Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, March 20, 2017, 10:56 a.m.
Jesse Few lives in the suspended adolescence of the power life.
Suddenly, all of his indiscretions come back to haunt him at once. So goes the irreverent narrative of Lying for a Living, Steve McCondichie’s debut novel.
I traffic in such irreverence myself. Its smirk is reflected in some of my own fiction.
The family Jesse has blithely ignored falls apart. No. It explodes. The wife has divorced him. The mistress is estranged. The son has been busted for drug possession. Unfortunately, JJ’s partner in crime is the daughter of a sleazy evangelist. The job is collapsing. The mother is acting mysteriously and apparently losing her marbles. In summary, hounds are baying at Jesse’s door.
What did Jesse do to deserve all this? Why, everything.
The trick is in the redemption of the tarnished protagonist. It’s a case worthy of Perry Mason (via Erle Stanley Gardner).
Jesse never lets responsibilities interfere with the aging playboy life until he finds that life has turned on him. He attacked life until life had enough and fought back, leaving Jesse out of options. It’s hard for a 49-year-old man to confront the maturity he has been fleeing for decades.
A story has to run its course. Jesse has to turn his world around, and that’s a shame for the reader who has found his bullshit art so richly malodorous.
Jesse isn’t such a bad guy, after all. Oh, bother. He was so good at it.
It’s a gun-running, whisky-swilling, pot-smoking, pill-popping, fornicating, Bible-thumping romp, but it has to end, and McCondiche ably gives the reader a soft and satisfying landing.
If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)
I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.
The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.
My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.
I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.
I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.
I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.
I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.
I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).