cover image Written Out

Written Out

Howard Mittelmark. Permanent, $29.95 (226p) ISBN 978-1-57962-572-6

Fans of the TV series Fargo will welcome this witty black comedy from Mittelmark (Age of Consent). New York book editor Roger Olivetti seems to have hit bottom after an affair with a colleague ends his marriage to a bestselling novelist. Homeless and broke, Roger squats in the basement of his mother’s Long Island house while she winters in Florida. His situation worsens after a chance encounter at a gym with an old friend, real estate broker Lisa Capitano, with whom he soon starts having sex. Lisa complains that she’s burdened with the care of her elderly mother, who’s suffering from dementia; she persuades Roger that not only is euthanasia justified but he should do the deed. The murder doesn’t lead to Lisa asking Roger to move in with her, as he expected, but to a request to put another woman’s infirm parent out of her misery, in exchange for $8,000. The hapless Roger only finds himself getting even more over his head. This darkly funny book, with its jaundiced view of the world of books and publishing, deserves a wide readership. (Nov.)