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Lawyer and Crimal Humor


The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir

The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir Lowest new price: $7.50
List price: $19.95

Noir meets diverse voices and transforms the genre into an over-the-top, transcendental psychedelic thriller ride of pulpy goodness in THE OBAMA INHERITANCE, a collection of fifteen stories of conspiracy noir curated by editor and award-winning African-American crime novelist Gary Phillips.



In the tradition of satirical works of Swift and Twain, with nods to the likes of William Burroughs, Asimov and Philip K. Dick, these tales contain vigilante First Ladies, Supreme Court judges who can clone themselves, gear-popping robots of doom, and races of ancient lizard people revealing their true master plan … and these are just the tame ones mashed up in the blender of fake news bots, climate change is but a hoax by the Chinese and humans roamed with dinosaurs.

In an era where the outlandish and fantastic has permeated our media 24/7, where mind-bending conspiracy theories shape our views, THE OBAMA INHERITANCE writers riff on the numerous fictions spun about the 44th president of the U.S. Although Obama himself does not appear in most of these stories, contributors spin deliberately outlandish and fantastic twists on many of the dozens of screwball, bizarro conspiracy theories floated about the president during his years in office and turn them on their heads.

THE OBAMA INHERITANCE editor Gary Phillips is a critically acclaimed author of mystery and graphic novels (Peepland, Violent Spring, and Warlord of Willow Ridge). Raised in South Central Los Angeles, Phillips draws on his experiences from anti-police abuse community organizing and anti-apartheid activism. He was the chair of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color committee, and is president of the Private Eye Writers of America.

Contributors include famed crime-detective author and essayist Walter Mosley, professor and former Department of Justice attorney Christopher Chambers (Sympathy for the Devil), noir raconteur Andrew Nette, actor and novelist Danny Gardner (A Negro and an Ofay), former Maine assistant attorney general Kate Flora (Death in Paradise), award-winning playwright and novelist Désirée Zamorano, and the Science Fiction Writers of America Grand Master Robert Silverberg.

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In a Sunburned Country

In a Sunburned Country Lowest new price: $4.16
Lowest used price: $0.01
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Author: Bill Bryson
Brand: Broadway Books

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out.

His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiousity.

Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book.

Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.

Bill Bryson follows his Appalachian amble, A Walk in the Woods, with the story of his exploits in Australia, where A-bombs go off unnoticed, prime ministers disappear into the surf, and cheery citizens coexist with the world's deadliest creatures: toxic caterpillars, aggressive seashells, crocodiles, sharks, snakes, and the deadliest of them all, the dreaded box jellyfish. And that's just the beginning, as Bryson treks through sunbaked deserts and up endless coastlines, crisscrossing the "under-discovered" Down Under in search of all things interesting.

Bryson, who could make a pile of dirt compelling--and yes, Australia is mostly dirt--finds no shortage of curiosities. When he isn't dodging Portuguese man-of-wars or considering the virtues of the remarkable platypus, he visits southwest Gippsland, home of the world's largest earthworms (up to 12 feet in length). He discovers that Australia, which began nationhood as a prison, contains the longest straight stretch of railroad track in the world (297 miles), as well as the world's largest monolith (the majestic Uluru) and largest living thing (the Great Barrier Reef). He finds ridiculous place names: "Mullumbimby Ewylamartup, Jiggalong, and the supremely satisfying Tittybong," and manages to catch a cricket game on the radio, which is like

listening to two men sitting in a rowboat on a large, placid lake on a day when the fish aren't biting; it's like having a nap without losing consciousness. It actually helps not to know quite what's going on. In such a rarefied world of contentment and inactivity, comprehension would become a distraction.

"You see," Bryson observes, "Australia is an interesting place. It truly is. And that really is all I'm saying." Of course, Bryson--who is as much a travel writer here as a humorist, naturalist, and historian--says much more, and does so with generous amounts of wit and hilarity. Australia may be "mostly empty and a long way away," but it's a little closer now. --Rob McDonald

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Mother Night

Mother Night Lowest new price: $5.92
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Author: Kurt Vonnegut
Brand: Kurt Vonnegut

Mother Night is a daring challenge to our moral sense. American Howard W. Campbell, Jr., a spy during World War II, is now on trial in Israel as a Nazi war criminal. But is he really guilty? In this brilliant book rife with true gallows humor, Vonnegut turns black and white into a chilling shade of gray with a verdict that will haunt us all.

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The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules: A Novel (League of Pensioners)

The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules: A Novel (League of Pensioners) Lowest new price: $8.00
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Author: Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg
Brand: Catharina Ingelman Sundberg

#1 International Bestseller

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel meets The Italian Job in internationally-bestselling author Catharina Ingelman-Sundberg’s witty and insightful comedy of errors about a group of delinquent seniors whose desire for a better quality of life leads them to rob and ransom priceless artwork.

Martha Andersson may be seventy-nine-years-old and live in a retirement home, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to stop enjoying life. So when the new management of Diamond House starts cutting corners to save money, Martha and her four closest friends—Brains, The Rake, Christina and Anna-Gretta (a.k.a. The League of Pensioners)—won’t stand for it. Fed up with early bedtimes and overcooked veggies, this group of feisty seniors sets about to regain their independence, improve their lot, and stand up for seniors everywhere.

Their solution? White collar crime. What begins as a relatively straightforward robbery of a nearby luxury hotel quickly escalates into an unsolvable heist at the National Museum. With police baffled and the Mafia hot on their trail, the League of Pensioners has to stay one walker’s length ahead if it’s going to succeed….

Told with all the insight and humor of A Man Called Ove or Where’d You Go Bernadette?, The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules is a delightful and heartwarming novel that goes to prove the adage that it’s not the years in your life that count, it’s the life in your years.  

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Psych's Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified

Psych's Guide to Crime Fighting for the Totally Unqualified Lowest new price: $7.23
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Author: Shawn Spencer
Brand: Grand Central Publishing

GOT A MYSTERY TO SOLVE?
DON'T GET STUMPED. GET PSYCHED!
You've seen him solve unsolvable crimes, stop unstoppable killers, and consume unconsumable breakfast cereals. Now Shawn Spencer, the mastermind from TV's hit show Psych, shows you how to become a fake psychic-and a real detective-using his patented methods of crime-fighting awesomeness. Along the way, he'll help you deal with whiny sidekicks (that means you, Gus), interfering police officers (including but not limited to Chief Vick, Lassiter, Henry, Buzz MacNab, and, ah, Juliet), and flashes of genius (like Evel Knievel's white leather jumpsuit). You'll discover:

  • How to set up a totally bitchin' office, where Wednesday = Ladies Night
  • How to convince your sidekick that he's really your partner
  • How to pick up women at a crime scene
  • Shawn's Stakeout Survival Guide, including sensible snacks
  • Gus's Scream-and-Run Method for confronting criminals
  • Unsolved mysteries like who stole Shawn's Sno-Caps in third grade
  • The ideal sleuth car: Magnum, P.I.'s Ferrari or Knight Rider's K.I.T.T.?
  • Who should play Shawn in the movie of his life: Christian Bale or Don Cheadle?
  • New names for detectives, such as Rico Solvé and Sherlock Homeboy

    . . . and way more cool stuff.
Packed with insane pop quizzes, unbelievable case studies, unflattering photos, and off-the-chart charts, this all-in-one guide will have you solving crimes and catching crooks like a pro-even if you don't have a clue.

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The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities Lowest new price: $8.78
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Author: Tom Wolfe
Brand: Picador

Vintage Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities, the #1 bestseller that will forever define late-twentieth-century New York style. "No one has portrayed New York Society this accurately and devastatingly since Edith Wharton" (The National Review)“A page-turner . . . Brilliant high comedy.” (The New Republic)

After Tom Wolfe defined the '60s in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers and the cultural U-turn at the turn of the '80s in The Right Stuff, nobody thought he could ever top himself again. In 1987, when The Bonfire of the Vanities arrived, the literati called Wolfe an "aging enfant terrible."

He wasn't aging; he was growing up. Bonfire's pyrotechnic satire of 1980s New York wasn't just Wolfe's best book, it was the best bestselling fiction debut of the decade, a miraculously realistic study of an unbelievably status-mad society, from the fiery combatants of the South Bronx to the bubbling scum at the top of Wall Street. Sherman McCoy, a farcically arrogant investment banker (dubbed a "Master of the Universe," Wolfe's brilliant metaphorical co-opting of a then-important toy for boys), hits a black guy in the Bronx with his Mercedes and runs--right into a nightmare peopled by vicious mistresses, thin wives like "social x-rays," slime-bag politicos, tabloid hacks, and Dantesque denizens of the "justice" system. If the Coen and Marx brothers together dramatized The Great Gatsby, Wolfe's Bonfire would probably be funnier. Many think his second novel, A Man in Full, is deeper, but Bonfire will never die down.

You might find it interesting to compare the film The Bonfire of the Vanities, a fascinating calamity perpetrated by the geniuses Brian De Palma and Tom Hanks, with The Right Stuff, one of the very best films of the '80s. --Tim Appelo

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Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 24

Complete Chester Gould's Dick Tracy Volume 24 Lowest new price: $41.36
List price: $44.99
Author: Chester Gould

The iconic square-jawed detective's adventures fighting a menagerie of grotesque villains remain a highlight in the history of comics and of crime fiction in general. This series is ripe to introduce to crime prose readers who haven't previously ventured into comics.

Chester Gould's morality play enters the late '60s, as the cartoonist tackles concepts of retribution, constitutional rights, economic warfare, and Space Age intrigue--all amidst the usual array of murder and violence. The stakes, however, seem higher, and the body count soars: death in space, on the high seas, behind closed doors--by gun, by laser, by asphyxiation, by explosion, and by freezing. The action moves from Earth to the lunar surface as Moon Maid zaps bad guys, Lizz goes undercover, Tracy nearly loses his head--and, when Diet Smith sets up a factory on the moon, will mankind also export greed and murder to its crime-free orbiting satellite? Bad guys include steely mobster Piggy Butcher, Chin Chillar, underworld boss Mr. Intro, and the bootlegger named Posie, among others. Plus the return of Sparkle Plenty and a special feature about the aborted 1967 Dick Tracy TV show from the same producer who made Batman a pop culture icon. Included are all strips from July 3, 1967 to April 2, 1969.

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The Luminaries

The Luminaries Lowest new price: $5.98
Lowest used price: $1.81
List price: $18.00
Author: Eleanor Catton
Brand: Catton Eleanor

The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The pages fly."--New York Times Book Review

It is 1866, and Walter Moody has come to stake his claim in New Zealand's booming gold rush. On the stormy night of his arrival, he stumbles across a tense gathering of 12 local men who have met in secret to discuss a series of unexplained events: a wealthy man has vanished, a prostitute has tried to end her life, and an enormous cache of gold has been discovered in the home of a luckless drunk. Moody is soon drawn into a network of fates and fortunes that is as complex and exquisitely ornate as the night sky.

Richly evoking a mid-nineteenth-century world of shipping, banking, and gold rush boom and bust, THE LUMINARIES is at once a fiendishly clever ghost story, a gripping page-turner, and a thrilling novelistic achievement. It richly confirms that Eleanor Catton is one of the brightest stars in the international literary firmament.

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The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons

The New Yorker Book of Lawyer Cartoons Lowest new price: $7.18
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List price: $25.95
Author: The New Yorker
Brand: Not Available (NA)

In the grand tradition of The New Yorker Book of Cat Cartoons comes 96 cartoons that have appeared in The New Yorker from 1925 to the present about the profession we love to hate. Includes works by cartoonists Shanahan, Arno, Steig, Addams, and Leo Cullum. 85 illustrations.

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Tourist Season

Tourist Season Lowest new price: $10.43
Lowest used price: $6.48
List price: $16.00
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Brand: Ingramcontent

Take a trip to exotic South Florida with this “dark, funny book”* that established Carl Hiaasen as one of the top mystery writers in the game.

The first sign of trouble is a Shriner's fez washed up on a Miami beach. The next is a suitcase containing the almost-legless body of the local chamber of commerce president found floating in a canal. . . .

The locals are desperate to keep the murders under wraps and the tourist money flowing. But it will take a reporter-turned–private eye to make sense of a caper that mixes football players, politicians, and one very hungry crocodile in this classic mystery that GQ called “one of the top ten destination reads of all time.”

“Hiaasen keeps the suspense pumping along.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Kept me riveted to the end.”—Chicago Tribune

*New York Times Bestselling Author Robert B. Parker

carlhiaasen.com

penguin.com

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