Kings County

David Goodwillie. Avid Reader, $28 (432p) ISBN 978-1-5011-9213-5
Goodwillie (American Subversive) dully resurrects the New York City of the recent past, when Occupy Wall Street occupied the headlines, fixtures such as Café Loup catered to Manhattan cognoscenti, and the Turkey’s Nest dive bar welcomed Brooklyn’s newest hipsters. Among these are Audrey Benton, a failed actor who babysits bands for a Brooklyn music label, and Theo Gorski, a book editor turned literary scout for films, both of whom arrived as recent college graduates shortly after 9/11. In 2011, after dating for three years, Audrey and Theo hit a series of bumps when one of Audrey’s friends, Fender, disappears. Audrey’s Bushwick apartment is then broken into and someone leaves behind a note with four names on it—Audrey and her three best friends, including Fender, whose name has a check mark next to it. Audrey’s confession of a sordid secret from her past causes a rift between her and Theo, who separately try to find out who is behind the threat. It takes Goodwillie until the halfway point to introduce the mystery element, but even then, thrills are strangely absent, and Theo’s casual sociology falls flat (“He was not politically active, but he was a watcher of the world, and the Occupy movement intrigued him”). Despite an attempt at Wolfean verisimilitude, this slipshod novel reads more like a Wienie Roast of the Vanities. (July)
Reviewed on : 05/04/2020
Release date: 07/01/2020
Genre: Fiction
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-0740-0
Compact Disc - 978-1-7971-0742-4
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