Everybody Smokes in Hell

Valutazione media 3,5
( su 265 valutazioni fornite da Goodreads )
 
9780345421470: Everybody Smokes in Hell

Hollywood nights are for people with name tags. Call them employees. Losers. Or call them Paris Scott. He microwaves hot dogs at a twenty-four-hour convenience store. His girlfriend just dumped him. And everyone is working his last nerve. Until a surprise encounter with a bum leads to a Bel Air mansion, a dead rock star's last gasp on tape, and a chance for Paris to flirt with a dream. Even if it is someone else's. It's worth his life. Even better, it's worth a million bucks.

From the snarling vastness of Los Angeles to the neon-lit inferno of Las Vegas, John Ridley charts a one-way ride into a glittering hell of blood, bodies, and broken hearts. Dope dealers, Hollywood agents, two-bit felons, three-dollar strippers, honest Joes, and an increasingly desperate Paris Scott--no one comes out clean in this raucous ride that turns an obsession with fame and fortune into a dangerous game of truth and consequence. It's a wild place where dying large is a must, every crime is a thrill, and the finest pleasures are the guilty ones.

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Review:

After a bad night at the 24-hour market in Hollywood where he works, Paris Scott finds the Filthy White Guy who just bought a ton of frozen burritos with a hundred-dollar bill (and then destroyed the store's microwave), slumped half-conscious on Scott's rusty 1976 AMC Gremlin. "Paris wasn't a particularly good person," writes John Ridley, "and that was by his own figuring. It's not like he hung around soup kitchens doling out freebies, or gave a damn when dykes were outside Mayfair Market in WeHo collecting money for the AIDS Walk, but he was one of those 'There but for the grace of God' guys; one of those guys that thought if you went out of your way to ignore someone else's bad shit then that same bad shit was liable to boomerang around and smack you in the head at some point." So Paris gives the Filthy White Guy a lift home, and it turns out he's a famous rock star, who repays the favor by calling Paris a loser before passing out. Paris gets even by stealing a tape of the singer's proposed comeback album, an action that might get him killed if the folks who are after the stolen dope that Scott's roommate Buddy took get to him.

Ridley, who writes gritty, critically praised thrillers about Hollywood types who have traded in their dreams of stardom for the reality of survival (Love Is a Racket and Stray Dogs), hates Los Angeles "more than cancer" (as he says in a disclaimer). In Everybody Smokes in Hell, he describes the city with more poetry, passion, and mordant humor than anyone since Nathanael West in Day of the Locust. If you can tolerate the occasional outbursts of racism, sexism, and other non-PC activities, it's a journey worth making. --Dick Adler

From the Back Cover:


"Strong-as-firecrackers plot . . . Day-Glo dialogue . . . [A] seriously noir-ish, ultra-violent, ultra-high-speed, occasionally hilarious, dark farce of a novel."
--The Washington Post Book World

"In the bowels of Ridley's Los Angeles, honor is elusive though not unattainable, but the push of fate rules every man's existence: Noir is hell, to be sure."
--San Francisco Chronicle

"[A] relentless pace . . . Ridley seems to have a knack for capturing the comic-tragic, tragic-comic lessons of life that seem so prevalent in this half of the twentieth century."
--Los Angeles Times Book Review

"With his clipped, jagged prose and darkly imaginative plots, Ridley has proven himself as one of the new chroniclers of the rot that some find festering beneath the glistering veneer of Los Angeles."
--Publishers Weekly

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John Ridley
Editore: Ballantine Books (2000)
ISBN 10: 0345421477 ISBN 13: 9780345421470
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John Ridley
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