The Failure

James Greer, Author . Akashic $15.95 (201p) ISBN 978-1-933354-97-2

A robbery goes awry for a young L.A. slacker on a get-rich-quick scheme in Greer’s cleverly fashioned, flimsy second novel (after Artificial Light ). Protagonist Guy Forget wants his square MIT professor brother, Marcus, to lend him the $50,000 he needs to build the prototype for his invention, a sophisticated information-mining computer system called Pandemonium, which will transform Guy into “a man with clout.” But Marcus can’t stand his brother and is still in competition with him for the approval of their father. Then Dad suddenly dies, and leaves Guy the exact amount he needs, but it’s too late to stop “Plan Charlie,” Guy’s harebrained plot to rob a Korean check-cashing service along with his dog-walker friend, Billy. The other characters getting in Guy’s way are his manipulative femme fatale new girlfriend, Violet, and her scheming jealous pursuer, Sven Transvoort. Greer creates emotional distance by cutting up the sequence of events so that chapters are not chronological and inserting self-conscious comments by the “not entirely omniscient but very reliable narrator.” Running gags render this suspense parody cheeky, experimentally cool, and not terrifically memorable. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 11/09/2009
Release date: 03/01/2010
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 220 pages - 978-1-936070-76-3
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