Titel: Dog Days: A Novel
Verlag: Simon & Schuster
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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Love, sex, death, money, and dogs -- they're all here in Dan Lyons's debut novel, Dog Days. Lyons gives us a hip and hilarious tale of love (both canine and carnal) and a story of revenge gone wrong. Packing the same contemporary verve as Douglas Coupland's Microserfs and the criminally black humor of Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen, Dog Days is a coming-of-age story that deftly deals with the confusion, hopes, and fears that go hand-in-hand with being smart, ambitious, and twenty-four years old.
Reilly is a software developer living in Boston's North End. He's a young guy in a young business where the speed of change guarantees that only the fast survive. But Reilly doesn't know how fast things can change until he starts playing vendetta with a local mafioso.
Before this fracas got started, Reilly thought he had it made. He had a beautiful girlfriend named Jeanie who had rowed at Harvard, and he and his roommate, Evan, were working on a project that was going to make them both rich. But for Reilly, the good times don't last long. First Jeanie leaves him for one of the suits in marketing, and then his big project falls to pieces. Then one summer night, Reilly decides to leave his vintage BMW in Davio Giaccalone's parking space. Naturally enough, the car ends up tireless. Reilly vows to get revenge, and he's angry enough to do just about anything to even the score.
With Evan's help, Reilly devises a plan to take an eye for an eye by abducting Giaccalone's most prized possession: a gorgeous jet-black champion racing grey-hound named Coco. When their little prank turns into serious blackmail with thirty thousand dollars on the line, Reilly and Evan are in way over their heads.
But with the help of their friend and neighbor, the beautiful Maria, they manage to return the dog and collect the money, only to have Coco lead Giaccalone and his goons right back to their doorstep. Taking Coco with them, the three flee as far and as fast as they can. Soon Reilly must face a showdown not only with the mobsters but also with himself, as he has to figure out what matters most, love or money.Review:
Reading Dog Days will give many readers a strange sense of déjà vu: characters and lines seem oddly familiar, conjuring up thoughts of a book just read or a TV show watched last week. This is no coincidence. As Evan, a software developer, Star Trek fanatic, and the protagonist's sidekick, notes, "Nostalgia used to have a twenty-year lag. In the seventies everyone was into the fifties. But then in the eighties everyone was into the seventies. Now, in the nineties, we're into the nineties. What's left? Nothing. Time folds in on itself, like a black hole. It's the millennium, the collapse of culture." While Dog Days may not embody "the collapse of culture," it certainly employs the technique of folding in on itself, and Daniel Lyons uses this approach to its fullest extent. Combing pop culture, he amalgamates the mobsters of Elmore Leonard, Wired jargon, and the Gen-X characters of Douglas Coupland, all the while throwing in sly references to everything from Planet of the Apes to Starsky and Hutch to Pulp Fiction. The result is a clever romp through the software industry with a wide detour into the workings of the Mafia.
Reilly and his business partner-roommate, Evan, are creating a program to allow shopping on the Web at Ionic, the fifth largest software design firm in the world. At 24, Reilly is the luckiest guy around--he has a beautiful girlfriend, a job he loves, a vintage BMW. But, as he points out, you can't think that you deserve what you have, because the minute you do, everything will vanish. Which, of course, is just what happens. His girlfriend dumps him for a VP in marketing, his project is slated to be canceled, and when he parks in the wrong part of his Boston neighborhood, his car is sabotaged by the local Mafioso. Reilly has had enough. When the opportunity presents itself, he kidnaps the mobster's prized greyhound. The prank, though, escalates into serious crime, and Reilly finds he has taken on way more than he expected.
Reilly and Evan are two of the more engaging characters in pop fiction today. Though they are software geeks, they have enough depth and energy that--despite the full Trekkie costume Evan keeps in his closet--they make the stereotype believable. Lyons is at his best when describing Reilly at work and the politics of the software industry, but it's too bad he didn't mine this more. His writing, though, is compelling, and you can't help but root for the hapless antihero, even as he gets into more and more trouble. --Jenny Brown
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