Hustle, by Tom Pitts, coming April 1

29 Mar

Actually it is available on Amazon for Kindle right now, see here.

hustle

Maybe April 1, is the day it comes out in print? I don’t know. Whatever, Hustle is here, Hustle is coming, Hustle kicks fucking ass.

I’m a very busy pimp, so I’ll cheat a little bit. Here is how it is described on Amazon: Two young hustlers, caught in an endless cycle of addiction and prostitution, decide to blackmail an elderly client of theirs. Donny and Big Rich want to film Gabriel Thaxton with their cell phones during a sexual act and put the video up on YouTube. Little do they know, the man they’ve chosen, a high-profile San Francisco defense attorney, is already being blackmailed by someone more sinister: an ex-client of the lawyer’s. A murderous speed freak named Dustin has already permeated the attorney’s life and Dustin has plans for the old man.

So that sounds wonderfully seedy, of course. Two young men, Donny and Rich, drug addicts, living and working in the notorious Tenderloin section of downtown San Francisco. They aren’t gay, but being young and male and willing to do almost anything — hustling gay men is how they keep the cash coming so they can stay high and stave off the horrible sickness of withdrawal as long as possible.

At one point early in the book Donny asks Rich why he isn’t up in Oregon with his wife and two-year-old daughter. Rich answers: “What do you think? Fuckin’ drugs, man. I’ll be with them again. Just gotta get off of this shit.”

And yes, Hustle will get a lot of attention for the extreme creepiness of its characters, their activities, and various settings. That’s great, of course, because hopefully that’ll get people curious and cause them to read, buy, and talk about the book, and Mr. Pitts will make a lot of money and Hollywood will buy the rights and make a really cool movie.

But, none of that is why Hustle is, in my opinion, such a good book, such an absolutely fun read. The reason why Hustle is so good is this: Pitts is a wonderful storyteller. Hustle is a great story, told very well. It’s like Tom Pitts created and then perfectly painted about a dozen characters who, if thrown into just the right situations (the ones in this book), naturally and inevitably do dramatic, suspenseful things. Constantly. Like Piggyback, Pitts’ novella published last year, the book is never dull, something is always happening, the stakes are always high and getting higher, and it all comes together at the end — just right.

pig

See what I mean? Yes, maybe, the book might be considered groundbreaking due to the subject and setting, but if the story didn’t rock like it does it wouldn’t break shit, it would never get published and you would never get a chance to read it and have the time of your life.

 

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