Noogie's Time to Shine: A True Crime Novel

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9780753512838: Noogie's Time to Shine: A True Crime Novel
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Ned "Noogie" Krapczak grew up in rough circumstances in Jersey City where movies and dreams of becoming a filmmaker were his only escape. But by the time he turns 30, things aren't working out the way they were supposed to. Instead of making movies, Noogie has a job restocking ATM machines in delis and drugstores. One day he sees a way out of it all in the form of a slow-motion heist, siphoning $20 bills a few at a time out of the machines he is supposed to be filling. When his scheme is finally uncovered, he hits the road with his Siamese cat, Dillinger, and 350 pounds of $20 bills, totaling nearly $5 million. In that instant, Noogie finds himself not watching movies but living them. He's pulled off a great caper and is on the lam cross-country, a life worthy of Edward G. Robinson or Steve McQueen. Noogie works his way down the East Coast on this great escape, disguising himself by using the names of characters from some of his favorite movies. In telling the stories of Noogie's final days, Jim Knipfel's novel captures the tragic end of a broken man who, however briefly and unseemly, managed to live the American dream by starring in his own movie.

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About the Author:

Cult writer Jim Knipfel has been praised by the New York Times Book Review for his wicked black humor” and by Thomas Pynchon for taking readers on an extraordinary emotional ride.” He is the author of Ruining It for Everybody, The Buzzing, Quitting the Nairobi Trio, and Slackjaw. He has been featured on National Public Radio and 60 Minutes.

From Publishers Weekly:

Memoirist Knipfel (Slackjaw and Ruining It for Everyone) here presents Ned Noogie Krapczak, a friendless, 35-year-old schlub who works as an ATM re-stocker and repairman, lives with his mother and is obsessed with old movies. It's clear from the beginning that Knipfel is knowingly drawing on affable loser stereotypes, particularly when he has Noogie steal his first $20 from one of the cash machines entirely by accident. The magnitude of Noogie's theft, however, soon sets him apart: working piecemeal, Noogie steals close to $5 million in $20 bills before being forced on an elaborate road trip with his cat, Dillinger. The book's first half traces Noogie's haphazard flight through unremarkable American towns and has an oddball charm: the possibility that Knipfel's sad creature might have gotten away with such a simple, substantial crime provides real renegade pleasure. In the second half, however, Knipfel shifts focus to the cops and FBI agents trying to track Noogie down: their crews feel thin and underrealized in comparison. Nevertheless, Knipfel's talent for empathizing with the underdog, evident is his earlier work, makes Noogie's adventures poignant and funny. (Oct.)
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