Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lush Life

Lush LifeLush Life by Richard Price
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Bartender Eric Cash sees a coworker murdered and proves to be a poor witness. But was he really just a witness or did he shoot Ike Marcus? And if he didn't, who did?

During my second meeting with Kemper, he mentioned Richard Price being pretty good. I promptly forgot the name until a year later while I was watching The Wire, another Kemper recommendation. I found this down at the used bookstore and picked it up.

It pains me to say it, since I hold Kemper and The Wire in high regard, but I wasn't head over heels for this book. Before Omar corners me on the street with a shotgun, I will elaborate.

There were a lot things I did like about Lush Life. I liked how Price muddied the waters. The interrogation scenes were pretty powerful. Eric being scared was understandable. I also really liked that Matty's kicks were at least as messed up as the project kids that factored into the story. Price's writing is clever and there was some unexpected humor in it.

The thing I didn't enjoy was how long and drawn out everything felt. The book was about a hundred pages too long for what it was. It felt like Price couldn't decide if he wanted to do crime/mystery or literary fiction and it didn't quite work for me as either kind of book.

Still, it wasn't a bad book. I liked it more than I disliked it. I'll give it the traditional safety rating of 3.

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