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Lawyer and Crimal Humor


The Bonfire of the Vanities

The Bonfire of the Vanities Lowest new price: $7.38
Lowest used price: $2.14
List price: $18.00
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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The Luminaries

The Luminaries Lowest new price: $6.56
Lowest used price: $1.97
List price: $18.00
Author: Eleanor Catton
Brand: Back Bay Books

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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  • Back Bay Books

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The Lawdog Files: African Adventures

The Lawdog Files: African Adventures Lowest new price: $14.99
List price: $14.99
Author: D Lawdog

LawDog had the honor of representing law and order in the Texas town of Bugscuffle as a Sheriff's Deputy, where he became notorious for, among other things, the famous Case of the Pink Gorilla Suit. But long before he first put on the deputy's star, he grew up in Nigeria, where his experiences were equally unforgettable. In THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES, LawDog chronicles his encounters with everything from bush pilots, 15-foot pythons, pygmy mongooses, brigadier-captains, and Peace Corp hippies to the Nigerian space program.

THE LAWDOG FILES: AFRICAN ADVENTURES are every bit as hilarious as the previous volume, as LawDog relates his unforgettable experiences in a laconic, self-deprecating manner that is funny in its own right. Africa wins again, and again, and again, but, so too does the reader in this sobering, but hilarious collection of true tales from the Dark Continent.

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Himself: A Novel

Himself: A Novel Lowest new price: $5.40
Lowest used price: $5.85
List price: $16.00
Author: Jess Kidd

A charming ne’er-do-well returns to his haunted Irish hometown to uncover the truth about his mother in this “supernaturally skilled debut” (Vanity Fair) and turns the town—and his life—upside down.

Having been abandoned at an orphanage as a baby, Mahony assumed all his life that his mother wanted nothing to do with him. That is, until one night in 1976 while drinking a pint at a Dublin pub, he receives an anonymous note implying that she may have been forced to give him up. Determined to find out what really happened, Mahony embarks on a pilgrimage back to his hometown, the rural village of Mulderrig. Neither he nor Mulderrig can possibly prepare for what’s in store…

From the moment he arrives, Mahony’s presence completely changes the village. Women fall all over themselves. The real and the fantastic are blurred. Chatty ghosts rise from their graves with secrets to tell, and local preacher Father Quinn will do anything to get rid of the slippery young man who is threatening the moral purity of his parish.

A spectacular new addition to the grand Irish storytelling tradition, Himself “is a darkly comic tale of murder, intrigue, haunting and illegitimacy…wickedly funny” (Daily Express).

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The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop

The Job: True Tales from the Life of a New York City Cop Lowest new price: $6.03
Lowest used price: $3.73
List price: $15.00
Author: Steve Osborne
Brand: Anchor Books

“A nice quiet night.”

During his two decades on the force, if you asked NYPD officer Steve Osborne how things were going, that’s what he’d tell you. On a stakeout? Nice quiet night. Drive by shooting? Nice quiet night. Now, with The Job he’s ready to talk, and does he have some stories to tell.

Most civilians get their information about police work from television shows, which are pure fantasy. Here, Osborne takes us into his world, the gritty and not so glamorous life of real street cops. And along the way he finds humor and soul searching humanity in the most unlikely places. For anyone interested in knowing what a cop’s life is all about, this is a must read.

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  • Anchor Books

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Tourist Season

Tourist Season Lowest new price: $10.50
Lowest used price: $6.39
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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  • Tourist Season

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Assassination Vacation

Assassination Vacation Lowest new price: $3.99
Lowest used price: $0.94
List price: $16.00
Author: Sarah Vowell
Brand: Simon Schuster

New York Times bestselling author of The Wordy Shipmates and contributor to NPR’s "This American Life" Sarah Vowell embarks on a road trip to sites of political violence, from Washington DC to Alaska, to better understand our nation’s ever-evolving political system and history.

Sarah Vowell exposes the glorious conundrums of American history and culture with wit, probity, and an irreverent sense of humor. With Assassination Vacation, she takes us on a road trip like no other -- a journey to the pit stops of American political murder and through the myriad ways they have been used for fun and profit, for political and cultural advantage.

From Buffalo to Alaska, Washington to the Dry Tortugas, Vowell visits locations immortalized and influenced by the spilling of politically important blood, reporting as she goes with her trademark blend of wisecracking humor, remarkable honesty, and thought-provoking criticism. We learn about the jinx that was Robert Todd Lincoln (present at the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley) and witness the politicking that went into the making of the Lincoln Memorial. The resulting narrative is much more than an entertaining and informative travelogue -- it is the disturbing and fascinating story of how American death has been manipulated by popular culture, including literature, architecture, sculpture, and -- the author's favorite -- historical tourism. Though the themes of loss and violence are explored and we make detours to see how the Republican Party became the Republican Party, there are all kinds of lighter diversions along the way into the lives of the three presidents and their assassins, including mummies, show tunes, mean-spirited totem poles, and a nineteenth-century biblical sex cult.

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  • Simon Schuster

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Bad Monkey

Bad Monkey Lowest new price: $5.30
Lowest used price: $1.80
List price: $8.00
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Brand: Carl Hiaasen

Andrew Yancy-late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff's office-has a human arm in his freezer. There's a logical (Hiaasenian) explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner. Yancy thinks the boating-accident/shark-luncheon explanation is full of holes, and if he can prove murder, the sheriff might rescue him from his grisly Health Inspector gig (it's not called the roach patrol for nothing).

But first-this being Hiaasen country-Yancy must negotiate an obstacle course of wildly unpredictable events with a crew of even more wildly unpredictable characters, including his just-ex lover, a hot-blooded fugitive from Kansas; the twitchy widow of the frozen arm; two avariciously optimistic real-estate speculators; the Bahamian voodoo witch known as the Dragon Queen, whose suitors are blinded unto death by her peculiar charms; Yancy's new true love, a kinky coroner; and the eponymous bad monkey-who just may be one of Carl Hiaasen's greatest characters.

Features:

  • Humor
  • Lawyers & Criminals
  • Satire
  • Humor & Entertainment
  • Genre Fiction

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Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History

Disorder in the Court: Great Fractured Moments in Courtroom History Lowest new price: $8.98
Lowest used price: $1.63
List price: $13.95
Author: Charles M. Sevilla
Brand: Sevilla, Charles M.

In America's courtooms, the verdict is laughter.

Sit back and enjoy a collection of verbatim exchanges from the halls of justice, where defendants and plaintiffs, lawyers and witnesses, juries and judges, collide to produce memorably insane comedy.

A: You mumbled on the first part of that and I couldn't understand what you were saying. Could you repeat the question?

Q: I mumbled, did I? Well, we'll just ask the court reporter to read back what I said. She didn't indicate any problem understanding what I said, so obviously she understood every word. We'll just have her read my question back and find out if there was any mumbling going on. Madam reporter, would you be so kind? 

Court Reporter: Mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble, mumble.

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  • W W Norton Company

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Double Whammy

Double Whammy Lowest new price: $5.33
Lowest used price: $0.25
List price: $8.00
Author: Carl Hiaasen
Brand: Grand Central Publishing

"Twists and turns with breathtaking speed...You're gonna like this ride." - Washington Post Book World

R.J. Decker, star tenant of the local trailer park and neophyte private eye is fishing for a killer. Thanks to a sportsman's scam that's anything but sportsmanlike, there's a body floating in Coon Bog, Florida -- and a lot that's rotten in the murky waters of big-stakes, large-mouth bass tournaments. Here Decker will team up with a half-blind, half-mad hermit with an appetite for road kill; dare to kiss his ex-wife while she's in bed with her new husband; and face deadly TV evangelists, dangerously seductive women, and a pistol-toting redneck with a pit bull on his arm. And here his own life becomes part of the stakes. For while the "double whammy" is the lure, first prize is for the most ingenious murder.

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