keep it all on them.”

“Yeah, OK, they don’t do that anymore.”

“Should we tell the kid? He probably hasn’t even heard of Benny Yee.”

“I don’t want to come between a young man and his dreams,” Lugo says.

“There he goes, there he goes . . .”

“Forget it, he just made us,” Daley says as the kid abruptly loses his limp and turns east, back towards the projects, or the subways, or, like them, to simply take five, then get back in the game.

Right turn after right turn after right, so many that when they finally pull someone over, and they will, it’ll take a minute to get their legs under them, to stop leaning into their steps; so many right turns that at three in the morning, six beers deep at Grouchie’s, everybody silently, angrily watching the one lucky bastard getting a lap ride in a banquette by the bathrooms, they’ll be canting to the right at the bar, then, later in bed, twitching to the right in their dreams.

At the corner of Houston and Chrystie, a cherry-red Denali pulls up alongside them, three overdressed women in the backseat, the driver alone up front and wearing sunglasses.

The passenger-side window glides down. “Officers, where the Howard Johnson hotel at around here . . .”

“Straight ahead three blocks on the far corner,” Lugo offers.

“Thank you.”

“What’s with the midnight shades?” Daley asks from the shotgun seat, leaning forward past Lugo to make eye contact.

“I got photosensitivity,” the guy answers, tapping his frames.

The window glides back up and he shoots east on Houston.

“Did he call us officers?”

“It’s that stupid flattop of yours.”

“It’s that fuckin’ tractor hat of yours.”

“I gots photosensitivity . . .”

A moment later they’re rolling past the Howard Johnson’s themselves, watching as the guy from the Denali makes like a coachman, holding the door for all the ladies filing out from the backseat.

“Huggy Bear,” Lugo mumbles.

“Who the fuck puts a Howard Johnson’s down here?” Scharf gestures to the seedy-looking chain hotel, its neighbors an ancient knishery and a Seventh-Day Adventist church whose aluminum cross is superimposed over a stone-carved Star of David. “What was the thinking behind that.”

“Twenty-eight flavors,” Lugo says. “My dad used to take me every Sunday after my game.”

“You’re talking the ice cream parlor,” Scharf says, “that’s different.”

“I never had a dad,” says Geohagan.

“You want one of mine?” Daley turns in his seat. “I had three.”

“I can only dream of a dad who’d take me to a Howard Johnson’s after my game.”

“Hey, Sonny.” Lugo catches Geohagan’s eye in the rearview. “Later tonight, you want to have a catch with me?”

“Sure, mister.”

“Pokey as fuck out here, huh?” says Daley.

“That’s because it’s your turn to collar,” Lugo says, waving off some drunk who thinks he’s just flagged down a taxi.

“Somebody up there hates me.”

“Hang on . . .” Scharf abruptly perks up, his head on a swivel. “That there looks good. High beams going west, four bodies.”

“Going west?” Lugo floors it in heavy traffic. “Think thin, girls,” as he takes the driver-side wheels up onto the concrete divider to get past a real cab waiting for the light, then whips into a U-turn to get abreast of the target car, peering in. “Females, two mommies, two kids,” passing them, hungrier now, all of them, then Scharf ahoying once again: “Green Honda, going east.”

“Now east, he says.” Lugo does another 180 and pulls behind the Honda.

“What do we got . . .”

“Two males in the front.”

“What do we got . . .”

“Neon trim on the plate.”

“Tinted windows.”

“Right rear taillight.”

“Front passenger just stuffed something under the seat.”

“Thank you.” Lugo hits the misery lights, climbs up the Honda’s back, the driver taking half a block to pull over.

Daley and Lugo slowly walk up on either side of the car, cross-beam the front seats.

The driver, a young green-eyed Latino, rolls down his window. “Officer, what I do?”

Lugo rests his crossed arms on the open window as if it’s a backyard fence. “License and registration, please?”

“For real, what I do?”

“You always drive like that?” His voice almost gentle.

“Like what?”

“Signaling lane changes, all road-courteous and shit.”

“Excuse me?”

“C’mon, nobody does that unless they’re nervous about something.”

“Well I was.”

“Nervous?”

“You was following me.”

“A cab was following you?”

“Yeah, OK, a cab.” Passing over his papers. “All serious, Officer, and no disrespect intended, maybe I can learn something here, but what did I do?”

“Primary, you have neon trim on your plates.”

“Hey, I didn’t put it there. This my sister’s whip.”

“Secondary, your windows are too dark.”

“I told her about that.”

“Tertiary, you crossed a solid yellow.”

“To get around a double-parked car.”

“Quadrary, you’re sitting by a hydrant.”

“That’s ’cause you just pulled me over.”

Lugo takes a moment to assess the level of mouth he’s getting.

As a rule he is soft-spoken, leaning in to the driver’s window to conversate, to explain, his expression baggy with patience, going eye to eye as if to make sure what he’s explicating here is being digested, seemingly deaf to the obligatory sputtering, the misdemeanors of verbal abuse, but . . . if the driver says that one thing, goes one word over some invisible line, then without any change of expression, without any warning signs except maybe a slow straightening up, a sad/disgusted looking off, he steps back, reaches for the door handle, and the world as they knew it, is no more.

But this kid isn’t too bad.

“This is for your own benefit. Get out of the car, please?”

As Lugo escorts the driver to the rear bumpers, Daley leans into the shotgun-seat window and tilts his chin at the passenger, this second kid sitting there affecting comatosity, heavy-lidded under a too big baseball cap and staring straight ahead as if they were still driving somewhere.

“So what’s your story?” Daley says, opening the passenger door,

offering this one some sidewalk too, as Geohagan, all tatted out in Celtic braids, knots, and crosses leans in to search the glove com-

partment, the cup caddy, the tape storage bin, Scharf taking the rear seats.

Back at the rear bumpers, the driver stands in a scarecrow T looking off soul-eyed as Lugo, squinting through his own cigarette smoke, fingerwalks his pockets, coming up with a fat roll of twenties.

“This a lot of cheddar, cuz,” counting it, then stuffing it in the kid’s shirt pocket before continuing the patdown.

“Yeah, well, that’s my college tuition money.”

“What the fuck college takes cash?” Lugo laughs, then finished, gestures to the bumper. “Have a seat.”

“Burke Technical in the Bronx? It’s new.”

“And they take cash?”

“Money’s money.”

“True dat.” Lugo shrugs, just waiting out the car search. “So what’s your major?”

“Furniture management?”

“You ever been locked up before?”

“C’mon, man, my uncle’s like a detective in the Bronx.”

“Like a detective?”

“No. A detective. He just retired.”

“Oh yeah? What precinct?”

“I don’t know per se. The Sixty-ninth?”

“The fighting Sixty-ninth,” Geohagan calls out, feeling under the passenger seat now.

“There is no Sixty-ninth,” Lugo says, flicking his butt into the gutter.

“Sixty-something. I said I wasn’t sure.”

“What’s his name.”

“Rodriguez?”

“Rodriguez in the Bronx? That narrows it down. What’s his first name?”

“Narcisso?”

“Don’t know him.”

“Had a big retirement party?”

“Sorry.”

“I been thinking of trying out for the Police Academy myself.”

“Oh yeah? That’s great.”

“Donnie.” Geohagan backs out of the passenger door, holds up a Zip-loc of weed.

“Because we need more fuckin’ smokehounds.”

The kid closes his eyes, tilts his chin to the stars, to the moon over Delancey.

“His or yours.” Lugo gestures to the other kid on the sidewalk, face still blank as a mask, his pockets strewn over the car hood. “Somebody needs to say or you both go.”

“Mine,” the driver finally mutters.

“Turn around, please?”

“Oh man, you gonna lock me up for that?”

“Hey, two seconds ago you stepped up like a man. Stay with that.”

Lugo cuffs him then turns him forward again, holding him at arm’s length as if to assess his outfit for the evening. “Anything else in there? Tell us now or we’ll rip that shitbox to shreds.”

“Damn, man, I barely had that.”

“All right then, just relax,” guiding him back down to the bumper as the search continues nonetheless.

The kid looks off, shakes his head, mutters, “Sorry ass.”

“Excuse me?”

“Nah, I’m just saying”—pursing his mouth in self-disgust—“not about you. ”

Geohagan comes back with the baggie, hands it over.

“OK, look.” Lugo lights another cigarette, takes a long first drag. “This? We could give a fuck. We’re out here on a higher calling.” He nods at a passing patrol car, something the driver said making him laugh. “You know what I’m saying?”

“More serious shit?”

“There you go.”

“That’s all I got.”

“I’m not taking about what you got. I’m talking about what you know.”

“What I know?”

“You know what I’m saying.”

They both turn and look off in the direction of the East River, two guys having a moment, one with his hands behind his back.

Finally, the kid exhales heavily. “Well, I can tell you where a weed spot is.”

“You’re kidding me, right?” Lugo rears back. “I’ll tell you where a weed spot is. I’ll tell you where fifty is. I can get you better shit than this for half what you paid seven days a week with blindfolds on.”

The kid sighs, tries not to look at the barely curious locals coming out of the Banco de Ponce ATM center and the Dunkin’ Donuts, the college kids hopping in and out of taxis.

“C’mon. Do right by me, I’ll do right by you.” Lugo absently tosses the baggie from hand to hand, drops it, picks it up.

“Do right like how?”

“I want a gun.”

“A what? I don’t know a gun.”

“You don’t have to know a gun. But you know someone who knows someone, right?”

“Aw, man . . . ”

“For starters, you know who you bought this shit from, right?”

“I don’t know any guns, man. You got forty dollars a weed there. I paid for it with my own money, ’cause it helps me relax, helps me party. Everybody I know is like, go to work, go to school, get high. That’s it.”

“Huh . . . so like, there’s no one you could call, say, ‘Yo, I just got jacked in the PJs. I need me a onetime whistle, can I meet you at such and such?’ ”

“A whistle?”

Lugo makes a finger gun.

“You mean a hammer?”

“A hammer, a whistle . . . ” Lugo turns away and tightens his ponytail.

“Pfff . . .” The kid looks off, then, “I know a knife.”

Lugo laughs. “My mother has a knife.”

“This one’s used.”

“Forget it.” Then, chin-tilting to the other kid: “What about your sidekick there.”

“My cousin? He’s like half-retarded.”

“How about the other half?”

“Aw, c’mon.” The driver lolls his head like a cow.

Another patrol car rolls up, this one to pick up the prisoner.

“All right, just think about it, OK?” Lugo says. “I’ll see you back in holding in a few hours.”

“What about my car?”

“Gilbert Grape there, he’s got a license?”

“His brother does.”

“Well then tell him to call his brother and get his ass down here before you wind up towed.”

“Damn.” Then calling out: “Raymond! You hear that?”

The cousin nods but makes no move to retrieve his cell phone from the car hood.

“So you never answered my question,” Lugo says, skull-steering him into the rear of the cruiser. “You ever been locked up before?”

The kid turns his head away, murmurs something.

“It’s OK, you can tell me.”

“I said, ‘Yes.’ ”

“For?”

The kid shrugs, embarrassed, says, “This.”

“Yeah? Around here?”

“Uh-huh.”

“How long back?”

“On Christmas Eve.”

“On Christmas Eve for this?” Lugo winces. “That is cold. Who the hell would . . . You remember who collared you?”

“Uh-huh,” the kid mutters, then looks Lugo in the face. “You.”

An hour later, with the kid on ice back at the Eighth, good for another hour or two’s worth of gun-wrangling, which would probably go nowhere, and a few more hours’ worth of processing for Daley, the arresting officer, Daley good and taken care of, they were out again looking to get one for Scharf, a last-call drive-around before settling on one of the local parks for an if-all-else-fails post-midnight curfew rip.

Turning south off Houston onto Ludlow for the fiftieth time that night, Daley sensed something in the chain-link shadows below Katz’s Deli, nothing he could put his finger on, but . . . “Donnie, go around.”

Lugo whipped the taxi in a four-block square: Ludlow to Stanton, to Essex, to Houston, creeping left onto Ludlow again, just past Katz’s, only to come abreast of a parked car full of slouched-down plainclothes from Borough Narcotics, the driver eyeballing them out of there: This is our fishing hole.  

Copyright © 2008 by Richard Price

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

skorpela, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by skorpela)
I was surprised how much I enjoyed this.
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Effie, March 28, 2009 (view all comments by Effie)
Price always delivers, as in this book!
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(6 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
Erica Horne, March 26, 2009 (view all comments by Erica Horne)
It is my belief that when you watch a movie, the best acting comes when you don't notice that the person is acting; you become absorbed in the film and forget that the actor is merely playing a part. Similarly, often the best fiction writing is when you don't really notice the writing; if the narrative is too cleverly written, you might admire the cleverness, but it breaks the spell of being in that fictional world. Which brings me to Richard Price, and more particularly his new novel, Lush Life: it is sometimes a little too stylish for its own good.

The plot of Lush Life centers on an apparent mugging gone wrong. Eric Cash, Ike Marcus and Steve Boulware are walking around late one evening when a pair of wannabe crooks try to rob them. Ike is a little too defiant and gets shot. Steve is out cold, dead drunk and a series of events lead the police to believe Eric is the killer. It is sorted out relatively quickly, but not soon enough to for Eric to avoid a tough interrogation and a few hours in jail.

Lush Life is a crime story, but not the typical sort. It focuses less on the hunt for a murderer and more on the repercussions on all involved. For Eric, the brief arrest is merely the culmination of a very bad evening and the trauma - including dealing with his own cowardice during the mugging - will lead him on a self-destructive path. Similarly, Ike's father, Billy, is unable to cope with the loss of his son. The third principal character, Detective Matty Clark, tries to find the real killer despite an unwillingness by the police brass to really pursue the case (after the embarrassment of Eric's wrongful arrest, they'd like the whole thing to go away). Matty also has to deal with the increasingly unhinged Billy while confronting the effects of his own poor parenting techniques.

There's a lot that's good about Lush Life. There are times when it is compelling reading, and Price often has a good sense of dialogue. On the other hand, there were times when his gritty, streetwise style is a little over-the-top and is distracting; in short, I noticed he was writing rather than just being drawn into his story.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780312428228
Author:
Price, Richard
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
Stone, Robert
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Hard-Boiled
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Police
Subject:
Mystery-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
March 2009
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
A)</DIV><DIV>&#160;</DIV><DIV>"His prose has never
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Lush Life Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.50 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Picador USA - English 9780312428228 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

It's a given that fans of Price's earlier novels will rush to read Lush Life. In addition, fans of the HBO series The Wire — or anyone who enjoys a gripping read, period — won't want to miss this fantastic novel, which peels back the shiny surface of the new-and-improved New York to find not only the grime lurking (and working) beneath, but also its rich, multifaceted history. In typical Price fashion, the characters are compelling, the dialogue so rich you want to act it out loud, and the plot is irresistible.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Richard Price is a professional. His genius is in, among other things, the vernacular — he does his research and he knows his lingo. Overall, this is a top-notch New York cop novel: the scenes are tight; the plot is well crafted; and the characters come to life.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Master of the Bronx and Jersey projects, Price (Clockers) turns his unrelenting eye on Manhattan's Lower East Side in this manic crescendo of a novel that explores the repercussions of a seemingly random shooting. When bartender Ike Marcus is shot to death after barhopping with friends, NYPD Det. Matty Clark and his team first focus on restaurant manager and struggling writer Eric Cash, who claims the group was accosted by would-be muggers, despite eyewitnesses saying otherwise. As Matty grills Eric on the still-hazy details of the shooting, Price steps back and follows the lives of the alleged shooters — teenagers Tristan Acevedo and Little Dap Williams, who live in a nearby housing project — as well as Ike's grieving father, Billy, who hounds the police even as leads dwindle. As the intersecting narratives hurtle toward a climax that's both expected and shocking, Price peels back the layers of his characters and the neighborhood until all is laid bare. With its perfect dialogue and attention to the smallest detail, Price's latest reminds readers why he's one of the masters of American urban crime fiction. Author tour. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "[A] vivid study of contemporary urban landscape. Price's knowledge of his Lower East Side locale is positively synoptic, from his take on its tenements, haunted by the ghosts of the Jewish dead and now crammed with poor Asian laborers, to the posh clubs and restaurants, where those inclined can drink 'a bottle of $250 Johnnie Walker Blue Label' or catch 'a midnight puppet porno show.'" (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
"Review A Day" by , "Lush Life is a good, worthwhile, and in many ways satisfying novel. No matter how routinely and highly praised it may be, Price's ear for dialogue, his ability to capture and reproduce the rhythm, tone, and evanescent vocabulary of urban life, cannot be overpraised: with all due respect to Elmore Leonard, Price is our best, one of the best writers of dialogue in the history of American literature." (read the entire New York Review of Books review)
"Review" by , "The method employed by Dostoevsky in Crime and Punishment serves Price's purpose — and then some — in his wrenching eighth novel....There oughta be a law requiring Richard Price to publish more frequently. Because nobody does it better. Really. No time, no way."
"Review" by , "Price's investigation is no mere police procedural, scouring away layers of self-defense in all of his vividly drawn characters. Such is his talent that we care about them all equally....[M]aking the streets safe for the cafe crowd has its hidden cost — and no one shows that better than Price."
"Review" by , "No one writes better dialogue than Richard Price....[H]is most powerful and galvanic work yet, a novel that showcases his sympathy and his street cred and all his skills as a novelist and screenwriter..."
"Review" by , "[O]utstanding....[T]his big, powerful novel belongs to all of [the characters], and, like The Wire, its real protagonist is the complicated, tragic, and endlessly fascinating American city street. (Grade: A)"
"Review" by , "Reading Lush Life...is a lot like watching a great movie, with the author as director and cameraman....Price's people talk with the flair and rhythms of real speech...giving his books a soundtrack you hear as much as read."
"Review" by , "A compelling urban drama....The book, which doesn't lag for even a sentence, is a dialogue-driven, thoroughly riveting examination of how an investigation unfolds and the emotional toll it takes on everyone involved."
"Review" by , "Lush Life is vivid, authentic, beautiful and rugged....If you don't know Price yet, this book is a great entry. You'll leave the space most authors occupy and move into the realm of masterpiece."
"Synopsis" by ,
At an esteemed American college an illicit romance leads to tragedy in Robert Stone's most compelling novel since the bestselling Damascus Gate.
"Synopsis" by ,
A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice

“Fast-paced [and] riveting . . . Stone is one of our transcendently great American novelists.” — Madison Smartt Bell

“Brilliant.” — Washington Post

At an elite college in a once-decaying New England city, Steven Brookman has come to a decision. A brilliant but careless professor, he has determined that for the sake of his marriage, and his soul, he must end his relationship with Maud Stack, his electrifying student, whose papers are always late yet always incandescent. But Maud is a young woman whose passions are not easily curtailed, and their union will quickly yield tragic and far-reaching consequences.

Death of the Black-Haired Girl is an irresistible tale of infidelity, accountability, the allure of youth, the promise of absolution, and the notion that madness is everywhere, in plain sight.

“At once unsparing and generous in its vision of humanity, by turns propulsive and poetic, Death of the Black-Haired Girl is wise, brave, and beautifully just.” — Boston Globe

“Unsettling and tightly wrought—and a worthy cautionary tale about capital-C consequences.” — Entertainment Weekly

“A taut, forceful, lacerating novel, full of beautifully crafted language.” — Los Angeles Review of Books

"Synopsis" by ,

A National Bestseller

A New York Times Notable Book of the Year

Lush Life is a tale of two Lower East Sides: one a high-priced bohemia, the other a home to hardship, it's residents pushed to the edges of their time-honored turf. When a cocky young hipster is shot to death by a street kid from the "other" lower east side, the crime ripples through every stratum of the city in this brilliant and kaleidiscopic portrait of the "new" New York.

Richard Price is the author of several novels, including Lush Life, Clockers, Freedomland, and Samaritan. He wrote the screenplays for the films Sea of Love, Ransom, and The Color of Money, for which he received an Academy Award nomination. He won the 2007 Edgar Award for Best TV writing as a co-writer for the HBO series The Wire. A member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters, he lives in New York City.

A Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
A PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist

Longlisted for the International IMPAC Literary Award
Winner of The Strand Magazine Critics Award for Best Novel

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book

An Economist Best Book of the Year

A Wall Street Journal Best Book of the Year

A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year

A Time Magazine Top Ten Book of the Year

A Seattle Times Best Book of the Year

A St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year

A Village Voice Best Book of the Year

A Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Best Book of the Year

A Booklist Editors Choice Best Book of the Year

A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year

In Lush Life, Richard Price tears the shiny veneer off the “new” New York to show the hidden cracks, the underground networks of control and violence beneath the glamour.

When people asked Eric Cash, "So, what do you do?" he used to have a dozen answers. He called himself an artist, an actor, a screenwriter . . . but now Eric is thirty-five years old and still living on the Lower East Side, still in the restaurant business, still serving the people he wanted to be—people like Ike Marcus. Ike was young, good-looking, people liked him. Ask him what he did, he wouldnt say tending bar. He was going places—until two street kids stepped up to him and Eric one night and pulled a gun. At least, thats what happened according to Eric.

Lush Life is an x-ray of the street in the age of no broken windows and “quality of life” squads, from a writer whose “tough, gritty brand of social realism . . . reads like a movie in prose” (Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times).

“[Prices] new novel, Lush Life, which is filled with page after page of vital speech, shows him inventing a life for dialogue rather than just taking it from life; and this spoken magic is often indistinguishable from Prices apparently more formal, descriptive prose. Of course, the author of such novels as Clockers and Samaritan (as well as episodes for The Wire, and several movies) has done his urban homework.”—James Wood, The New Yorker
"No matter how routinely and highly praised it may be, Price's ear for dialogue, his ability to capture and reproduce the rhythm, tone, and evanescent vocabulary of urban life, cannot be overpraised: with all due respect to Elmore Leonard, Price is our best, one of the best writers of dialogue in the history of American literature. Resorting with miraculous infrequency to the use of dialect spellings and other orthographic tricks, Price gets his characters' words to convey subtle nuances of class, occupation, education, even geographical gradations of neighborhood, while also using them as a powerful vehicle for the transmission, in fits and starts, evasions and doublings back, of their interior lives. He is a perfect magpie for slang, and like its predecessors this novel is rich in fascinating bits of law-enforcement and street-criminal argot . . . By now Price has the police procedural down cold, both in his technical knowledge of the workings of the criminal justice system and in his control over pacing and point of view, and Lush Life reads swiftly . . . His prose has never felt more fluid, his plotting is spry, and later scenes spin by in a monte-dealer whirl before you realize that you have just been had with another unlikely (or perhaps likely but no less dissatisfying) coincidence. But what is most remarkable about Lush Life, finally, is not the astuteness of its social critique. Nor is it the resemblance of the book, or of the experience of reading it, as other critics have claimed, to watching a taut policer or a season of The Wire . . . If Lush Life reads, at times, like a kind of 'Priceland,' offering up to the reader, in a tightly controlled performance, ghostly echoes of the masterpieces that preceded it, perhaps that has less to do with any fault of Price's than of the city that, in ceaselessly remaking itself, in endlessly referring to itself, betrays everyone and everything but the irony and accuracy of those Yiddish words, carved into the blackened beam of the cellar apartment, words that could easily have served as the title of this fine novel: City of Gold."—Michael Chabon, The New York Review of Books

“[Prices] new novel, Lush Life, which is filled with page after page of vital speech, shows him inventing a life for dialogue rather than just taking it from life; and this spoken magic is often indistinguishable from Prices apparently more formal, descriptive prose. Of course, the author of such novels as Clockers and Samaritan (as well as episodes for The Wire, and several movies) has done his urban homework.”—James Wood, The New Yorker

“The scenes in Lush Life are sure-footed and brisk . . . Lush Life is his funniest book yet, more overtly comedic than any that precede it .. . Lush Life is a satirical but sympathetic take on existence here at what, given the subprime mortgage fiasco and concomitant layoffs on Wall Street, may be the end of the early 21st-century economic boom.”—Maud Newton, The Boston Globe

"The visceral pleasures of a whodunit yoked to the more cerebral thrill of a sociology project—an oral history of the modern Lower East Side. Price's commitment to immersive research, and his splinter skill for urban dialogue, allows him to ventriloquize seemingly every sentient being in the neighborhood: dealers, bouncers, real estate barons, illegal Chinese immigrants."—Sam Anderson, New York magazine

"Lush Life is complex, nuanced, and full of convincing detail."—Stephen Aubrey, Commonweal

"Lush Life revolves around a New York City murder, exploring the crime from all sides. With his trademark urban realism and genius for dialogue, Price vividly takes us inside the world of low-level street thugs, seen-it-all police detectives, heartbroken victims, hesitant witnesses and publicity-hungry politicians. And as Price meticulously follows the murder investigation, readers see that these characters (whether thugs, cops or victims) are far more complicated and interesting than what we had expected. Lush Life is often dark, sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and always gripping. Like all of Price's work, it is filled with gritty dialogue that crackles with unspoken tension and hidden meaning."—Chuck Leddy, The Writer

"With Lush Life Richard Price has become our post-modern American Balzac. Except that he's a whole lot funnier than Balzac and writes the language we hear and speak better than any novelist around, living or dead, American or French. He's a writer I hope my great-grandchildren will read, so they'll know what it was like to be truly alive in the early 21st century."—Russell Banks

"This is it, folks. The novel about gentrified New York, circa right now, that weve been waiting for. Richard Price understands what's happened to our beloved city, he writes dialogue like a genius, and he absolutely, genuinely cares."—Gary Shteyngart

“Richard Price is the greatest writer of dialogue, living or dead, this country has ever produced. Wry, profane, hilarious, and tragic, sometimes in a single line, Lush Life is his masterwork. I doubt anyone will write a novel this good for a long, long time.”—Dennis Lehane

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