Jen Banbury Like a Hole In the Head

ISBN 13: 9780965630429

Like a Hole In the Head

 
9780965630429: Like a Hole In the Head

Jill, a part-time bookseller with a biting wit, gets her hands on a rare, first-edition novel by Jack London -- courtesy of a suspicious-looking dwarf. Soon, a polite assassin arrives, with the dwarf in tow, demanding the book back. But Jill has already unloaded the valuable tome, and, as she values her life, immediately sets off to recover it. As an outrageous cast of thugs, sycophants, and central casting rejects join in the chase for the elusive volume and the special secret it contains, Jill finds herself cheated, kidnapped, drugged, tortured, and even forced to work as a movie extra. Twisted and subversive, Jen Banbury's debut is a mad, breathtaking romp through a hilariously dark vision of contemporary America.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

The same marinade of lonely-girl tough-talk that flavored Barbara Seranella's Edgar Award-nominated first novel, No Human Involved, enriches playwright Jen Banbury's wonderfully raucous and raunchy debut, Like a Hole in the Head. Banbury's mystery is also set in a Los Angeles made memorable by fresh insights. "I took Venice Boulevard," says Jill, who works in a used bookstore. "Past all the two-story apartment buildings where old women laid out their cast-off clothes like a distress signal. They would sit around in beach chairs waiting to sell wrinkled muumuus for two bucks a pop. Past the strip malls with the five dollar manicure places. Past Donut Heaven, Donut Time, Winchell's Donuts, Time for Donuts, I Love Donuts, Falafel and Donuts, Jimmy's Donuts, and Dough-nutty. Past the Hare Krishna temple. I had gone there once for a free vegetarian meal. They asked me to leave before serving me. You have to chant before you can eat and I kept saying 'Hairy Hitler' instead of Hare Krishna. The girl praying next to me blew the whistle. I was hungry and I shouldn't have been such a wiseass. I've heard the food is pretty good." There's also a plot, of sorts: a rare first edition of a Jack London work drops Jill into a bizarre and dangerous substrata of desperate dwarfs, failed actors, and lethal antiquarian book dealers.

Review:

...."Like a Hole in the Head" is a lively send-up of the traditional mystery novel: it can be read as a slapstick answer to "The Maltese Falcon." Jill is just as hard-boiled as Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, and she's a lot funnier....

This isn't a novel that asks to be taken seriously; there's an intentionally cartoonish quality to almost all its characters and situations. The major exception is Jill, who's a thoroughly appealing heroine - quick-witted, resourceful and surprisingly tenderhearted....

Banbury does stumble now and then. Her sense of humor, which at its best is a pleasure, too often descends to the level of the sophomoric.... If you're looking for subtle wit and exquisite literary artistry-if you've just finished reading the collected works of Jane Austen, say, and you're looking for a contemporary equivalent - "Like a Hold in the Head" would not be the best place to start.

If, on the other hand, you're looking for a fast-paced comic novel with a wisecracking heroine who's rowdy, crude, good natured and smart, you need look no further. "Like a Hole in the Head" is an enjoyable debut from a gifted new writer. -- The New York Times Book Review, May 3, 1998

...an exhilarating, disturbing vision of a hostile cultural landscape. -- The San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Handel

A marinade of loney-girl tough-talk enriches playwright Jen Banbury's wonderfully raucous and raunchy debut mystery, set in Los Angeles made memorable by fresh insights. "I took Venice Boulevard," says Jill, who works in a used bookstore. "Past all the two-story buildings where old women laid out their cast-off clothes like a distress signal. They would sit around in beach chairs waiting to sell wrinkled muumuus for two bucks a pop. Past the strip malls with the five dollar manicure places. Past Donut Heaven, Donut Time, Winchel's Donuts, Time for Donuts, I Love Donuts, Falafel and Donuts, Jimmy's Donuts, and Dough-nutty. Past the Hare Krishna temple. I had gone there once for a free vegetarian meal. They asked me to leave before serving me. You have to chant before you can eat and I kept saying 'Hairy Hitler' instead of Hare Krishna. The girl praying next to me blew the whistle. I was hungry and I shouldn't have been such a wiseass. I've heard theo food is pretty good."

There's also a plot, of sorts: A rare first edition of a Jack London work drops Jill into a bizarre and dangerous substratum of desperate dwarfs, failed actors and lethal antiquarian book dealers. -- Chicago Tribune, May 3, 1998

Jen Banbury, a former AT&T spokesmodel, drives this Generation-X noir thriller like a danger happy teenager on a joy ride. Her heroine is the smart-alecky yet winsome Jill, a slacker whose chief responsibilities are keeping the pantry stocked with Cap'n Crunch and ringing up paperbacks at a used bookstore. When a suspicious-looking dwarf comes in to unload a handsome first edition of Jack London's "The Cruise of the Snark," all hell breaks loose, and Jill is forced to take control of herself and the impossible situation that has sprung up around her. But even as Jill finds herself in a life-threatening cross-fire among unsavory parties vying for the ultra-rare, six-figure volume, she refuses to become a boring adult. During one abduction, she's asked what kind of films she likes. "Kidnapping flicks" is the answer. Jill's taste in sarcasm and malt liquor keep her, and the book, going; Jack London would have admired her survival instincts, and he'd recognize Banbury's L.A. as an untamable wilderness. -- Los Angeles Times, September 6, 1998

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Jen Banbury
Published by Little Brown Company
ISBN 10: 0965630420 ISBN 13: 9780965630429
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Little Brown Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0965630420

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 24.48
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Banbury, Jen
Published by Little Brown Company
ISBN 10: 0965630420 ISBN 13: 9780965630429
New Paperback Quantity Available: 2
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Little Brown Company. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P110965630420

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 38.47
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Banbury, Jen
Published by Little Brown Company
ISBN 10: 0965630420 ISBN 13: 9780965630429
New PAPERBACK Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Little Brown Company. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 0965630420 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.1488084

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 59.99
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 4.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds