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RICHARD LANGE reads from his new novel THE SMACK

The Smack (Mulholland Books)

Rowan Petty is a conman down on his luck. He's flat broke, living out of cheap hotels, and wondering how it all went wrong. His car quits on him in Reno, and he takes a job there on the bottom rung of a lousy phone scam. When he's not swindling lonely widows, he tries to turn nickels into dimes at the poker table. One snowy night, he crosses paths with a sweet-talking hooker who's tired of the streets, and sparks fly.

When an old friend of his turns up spreading a rumor about two million dollars in army money smuggled out of Afghanistan and stashed in an apartment in Los Angeles, it seems like a chance at the score of a lifetime. So Petty and the hooker head south, and straight into trouble. A wounded vet, a washed-up actor, and Petty's estranged daughter are all players in the dangerous game they find themselves caught up in. For the winner: a fortune. For the loser: a bullet to the head.

Praise for Richard Lange

"Lange writes of the disaffections and bewilderments of ordinary lives with as keen an anger and searing lyricism as anybody out there today. He is Raymond Carver reborn in a hard cityscape. Read him and be amazed." -- T.C. Boyle, author of The Harder They Come

"When you find yourself rooting for the killer in a grisly crime novel, you know you're in the hands of a real writer. Every character feels like flesh and bone."-- Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review

"Lange is incapable of creating a character that isn't memorable. Even the most minor are indelibly sketched.... The zone where literary fiction meets genre fiction is a crowded borderland these days. Lange proves himself comfortable on both sides of the line."-- Antoine Wilson, Los Angeles Times

"Richard Lange is a natural-born storyteller."-- Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall

"Make all the comparisons you like-Cormac McCarthy, Dennis Lehane, Martin Scorsese-but Richard Lange is a force of his own, the high standard for crime fiction." -- Benjamin Percy, author of Red Moon, The Wilding, and Refresh, Refresh

"Lange stands out as the greatest young crime writer of his generation, precisely because he doesn't write crime - he writes literature." -- Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight and Bad Sex on Speed

"The Smack just might be Mr. Lange's best yet, and that's saying something. His Los Angeles tableau of concrete and graffiti and neon is as sharp as razor wire. The characters are authentic down to the bone, the dialogue pitch-perfect believable, the desperation palpable, the situation urgent, the story riveting. Simply put, The Smack wallops you upside the head with its bad-ass-ness."-- Tom Cooper, author of The Marauders

"If Elmore Leonard and Dennis Cooper collaborated on a novel, they might produce something as exciting, harrowing and emotionally powerful as The Smack. Call it a literary thriller or call it thrilling literature--Richard Lange is emerging as the master of a new kind of novel: One that delivers breathless, gripping action while anchored in the authentic troubles of the real world. The Smack arrives like a genuine miracle--that rare thriller that will jack your pulse even as it breaks your heart."-- Adam Sternbergh, author of Shovel Ready

"The Smack is much more than a crime novel. It is a novel about life itself. The secret to great writing isn't just to observe. It's to create a world that readers understand at least as well as they do their own. Richard Lange has accomplished this, and more. His sensitivity and pacing are reminiscent of Raymond Carver, Charles Willeford, and Jim Thompson." -- Gerald Petievich, author of To Live and Die in L.A. and The Sentinel

"It's hard to imagine Richard Lange wasn't, in some previous life, a hustler from Reno with a girlfriend named Tinafey he met on a professional date who goes to LA to steal a fortune from a one-legged soldier home from Afghanistan and a host of other terrifying individuals. The characters are real and satisfying, the relationships will warm your heart and break it at the same time. The Smack is convincing, hectic and terrific fun."-- Joe Ide, author of IQ

Event date: 
Thursday, July 20, 2017 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
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