“The man can tell a story, oh, yes, indeed.”—T. C. Boyle
If you haven’t been reading Mark Haskell Smith, get your sh*t together. Start with BLOWN, which is a blast. It’s a gripping, hilarious, wild ride of a book. I loved it. — Lisa Lutz, The Spellman Files
I’m a big fan of Mark Haskell Smith’s novels and Blown is his best yet: funny and frisky, with unforgettable characters and a surprising, twisty plot that will keep you up way past your bedtime. Beyond all the fun and the ribald jokes is a wise portrayal of capitalism’s dehumanizing effects. A terrific novel. –Edan Lepucki, Woman #17
Hailed as “the slightly more well-adjusted offspring of Hunter S. Thompson and James Ellroy” (Los Angeles Times), Mark Haskell Smith returns with a wildly entertaining satire of corporate greed, sexual desire, and crime in the global financial services industry.
Bryan LeBlanc worked his way up into a plum position on Wall Street as the boy genius of the foreign exchange desk. Surrounded by acolytes of the free market—the U.S. Marines of capitalism, “the few, the proud, the completely full of themselves”—Bryan soon realizes that being honest at a dishonest job is not the path to success. He decides to give Wall Street a taste of its own medicine, and hatches an intricate plan to permanently disappear, with just enough misappropriated money (and sailing classes) to spend his golden years cruising the Caribbean.
But Bryan quickly learns that being a criminal—even a really smart one—is more complicated than he thought, as he finds himself on the run in the Cayman Islands, wanted for murder. On his trail is an unorthodox team of investigators sent by his Wall Street firm, hellbent on reclaiming the millions before their clients notice it’s missing: his boss, who’s not only committed to clearing her name but also escaping her pending nuptials; the investment bank’s collections agent, depressed over a recent break-up with his boyfriend; and an ex-cop from Curaçao, who traded in his badge for spouse-spying as a private investigator.
Wickedly funny, ribald, and sharp-eyed, Blown starts as a simple case of embezzlement and explodes into a fatal high-stakes gamble for money and the pursuit of happiness.
Sexy, funny, and surprising, Blown moves fast and is a lot of fun. Mark Haskell Smith is a writer whose books I am always grateful to have read. – Viet Thanh Nguyen, The Sympathizer
Blown is a riotously funny, perfectly observed, and maddeningly engaging rollercoaster that tears through a world dominated by greed, cunning, sex, and the extraordinary and ludicrous measures people will go to in order to be happy. Haskell Smith takes you on a wild ride you won’t dare get off until the very end. – Ivy Pochoda, Wonder Valley
Blown is a short and engrossing mystery novel that also stands as a morality play, an ethical fable that suggests that our own selves may be the greatest mystery of all. – Arts Fuse
“Darkly amusing…[Smith] has a fine-tuned ear for witty repartee and a skill for embroiling even his most comically conceived characters in dramas that steer his plot through unpredictable twists and into unforeseeable outcomes. This is a surprising, memorable novel.” ― Publisher’s Weekly
“Smith works out the mechanics of his heist beautifully…Another madcap crime caper, one with a little temper and a dirty mind.” ― Kirkus Reviews
“a likeable American writer” — The Guardian