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Review--Lush Life, by Richard Price

Lush Life is the story of Eric Cash, a thirty-something guy living on the Lower East Side, in one of the roughest neighborhoods in Manhattan. Early one morning, a bartender ends up dead, and Cash, an inveterate liar, finds himself the center of a murder investigation by Matty Clark.

The world that Price describes in this book is not the Yuppie New York that most people hear about (or most New Yorkers have experienced), and I loved the gritty and grim way in which Price depicts Cash's world. The author uses short, terse sentences that can be confusing at times, but are ultimately lyrical. For example, he could have said, "he muttered," but instead he says, "...went off somewhere behind his teeth." The dialogue is written in the way people speak, which makes this book all the more realistic. While Lush Life might not be to everyone's taste, this novel is one of the best books I've read in a long time. It's a novel about the city I know and love so well, and I love this book because of that. I didn't want this novel to end.

I also recommend Honky, a memoir about being the only white kid in a mostly Hispanic/ black neighborhood, by Dalton Conley; and Random Family, a work of nonfiction about several generations of one family in the Bronx, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc.
Also reviewed by: Literary License, Pickle Me This


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