Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Read Lately: Fake I.D. by Jason Starr

  • I wasn't really sure what to expect when I picked up Fake I.D. by Jason Starr. It was the Hard Case Crime Book Club release for June, so I had appropriately high hopes. But the back cover text and title don't really prepare you for the story inside. That's fine in this case because the book is hilarious. Not because it's funny but because of how audacious the writing is. I'm sure there are great literary novels that do the same thing, but I doubt that they are this much fun.

  • Tommy Russo is a wannabe actor working as a bouncer to make ends meet. But what we really likes to do is gamble. He gambles a lot. Horse racing seems to be his preferred sport. So when he's approached to join a horse owners' syndicate, he seriously considers coming up with the ten thousand dollars he needs for membership. His only problem is that he gambles away every cent he has, so saving up that much money is out of the question.

  • What follows is a tale of escalating madness. Tommy portrays himself, in this first person account, as a sympathetic character on a streak of bad luck. What we as the readers see is a man out of control. And it only gets worse as every bad decision he makes impedes his progress further.

  • Jason Starr amazed me with his ability to present this delusional character so well. Fake I.D. is a great addition to anyone's crime fiction library. Just don't try to figure out the title. I never did.

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