Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Pg. 69: Seth Greenland's "Shining City"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Seth Greenland's Shining City.

About the book, from the publisher:
A witty and sexy satire about how contemporary American culture defines right and wrong, good and bad, from the acclaimed author of The Bones.

When good guy Marcus Ripps takes over his black sheep brother’s lucrative dry cleaning business, he has no idea what he’s in for. Before long, he is running one of the most popular escort services in West Hollywood. As the money starts pouring in, he revitalizes his marriage, buys a new Mercedes, and gives his son a bar mitzvah he’ll never forget. But, when his conscience—and the law—starts to catch up with him, Marcus must decide if his sudden financial windfall is worth all the risk. A wild, clever, consistently hysterical romp, Shining City is an L.A. adventure that will keep you guessing to the very end.
Among the early praise for the novel:
"This one pretty much hits the zeitgeist G-spot."
LA Times

"Rarely do novels that are so ruthlessly satiric have such a warm heart. Greenland achieves a deft balance between the preposterous and the plausible.”

"Greenland's uproarious second novel (after The Bones) follows the manifold ups and downs of Marcus Ripps, an unemployed and ill-fated altruist who inherits from his estranged brother an escort service run out of a Hollywood dry cleaning shop. Burdened by mounting debt and his chilly wife, Jan, and concerned that he won't be able to pay for his son's bar mitzvah, Marcus decides to become a pimp. With assistance from Kostya, his brother's former bodyguard, Marcus not only keeps the business afloat, he improves it and offers the prostitutes health insurance and retirement plans. After a john dies handcuffed to a bed, Marcus enlists Jan's help to dump the body. Eager to work with her husband, Jan joins the company, a move that improves their marriage and business, as the Smart Tarts (as Jan names the service) becomes a Web-based cash cow. (Even Jan's ailing mother gets involved.) Things turn around for the Ripps, but trouble comes when a rival pimp threatens Marcus's life. Despite some predictable plot twists and the requisite Hollywood ending, Greenland's novel is entertaining and intelligent, and packed with enough hooks (and hookers) to keep readers sucked in to the last page."
Publishers Weekly
Watch the video trailer for Shining City, and learn more about the author and his work at Seth Greenland's website.

Seth Greenland is also the author of The Bones. An award-winning playwright, he has written extensively for film and television.

The Page 69 Test: Shining City.

--Marshal Zeringue