The Hazards of Good Fortune

Seth Greenland. Europa (PGW, dist.), $18 trade paper (624p) ISBN 978-1-60945-462-3
Set in New York City in 2012, Greenland’s latest novel (after I Regret Everything) is grim satire and tragic social commentary on prejudice, corruption, greed, and social and economic privilege. Jay Gladstone is a rich, Jewish New York City real estate tycoon who owns an NBA basketball team and arrogantly thinks he is the most benevolent, inclusive white man ever. Then he catches his trophy wife, Nicole, and his basketball team’s aging star player, Dag Maxwell, in bed. Jay runs over Dag with his car, critically injuring the star. The ambitious and self-serving district attorney, Christine Lupo, uses charges against Jay for political gain; in another of her cases (which she determines won’t really help her career), she drops murder charges against a cop who killed a black man. The cop goes free and gets a job with the DA, and Jay is charged with a hate crime. As he gets ready to be tried, the fallout from the incident stokes a firestorm of anti-Semitism, racist hate, media hype, and agitator-fueled public outrage. Though the novel is too long and there is too much going on, Greenland is an excellent storyteller and makes his tale of selfish opportunists memorable and provocative. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/16/2018
Release date: 08/01/2018
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