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{July 8, 2013}   {Review} L.A. Success by Lance Schafer

11279484From Goodreads: In the black hole of excess and wealth that is Los Angeles, Lonnie Herisson’s life is about to get weird. Forced to find work after his live-in girlfriend stops paying the bills and moves out of his eyesore of a house, Lonnie takes a job house sitting for a private investigator. When a mysterious man arrives looking to hire someone to keep tabs on his supposedly unfaithful lover, Lonnie sees it as a golden opportunity to make easy money. He pretends to be the investigator and takes the case.

The job leads Lonnie into the seedy world of L.A. real estate, where his target, chain-smoking nymphomaniac Gertie Elliot, uses a variety of dubious techniques to sell houses. But as he gets deeper into the investigation, he learns that things aren’t as obvious as they appeared to be at the beginning, and that Gertie Elliot is actually linked to the surprising, secret origins of one of Hollywood’s most cherished films.

With this new knowledge in hand, Lonnie must find a way to make as much money as possible off of an increasingly complicated situation. Funded by rent money he receives from his mysterious foreign renter and accompanied by his side-kick black poodle, Lonnie navigates his way through blackmail, violence, and epic superficiality as he attempts to straighten out his life, win back his girlfriend, and become an L.A. success.

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This is one of those surreal novels that can go one of two ways for readers: they will either chuckle nonstop with the absurdity of it all, or they will find it juvenile and unreal.  I’m one who chuckled.  L.A. Success is filled with incongruent situations and characters, which pulled me into the story because it’s a refreshing change from all the true-to-life contemporary novels I’ve been reading lately.  Lonnie goes from being a lazy bum to pronounced private investigator to real estate agent in this comedy of errors, and I liked the play on E.T. and Steven Spielberg that unveiled itself as this quirky story unfolds.

Initially, I didn’t really care for Lonnie—his girlfriend left him for all the right reasons: he’s a loser.  But as he attempts to bring his life back on track and win back the girl of his dreams, everything spins out of control and it’s so outrageous I couldn’t help but smile at his antics and, dare I say, stupidity on some occasions.  If you’re looking for a light read with awkward situations that will bring a smile to your face, this is it.  Three stars.

3 stars

I received an ebook of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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