“Frank knew as well as anyone how stories start and how they end. This fiery mess, or something like it, was bound to happen. He had been expecting it for years.”
Frank Baltimore is a bit of a loser, struggling by as a carpenter and handyman in rural New England when he gets his big break, building a mansion in the executive suburbs of Hartford. One of his workers is a charismatic eighteen-year-old kid from Liverpool, Dmitry, in the US in the summer before university. Dmitry is a charming sociopath, who develops a fascination with his autodidactic philosopher boss, perhaps thinking that, if he could figure out what made Frank tick, he could be less of a pig. Dmitry heads to Asia and makes his fortune, with a trail of corpses in his wake. When Dmitry’s office building in Taipei explodes in an enormous fireball, Frank heads to Asia, falls in love with Dmitry’s wife, and things go from bad to worse.
Combining the best elements of literary thriller, noir and political satire, Born Slippy is a darkly comic and honest meditation on modern life under global capitalism.
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"A whip-smart, whirlwind novel of noir and adventure, humor and horror, cynicism and romance. Lutz's sterling prose and love of literature light up this unique page-turner about the friendship between a man who would be good and the amoral, magnetic narcissist who comes to dominate his life story."
"An instant, finely wrought story of friendship, ingenuity, and blithe evil. Lutz has the seven deadly sins nailed and rethought for our 2020 world. You’ve got to dig this book!"
"What a pleasure, to sink under the comedic spell of Tom Lutz’s debut novel! The perfect book for a dreary day-- a gleeful, twisty tale of an unlikely friendship. Its antagonist young bloviating Dmitry Heald, with his wild schemes and hair-raising tales, is the guy you can’t trust to go to the market, while the older Frank, his boss, is a man who should know better, and yet can’t resist. Infinitely entertaining. I’d put it on the shelf between Tom Robbins and Martin Amis, if a place can be cleared there."
"A highly literary and always engaging twenty-first-century noir... Born Slippy confronts contemporary questions about the relativity of evil that no one can dodge."
"A smart and propulsive wild ride from the genteel mansions of Hartford Connecticut to the more louche corners of Asia. Lutz's debut is a technicolor noir, a smart, literary and literate thriller—like love child of Elmore Leonard and Graeme Greene. Original and deft and not to be missed."
"Tom Lutz has written the kind of novel a globetrotting Graham Greene might have written had he lived to trot around our contempo, gone-to-hell globe - now divided into neo-imperialist sociopathic zillionaires, and the rest of us. Born Slippy is smart, dark, funny and, best of all, what used to be called a real page-turner. You’ll love this book."
"An entertaining neo-noir about the wages of greed."