- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Mariner Books; 1 edition (September 27, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0547576714
- ISBN-13: 978-0547576718
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Review: Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight by Tony D'Souza
From an award-winning “savvy storyteller”* comes a page-turning, zeitgeist-capturing novel of a young couple who turn to drug trafficking to make it through the recession.
James and Kate are golden children of the late twentieth century, flush with opportunity. But an economic downturn and an unexpected pregnancy send them searching for a way to make do.
A winter in the mountains of California’s Siskiyou County introduces a tempting opportunity. A friend grows prime-grade marijuana; if James transports just one load from Cali to Florida, he’ll pull down enough cash to survive for months.
James navigates life as a mule, then a boss—from moneyhungry friends to gun-toting drug lords, from Sacramento to Tallahassee, from just making the weight move cross-country to making thousands of dollars a day. The risks keep rising, forcing him to the next criminal level. A kidnapping, a shootout, a bank vault—it all culminates in a swirl of action.
Absorbing and timely, Mule perfectly captures the anxieties of plunging into the criminal world and of being a young person making do in a moment when the American Dream you never had to believe in—because it was handed to you, fully wrapped and ready to go at the takeout window— suddenly vanishes from the menu.
Tony D’Souza is the author of three novels, including the award-winning Whiteman. He has contributed to The New Yorker, Playboy, Esquire, Outside, Salon, Granta, McSweeney’s, O. Henry Prize Stories, Best American Fantasy, and elsewhere. A recipient of the Sue Kaufman Prize, Florida Gold and Silver Medals for fiction, and fellowships from the Guggenheim and the NEA, Tony was nominated for a National Magazine Award for coverage of Nicaragua’s Eric Volz murder trial and spent three years in Africa with the Peace Corps.
Mule, which is out on Tuesday, is a great ride! Oh my...my heart was pounding as I followed James's adventures as a Mule. A Mule is someone who transports drugs from one locale to another. Being a mule was just the beginning for James. Any illegal activity brings on heart racing as you the story moves from one tense situation to another.
I loved the Siskiyou County connection. My father lived there for years and if there ever was a stranger more diverse place I've never found it....from all-American ranchers, to backwoods hippies to crystal loving wackos...they do have everything there. It is no wonder James descent into a life of crime began there.
Excellent read that was praised by Entertainment Weekly this week. Good job.