About the Book
Hailed as “the slightly more well-adjusted offspring of Hunter S. Thompson and James Ellroy” (Los Angeles Times), Mark Haskell Smith returns with a wildly entertaining satire of corporate greed, sexual desire, and crime in the global financial services industry.
Bryan LeBlanc worked his way up into a plum position on Wall Street as the boy genius of the foreign exchange desk. Surrounded by acolytes of the free market, the true believers, the U.S. Marines of capitalism—“the few, the proud, the completely full of themselves”—Bryan soon realizes that being honest at a dishonest job is not the path to success. He decides to give Wall Street a taste of its own medicine and hatches an intricate plan to disappear permanently with just enough misappropriated money—and sailing classes—to spend his golden years cruising the Caribbean.
Bryan quickly learns that being a criminal, even a really smart one, is more complicated than he thought. He finds himself on the run in the Cayman Islands, wanted for murder. On his trail is an irresponsible team of investigators sent by his Wall Street firm, hellbent on reclaiming the millions before their clients notice its missing: his boss, Seo-yun Kim, who’s committed to not only clearing her name but escaping her suffocating fiancé and their pending nuptials; the investment bank’s collections agent, Neal Nathanson, depressed over a recent break-up with his boyfriend; and an ex-cop from Curaçao, Piet Room, who has traded in his badge for spouse spying as a private investigator. Their efforts are complicated by an Australian sailor begrudgingly circumnavigating the globe to fundraise for breast cancer awareness.
Wickedly funny, ribald, and sharp-eyed, BLOWN starts as a simple case of embezzlement and explodes into a fatal high-stakes gamble for money and the pursuit of happiness.
Praise for Mark Haskell Smith
“Smith has a knack for winningly blending James Ellroy blunt violence with Elmore Leonard deadpan wit . . . [and] the gimlet-eyed barbed satire of Terry Southern.” —Baltimore City Paper
“The man can tell a story, oh, yes, indeed.” —T. C. Boyle
“Smith is mordantly funny.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“Like Carl Hiaasen’s oversexed cousin . . . [Smith] excels at cooking up a supremely weird atmosphere and spicing it up with equally weird sex and violence.” —Booklist
PRAISE FOR RAW: A LOVE STORY
“Gleefully absurd . . . [Smith] turns what could have been just an amusing book into an incisive, caustic and hilarious one . . . He’s able to pull it off because his prose is so hard-boiled and self-assured.” —Los Angeles Times
“Audacious satire.” —Vanity Fair
“Both hilarious and absurd. You’ll laugh (and sometimes blush) the whole way through.” —People
“Outrageous . . . consistently surprising, fast-paced and nearly always funny.” —Daily Beast
“Amusing and intermittently outright funny . . . [Smith’s] caricatures land squarely on the mark.” —Boston Globe
“Dark, priapic satire.” —The Millions
“[A] brash and brainy slice of satire that skewers our base and high-minded interests in one fell swoop . . . Hilarious.” —Shelf Awareness
PRAISE FOR NAKED AT LUNCH
One of the Huffington Post’s 20 Notable Non-Fiction Books
“An absolute hoot.” —Maggie Nelson, Los Angeles Magazine, one of 7 Books You Need to Read This Month
“Smith can hit the David Sedaris humor sweet spot.” —Los Angeles Review of Books
“His tone is informal and spiced with daffily well-targeted turns of phrase. But he’s also trenchant and commonsensical in his observations.” —Oregonian
“Breezy, free-wheeling, often very funny.” —Boston Globe
“In the spirit of Mary Roach’s curiosity and humor . . . fascinating and funny.” —Los Angeles Daily News
“[A] thoughtful, funny book.” —Guardian