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Blown

“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

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Naked at Lunch

Naked at Lunch: A Reluctant Nudist’s Adventures in the Clothing-Optional World

“Hilarious, absorbing and—to adapt Blake’s comment on Milton—a sustained celebration of the invention of clothing.” —Geoff Dyer

People have been getting naked in public for reasons other than sex for centuries. But as novelist and narrative journalist Mark Haskell Smith shows in Naked at Lunch, being a nudist is more complicated than simply dropping trou. ”Nonsexual social nudism,” as it’s called, rose to prominence in the late nineteenth century. Intellectuals, outcasts, and health nuts from Victorian England and colonial India to Belle Époque France and Gilded Age Manhattan disrobed and wrote manifestos about the joys of going clothing-free. From stories of ancient Greek athletes slathered in olive oil to the millions of Germans who fled the cities for a naked frolic during the Weimar Republic to American soldiers given “naturist” magazines by the Pentagon in the interest of preventing sexually transmitted diseases, Haskell Smith uncovers nudism’s amusing and provocative past.

Australian Cover
Australian Cover
UK Edition
UK Edition

Naked at Lunch is equal parts cultural history and gonzo participatory journalism. Coated in multiple layers of high SPF sunblock, Haskell Smith dives into the nudist world today. He publicly disrobes for the first time in Palm Springs, observes the culture of family nudism in a clothing-free Spanish town, and travels to the largest nudist resort in the world, a hedonist’s paradise in the south of France. He reports on San Francisco’s controversial ban on public nudity, participates in a week of naked hiking in the Austrian Alps, and caps off his adventures with a week on the Big Nude Boat, a Caribbean cruise full of nudists.

Praise for Naked at Lunch:

“Throwing both caution and clothing to the wind, novelist and journalist Haskell Smith strikes a winning combination of personal and journalistic narrative…. Informative and entertaining …. A witty and insightful read.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

With solid reporting and scholarship, Smith delves into the genesis of the global nudism movement… Smith makes you laugh and think. A thoughtful and entertaining analysis of why so many still want to ditch their clothes and let it all hang out.” — Kirkus Reviews

“A strangely compelling, riotously funny traipse through the world of nudism. Mark Haskell Smith is a worthy heir to the George Plimpton school of journalism. He’s not there to mock; he’s there to experience humanity in all its full-monty complexity.” —J. Maarten Troost, author of Headhunters on My Doorstep and The Sex Lives of Cannibals 

Naked at Lunch is a total joy. Mark Haskell Smith is a fine reporter, a trenchant cultural observer and a spectacular writer. He’s the best kind of participatory journalist; one who stands proudly with his subjects even as he stands apart from them. The naked cruise chapter is a tour de force and a worthy addition to the canon of great cruise writing. Even if you’ve never been nude in your life and have no plans to be in the future, this book will thrill you with its hilarious and outrageous stories and move you with its essential humanity.” —Meghan Daum, author of The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

Naked at Lunch is insightful, brave and inspiring. With extraordinary honesty and humor, Haskell Smith faces down social and personal inhibitions to experience both a fascinating subculture and a moving personal transformation.” —Jillian Lauren, author of the New York Times bestseller Some Girls: My Life in a Harem

“Mark Haskell Smith turns out to be an ideally curious point man into the bizarre and complicated world of modern-day nudism. If there’s a funnier, more interesting book about being naked, I’d very much like to read it.” —Tom Bissell, co-author of The Disaster Artist 

“William Burroughs’ 1959 Naked Lunch may win when it comes to sex and drugs but At Lunch pulls its pants down when it comes to barefaced laughter.” – The Daily Telegraph, Sydney

“Naked at Lunch” is a perfect summer read, whether the mercury’s on the rise or not. – The Oregonian

Naked at Lunch is an absolute hoot.”— Los Angeles Magazine

“In the spirit of Mary Roach’s curiosity and humor . . . fascinating and funny.”—Los Angeles Daily News
“Smith offers lots of funny anecdotes about his first-person research. As you might imagine, the clothing-optional world is not all Adonis and Aphrodite playing volleyball.”—Ron Charles, Washington Post

“Smith clearly delights in talking to oddballs; he balances this nicely with a pocket history of nudist movements . . . Smith’s tone is breezy, free-wheeling, often very funny.”Boston Globe

“Haskell Smith’s rollicking Naked at Lunch does its absolute best to make us feel more comfortable in our skin. In his funny, thorough account of his investigative stint as a social nudist, he deftly balances reporting, dry humor, historical context and hilarious anecdotes.” – The Huffington Post, “15 Beach Reads to Bask in this Summer”

“Mark Haskell Smith’s recent book… may be the best book on naturism – and the most persuasive argument for naturism – ever written by a non-naturist.” —Naturist Philosopher (blog)

“Smith, a likeable American writer who ambles a breezy path between the likes of Bill Bryson and Geoff Dyer, offers up plenty of hilarity… By the end of his unbuttoned adventures, Smith has widened his idea of what normal can be – and, following him into that sea of flesh, so has the reader.” Phil Hogan, The Guardian

“I’d love to read the ethnology (and indeed the psychology) of nudism, but for now Naked at Lunch is as good as you’ll get.” — Michael Bywater, Literary Review

You can Order the book from your local independent bookseller.

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Raw: A Love Story

“Audacious satire.” Vanity Fair

Mark Haskell Smith Raw

“Hot and ebullient, hilarious and riveting. Smith pulls the pants off reality television and America’s ‘serious’ literary culture, and that’s just the metaphorical nakedness. Who knew a book about the difficulty of sustaining deeply felt emotion could be so much fun? Or that a penis on YouTube might sing Lionel Richie? Hair-raising and essential reading.” —Sara Levine, author ofTreasure Island!!!

“Only an extremely imaginative satirist can outpace the world’s absurdity, but Mark Haskell Smith manages it with Raw, a super-fun, super-wild, and sneakily thoughtful take on American literary and entertainment excess.” —Steve Hely, author of How I Became a Famous Novelist

Sepp Gregory, a reality TV hunk and one of People magazine’s “sexiest men alive,” is on tour to promote his debut novel. Not that Sepp’s actually read the book; he doesn’t have to, he lived it! And everyone just wants him to take off his shirt.

The book has hit the bestseller list and is even getting rave reviews from serious critics. Aside from Harriet Post, that is. One of the blogosphere’s most respected literary minds, Harriet fears that the novel’s reception means the end of civilization is upon us. Determined to pen an exposé on the publishing industry, Harriet hijacks the book tour and uncovers the ghostwriter. Reality and “reality” collide, and a tragic accident sends Sepp and Harriet off on a sex-fueled road trip through the southwest. The brain meets the abs, and both will be changed forever. Raw: A Love Story is Mark Haskell Smith at his raucous best, dangerously sexy and wickedly funny.

An Amazon Best Fiction Book of the Month

A Daily Beast Hot Read of the Week: “Consistently surprising, fast-paced, and nearly always funny.”

““Gleefully absurd. . . . [Smith] turns what could have been just an amusing book into an incisive, caustic and hilarious one. . . . He’s able to pull it off because his prose is so hard-boiled and self-assured—he comes across as the slightly more well-adjusted offspring of Hunter S. Thompson and James Ellroy. . . . A hilarious and—occasionally—an unexpectedly sweet illustration of why we write and read in the first place.”—Los Angeles Times”–Los Angeles Times

“Smith remains a gifted satirist with a comic touch that can be either howlingly broad or devastatingly precise. … Though consistently surprising, fast-paced and nearly always funny, Raw is more than just a lively romp. Smith saves his best satire for a topic he knows all too well: the publishing industry. In Raw …  Smith skewers it with as much gleeful zeal as he attacks his much easier targets.” —Thomas Flynn, The Daily Beast

“Thoroughly enjoyable. . . . By turns racy and profound, Haskell Smith writes at mach speed about what passes for culture in today’s often unreal world.” —Allison Block, Booklist

“Satire of the highest order. . . . Smith succeeds because he knows better than to make fun of his subjects or turn them into silly caricatures.”—PopMatters

“Readers familiar with Mark Haskell Smith’s novels know all about the sharp, oddball sense of humor that permeates Raw. For those who don’t, think somewhere along the lines of Carl Hiaasen–social commentary combined with outrageous laughs.” Jaclyn Fulwood, Shelf Awareness

“If the plot sounds absurd, that’s because it is, but the book’s over-the-top, swinging-from-the-chandeliers storyline is partially what makes it so entertaining. Crazy stuff happens, and it’s a joy to be inside the drama. The more technicolor the plot, the more addictive it becomes.” Edan Lepucki, The Millions

“LA writer Smith is back with another frothy satire.” Kirkus Reviews

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Salty: A Novel

From the author of Moist and Delicious comes a raucous comic thriller where anything goes. Turk Henry, an overweight, unemployed rock star married to a supermodel, has discovered that Thailand is probably the last place a recovering sex addict should go on vacation, yet here he is, surrounded by topless groupies and haunted by the stares of hundreds of luscious bar girls. Turk’s struggles with monogamy, however, pale beside a greater challenge when his wife is abducted by a group of renegade, shipless Thai pirates.

As Turk, his life skills limited to playing bass and partying, navigates the back alleys of Bangkok and the deadly jungles of Southeast Asia to save his wife, Salty heats up and sweats bullets. Featuring skinflint American tourists, topless beaches, a hypochondriac U.S. government agent, suitcases loaded with cash, an overeager full-service personal assistant, a horny Australian commando, inventive prostitutes, and an urbane pirate with a fetish for alabaster skin, this is a hilariously entertaining, thoroughly debauched caper novel — with a happy finish.

Testimonials

Salty was chosen as one of the “100 Best Beach Books Ever” by NPR and was a Book Sense Notable Book.   Entertainment Weekly said “Smith gets the details of mid-level rock stardom just right—his bumbling hero is a pot-bellied bassist for Metal Assassin—mixing laughs and satire like a cross between Carl Hiaasen and Ross Thomas. A-”

“Smith gets the details of midlevel rock stardom just right—his bumbling hero is a pot-bellied bassist for Metal Assassin—mixing laughs and satire like a cross between Carl Hiaasen and Ross Thomas. A-”
—Ken Tucker, Entertainment Weekly

“For Turk, saving the day is almost as impossible as staying monogamous. Luckily, being funny comes easily to screenwriter Smith, who writes like Carl Hiaasen, cheerfully skewering Homeland Security, heavy metal, compromised Hollywood morals, American arrogance, fetishes and anything else worth taking a shot at, i.e. . . . everything. Through it all, Turk rocks on. Smith just plain rocks.”
—Connie Ogle, Miami Herald

“Salty is a loud,drunk, sexy party which, like its main character, reveals a golden heart.”
—Chris Simnett, The Calgary Herald

“Salty is a delicious blend of humor, intrigue and sexiness…. It’s rare to find such an intelligent thriller that balances action with humor.”
—PopSyndicate

“Shady dealings, wry political commentary and a steady dose of humor make the romp a heady treat. Now giddily into its second printing, Salty is a bromide with a beat.”
—Susan Compo, Pasadena Weekly

“A romp to relish.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Humor and suspense rub up against each other uneasily throughout, but Smith’s writing is sharp, and Turk makes a blundering, contradictory and very compelling lead.”
—Publishers Weekly

“Powered by a sort of all-purpose hedonism… Absurd, grotesque, and plain fun reading.”
—Booklist

“Graham Greene meets the Marx Brothers and the result is Salty, Mark Haskell Smith’s riveting new novel of unquiet Americans on the loose in Thailand. Profane, endearing, and just absurd enough to be totally convincing, Salty is both a comic thriller and a thoughtful meditation on love, lust, and the American way.”
—Tom Drury, THE DRIFTLESS AREA

 

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Baked: A Novel

Miro Basinas is an experimental botanist who sells his rarefied product to a discerning clientele. Only Miro’s not growing heirloom tomatoes or making organic wine—he’s growing weed. And when Miro hits the big time by winning Amsterdam’s famed Cannabis Cup, cannasseurs and ganjaficionados aren’t the only people who want a piece of him and his mind-blowing pot that tastes like mangoes.

A wickedly funny crime novel, Baked opens with a bang as Miro is cut down by a bullet. A mild-mannered hipster who doesn’t know the first thing about revenge—or even who shot him—Miro is soon on a quest to recover his prize invention and to secure his place as the Floyd Zaiger (creator of the pluot) of weed. It’s a journey packed with a delicious cast of characters, including a string-theory obsessed cop, a kinky paramedic, a Mormon missionary struggling to keep his “sap” under control in a city that is the personification of sex, a half-Irish-half-Salvadoran drug dealer and his dim-witted associates, a cougar starlet, and an entrepreneur who wants to turn his medical marijuana Compassion Centers into the Starbucks of pot. Baked is a hilarious, rip-roaring romp from a talented, utterly original novelist.

Testimonials

The Boston Globe said “Baked, Mark Haskell Smith’s very funny fourth crime novel, tells a sprawling story … and it’s quite a mix: a sweet love story, raunchy sex, outrageous behavior, and a couple of murders, all of it laced with plenty of profanity. In short, this irreverent gonzo crime novel is not for the faint of heart. But it’s a great trip for the right reader.”

“Smith doesn’t so much twist reality to give it a more comic edge as realize ordinary people can be pretty fucking mental all on their own. And with its lovingly ordinary absurdity, Baked starts to approach the gimlet-eyed barbed satire of Terry Southern.”
—Baltimore City Paper

“Baked by Mark Haskell Smith is now officially on our must read shelf.”
—PotCouture.com

“A wickedly funny … blast of a book … featuring a fast-moving multilayered plot, prose that has a smart, jazzy swing, and moments of shivery unease while probing the tender areas of human randomness that crime shocks open..”
—Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times

“As cockeyed and riotous as Carl Hiaasen on really good dope.”
—Kirkus Reviews

“Connoisseurs of absurdist humor will find him working at the top of his game here.”
—Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

“If books came with MPAA ratings, Smith’s fourth novel, would definitely get an NC-17
Rest assured that the novel contains plenty of drug references, drug use, and sexual content. But it’s also a tightly plotted, well-paced caper with a message, à la Carl Hiaasen. …   VERDICT Not for the easily offended or the president of your local
D.A.R.E. chapter, but an enjoyable ride for the rest of us.”
—Amy Watts, Library Journal

“It is rare to find a novel that is both a true thriller, and outright hilarious If you treasure that combination as much as I do when it’s done right, then you’ll want to practically inhale Baked, the unique, drug-fueled romp from Mark Haskell Smith.”
—Austin Camacho, The Big Thrill

“Between these covers, my friends, Mark Haskell Smith has harvested and served up the best kind of hybrid: at once a pulp mystery, demented comedy, and meditation on little ideas like greed, desire, and decency.BAKED is original, subversive, a bit mind-expanding, and fully irresistible — a laugh a minute romp through a cultural moment just screwed up enough, to be recognizably our own. You won’t have time to exhale.
Nor will you want to.”
—Charles Bock, author of Beautiful Children

“From the first sentence of Baked, which is so perfect it will have other writers eating their arms, Mark Haskell Smith grabs the reader by the throat and half-drags, half-gooses them through a laugh-out-loud, thrill-a-minute, tour de force of bad behavior, weirdness and contemporary illegal commerce. For years, the author’s work has been an open secret to connoisseur’s of monstro prose and outrageous, transcend-the-genre crime action. With Baked, Mark Haskell Smith may just have written his masterpiece. The writing is addictively brilliant enough to render it a Schedule Three narcotic. I defy anyone to put Baked down without wanting more. It’s so good you’ll lose your short-term memory.”
—Jerry Stahl, author of Permanent Midnight

“Murder, mayhem, marijuana and Mormons–what more could you ask for in a crime novel? Baked grabs you by the sacred underpants and doesn’t let up ’til the last page.”
—Lisa Lutz, author of The Spellman Files

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Moist: A Novel

A comic rampage through the polyglot gutters of modern Los Angeles…

When a severed arm decorated with an erotic tattoo appears at an L.A. pathology lab, it’s love at first sight. Bob’s minimum wage job minding the slabs has never given him agita before, but now he won’t rest until he finds the owner of the arm so he can get to the girl who posed for that unforgettable tattoo. But Bob isn’t the only one with a stake in finding the arm’s owner-the moment he sets off to find his true love, a colorful band of mobsters from Mexico and some of the L.A.P.D.’s finest cross his path in their desperate search for this peculiar piece of evidence.

From Amado, a one-armed murdered addicted to Mexican soap opera, to Martin, a Wharon graduate and cannabis aficionado, to Maura, a masturbation coach with unnatural urges, Bob finds himself entangled in a hilarious stew of murder, sex and mobster-style politics.

A first novel that is as sharp and biting as a salt-rimmed margarita,Faster, with a head-swiveling plot you’ll love to untangle, Moist is whip-smart, stylish reading.

Testimonials

Moist has been called “A wildly imaginative comic novel.” by Booklist
and the Los Angeles Times Book Review said, “Smith’s energetic
thriller is an ode to the hard-boiled Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler
and James Ellroy, spun out in brighter-than-life Starburst colors.”

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Heart of Dankness

Heart of Dankness: Underground Botanists, Outlaw Farmers, and the Race for the Cannabis Cup

Reporting for the Los Angeles Times on the international blind tasting competition held annually in Amsterdam known as the Cannabis Cup, novelist Mark Haskell Smith sampled a variety of marijuana that was unlike anything he’d experienced.  It wasn’t anything like typical stoner weed, in fact it didn’t get you stoned.  This cannabis possessed an ephemeral quality known to aficionados as “dankness.”

Armed with a State of California Medical Marijuana recommendation, he begins a journey into the international underground where super-high-grade marijuana is developed and tracks down the rag-tag community of underground botanists, outlaw farmers, and renegade strain hunters who pursue excellence and diversity in marijuana, defying the law to find new flavors, tastes, and effects.  This unrelenting pursuit of dankness climaxes at the Cannabis Cup, which Haskell Smith vividly portrays as the Super Bowl/Mardi Gras of the world’s largest cash crop.

Testimonials

Author Richard Grant said, “”Wickedly entertaining.  Mark Haskell Smith goes on a quest for the world’s finest cannabis, and uncovers an obsessive global subculture of artisanal growers, seed botanists and connoisseurs — all of them chronically stoned and fiercely competitive, striving like winemakers to express the terroir of their product and achieve the ne plus ultra of ‘dankness.’  Warning: this book may produce an uncontrollable urge to get high.”

And Patrick Baker of The Millions wrote “I like my nonfiction to be both entertaining and edifying, and Dankness delivers both….If you want to know how the contemporary cannabis industry operates, Heart of Dankness is the book for you. But beyond that, Dankness is a great book for anyone with an inclination towards connoisseurship….the book holds great appeal beyond the world of marijuana aficionados. Take it from a guy who hates reggae: I highly recommend picking up Heart of Dankness, whether you have a doctor’s  recommendation or not.”

The book was named one of the “Top Travel Literature Titles of 2012” by Lonely Planet.

If you’re planning on a trip to Amsterdam, you can check out the Smokers Guide for the best coffeeshops or Bookmundi for 12 Things to Do.

It was published by Broadway Books in 2012 and you can learn more at the Heart of Dankness tumblr page.

You can watch a short film about dankness here.

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Delicious: A Novel

Welcome to sunny Hawaii, where the palm trees sway, the tropical breezes blow, and a gangland-style turf war is erupting. Joseph is one of the best chefs in Honolulu, but these days the opakapaka and ono aren’t the only things heating up. When a TV producer flies to the islands to film a pilot, a fight-to-the-finish breaks out over who will cater the shoot. Will it be Joseph and his hotheaded Samoan uncle, who have held a monopoly on the catering business for years? Or Big Jack Lacey, a trash-talking, lap dance-addicted stroke survivor from Las Vegas and his milquetoast son, a young man who wants to be a missionary but doesn’t know the position. As far as Joseph’s family is concerned, this is an invasion on par with Captain Cook, only this time the mainlanders have to be stopped before paradise is lost.

Fast-paced and ribald, this uproarious and delectably dark comic thriller is a side of paradise that definitely hasn’t been endorsed by the tourist bureau.

Testimonials

Author Jim Harrison said,“Delicious is engrossing from page one. This is a deft and wild comic novel drawn from utterly fresh material.  I look forward to anything Mark Haskell Smith writes.”


“Rated NC-17 for intermittent comic violence, good-natured swearing, cannibalism, humorous amorality, and some truly perverse sex.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Hits exactly the right spot. . . . Haskell Smith smartly keeps the action lively by cutting back and forth between viewpoints while tossing off hilarious one-liners and situations that would be over-the-top if they weren’t so hilarious. But what really makes this novel work is its deft touch with serious themes of displacement and relationship changes. Delicious is not for those with weak stomachs, prudish minds or delicate ears, but that leaves the rest of us to savor the novel’s many twisted charms.” —Sarah Weinman, Baltimore Sun

“Smith writes like Carl Hiaasen’s oversexed cousin. . . . [He] excels at cooking up a supremely weird atmosphere and spicing it up with equally weird sex and violence.” —Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

“At once sexy and repulsive, the novel manages to plant sharp moral and cultural barbs in its gorge-feast of a plot.” —Publishers Weekly

“Perverse black humor and sensuality, totally unexpected situations. Murder and gore abound but are presented so matter-of-factly, with such sly, lazy humor, that they are not repellent. . . . This is spare, stylish writing. Not a wasted word. . . . Believe me, Smith makes sure the reader has an immediate connection to each character. There’s no stopping after the first couple of pages. Smith wittily displays an intuitive sense of human nature; how variable, vulnerable, changeable and dangerous the mind of man (and woman) is. Some of the plot turns are simply breathtaking. But unlike other twisty thrillers, you’re never confused or exasperated. You go right along with Smith, and accept what he decides is the fate of this or that one.” —Liz Smith, New York Post

“Smith is a funny guy—see his earlier work Moist—and this ribald account of a food-catering war in Hawaii is—like wine-drizzled opakapaka and hungry sex—difficult to put down. . . . Sly and humorous.” —Honolulu Star-Bulletin

“[Mark Haskell Smith’s] characters include a not-so-usual suspect lineup of hustlers, sex addicts, supermodels, failed rock stars, wine-buff cops, psychos and flakes. Haskell Smith writes well, especially about sex and food, and the multilayered plots move so fast they feel fresh. Think Elmore Leonard meets Mario Batali.” Richard Rayner, Los Angeles Times