Rake: A Novel by Scott Phillips

RakeI’ve reached a point in my book collecting drug habit where I can’t fit any more books sitting upright in that classic, “Look at my shit” style. I’ve now had to start stacking books on top of one another, in front of one another, because I’m too cheap to buy another bookcase. It wouldn’t be such a terrible situation, and I call it terrible with my tongue planted directly and with so much vigor into cheek, if I’d just read more so I can, then, move said books over to my “I read this” bookcase. Or I can go back to the library and donate what I don’t want to keep (Nope! NEVER owned a copy of Tell-All. Not once. Not ever.).

I look now and from a room and a half away, I can see all kinds of books I’m excited to get through: A bunch of Sallis, Meghan Abbott, that dope-sounding Pym joint, and a bazillion Stephen Graham Jones book, no doubt. Any rate, I seem to be getting back into the swing of reading printed words, so I’m trying to tackle as many as I can before I can’t anymore. While I slowly digest The Booked. Anthology, I also burned through Scott Phillips’ Rake: A Novel. It seemed rather short, and the boys over at Booked. Podcast won’t shut up about Phillips, so the book took a relatively permanent residence at the top of the priority list. They tell you what to read, after all.

And as per usual, their opinion was fairly dead on. Rake, tells the tale of a quasi-successful American soap star transplanted into present-day Paris, where his daytime serial really rooted itself into the French prime time. Striking while the iron skillet is hot, he takes the opportunity that his current fame is affording him, to plow through as many European panties as possible. The second priority is to prolong his success by getting a movie made, while doing as little of the actual work as possible. Because really, he’s really, incredibly busy getting nailed. And then the story really takes a turn, when the man vowing to finance the main character’s movie endeavor, finds out that his wife is sleeping with the protagonist.

It’s a simple enough story that takes all of the right twists and turns to keep a reader, such as myself, with the attention span of a coke-fiend (that sounds kind of bad (just a comparison, folks!)), and an avid love of commas, grounded firmly in a supurb noir tale. It also helps that the book is action-packed with lady-pounding and other fine violence. If more dudes read, or more and to the point, if more dudes asked for book recommendations, Rake: A Novel just surpassed an entire slew of titles to reach short-list status.

(Honestly, in the first draft of this, there was a Bruckheimer reference, but Phillips deserves better.)

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