Friday, May 6, 2022

"The Wild Life"

David Gordon was born in New York City. His first novel, The Serialist, won the VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a finalist for an Edgar Award. It was also made into a major motion picture in Japan. His work has also appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times, Purple, and Fence, among other publications.

Gordon applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, The Wild Life, and reported the following:
The problem with playing this game with a thriller is the risk of giving away an important plot twist – and I have had to refrain once or twice with past books. This time is different. Here is page 69 in its entirety:
“Nah,” Fusco grunted. “Just something the FBI asked me to keep an eye out for involving foreign girls. Nothing important.”

“Damn Feebs should do their own work, right?”

“You said it,” Fusco mumbled, thanked him, and hung up. Then, while he printed the file out, he switched to his burner phone and called Gio.
Hmmm. One is tempted to jump to page 169, or 269, but fair is fair and while it won’t make much sense to a random browser this is actually an important bit of story, which does tell us a lot about the world of the novel. As some of you may know, The Wild Life is the fourth in a series of books about a strip club bouncer and ex-Special Ops vet named Joe who sidelines as a fixer for the bosses of the New York underworld, handling problems for which normal folks would call the police: suspected terrorists, bomb scares, or in this case, a serial killer preying on high-end sex workers. In this scene, Fusco is a police detective and he is talking to Fry, a fellow cop. What we know, and they don’t, is that they are both crooked cops. Fusco is a gambler, indebted to Gio Caprisi who is Joe’s boss too, and Fry, a vice cop, is on the payroll of one of Joe’s suspects. In other words, they are both lying and trying to manipulate each other. This reflects the world that these characters live in, thoroughly corrupt, from the top down, and when those in power are the biggest villains, individuals are left to make their own way, live by their own codes, and help each other, or not.

That said, I do recommend page 169 and 269, which are both pretty action-packed!
Visit David Gordon's blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Serialist.

The Page 69 Test: Mystery Girl.

The Page 69 Test: White Tiger on Snow Mountain.

The Page 69 Test: The Hard Stuff.

Q&A with David Gordon.

--Marshal Zeringue