Lush Life by Richard Price
In Novel on March 14, 2009 at 2:57 pm
Do what you can to stretch Lush Life out. Twenty or thirty pages a day. Black coffee. Maybe a fried egg. Let it sink in. Hear the voices: Detective Clark, Yolanda, Little Dap, Eric Cash, Tristen. Everyone who has watched The Wire knows that Price knows dialogue. I tend to think crime-novels fall flat after “the big crime,” because they usually do. Lush Life is less as a crime-novel and more a peek into the Lower-East-Side of Manhattan; an interaction between cultures that happens to be caused by a crime. Or more, that can only be caused by a crime. The murder of Ike Marcus stings the way a first tattoo takes you a little off guard, even when you know it’s coming. The bulk of the story takes place in the aftermath, the clean-up. Price proves that we go about our lives, not acknowledging anyone because we’re too worried about our own little self. Work is work for everyone. Just like the rest of us, Price’s characters need to make a buck in order to do what they really want to be. Price’s greatest achievement here is proving we don’t communicate with each other well enough: we just shoot.