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Kelly Braffet on Shovel Ready
Kelly Braffet is the author of the novels Save Yourself, Last Seen Leaving and Josie and Jack. Her writing has been published in the Fairy Tale Review, Post Road, and in several anthologies, as well as on Salon.com. Being published on Salon is kind of the writing equivalent of a guest role on Law & Order, but hot damn, she'll take that. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Sarah Lawrence College, and she currently lives in upstate New York. Although people from Buffalo laugh at her when she says that, so maybe she should more correctly claim that she lives in relatively-upstate New York. Look, it's upstate from Brooklyn, okay? She is married to the tall and immensely talented Owen King, who is also an author. He's dreamy.
You, reader: you’re like me. You love a good story. You love slipping into another world, feeling its reality swell under you and carry you off. And you’ve read it all, right? You’re up on and down with the latest genre-benders, the crime novels and the sci-fi and the cyber-thrillers. You know the first-date thrill of picking up an unread novel for the first time, that sweet frisson of hope. You know the hyperbolic jacket copy, the gorgeous cover. And you know the disappointment. The bitter, bitter disappointment. Nothing new under the sun? Ha. Sometimes, things out there feel downright mummified.
Weary traveler on the sun-burnt plains of fiction, I give you Shovel Ready.
It’s a neo-noir about a garbage-man-turned-hit-man. It’s also post-apocalyptic. Not, like, crazy-mohawk-guy, well-accessorized Mad Max apocalyptic: near-future apocalyptic. Entirely-too-plausible apocalyptic. Scary apocalyptic. It’s set in a New York City, where the cabs are still kind of running and the mayor is still holding press conferences, but everybody knows things are over. All the rich people have disappeared into a luxurious virtual reality. Not Spademan, though. Not our hero. Before things fell apart he worked in sanitation, and he’s still cleaning up other people’s messes. And, yeah, he’s got a few messes of his own, and, yeah, eventually he’s hired for a job that’s a little too complicated to sweep under the rug with the other dirt. But this is a novel of facades over facades. Those plot twists that you think you know—you don’t. Sternbergh’s prose is razor-sharp and heartfelt and brutal all at the same time, and he twists those facades inside and out and back onto themselves with origami precision.
So go ahead. Read that jacket copy. Admire that gorgeous cover.
I promise: it’s safe this time.
Title: Shovel Ready
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
Publication Date: 2006
Book Condition: Good
Book Description Headline, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. Dispatched, from the UK, within 48 hours of ordering. This book is in good condition but will show signs of previous ownership. Please expect some creasing to the spine and/or minor damage to the cover. Damaged cover. The cover of is slightly damaged for instance a torn or bent corner. Seller Inventory # CHL4443058
Book Description -. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shovel Ready (Spademan 1) This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. Seller Inventory # 7719-9781472214690
Book Description Headline 03/07/2014, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Shipped within 24 hours from our UK warehouse. Clean, undamaged book with no damage to pages and minimal wear to the cover. Spine still tight, in very good condition. Remember if you are not happy, you are covered by our 100% money back guarantee. Seller Inventory # 6545-9781472214690
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Seller Inventory # GOR005970394
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Seller Inventory # GOR006180181
Book Description Headline, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Good. Ex-Library Book. Has usual library markings and stamps inside. All orders are dispatched the following working day from our UK warehouse. Established in 2004, we have over 500,000 books in stock. No quibble refund if not completely satisfied. Seller Inventory # mon0003604536
Book Description Headline, 2014. Paperback. Condition: Used; Good. **SHIPPED FROM UK** We believe you will be completely satisfied with our quick and reliable service. All orders are dispatched as swiftly as possible! Buy with confidence!. Seller Inventory # 1861774
Book Description Paperback. Condition: Used: Good. Ex-library book, usual markings. Clean copy, sound binding. Quick dispatch from UK seller. Seller Inventory # L_B07-A08_0028_ZZ_09/19
Book Description Headline Publishing Group. Paperback / softback. Condition: New. New copy - Usually dispatched within 2 working days. Seller Inventory # B9781472214690
Book Description Headline Book Publishing, 1714. Condition: Good. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Seller Inventory # GRP81806413