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The Debtor Class - Ivan G. Goldman
"This amazing book is peopled by the lowest of the low: crooked cops, embezzling assistants, jailhouse bullies, bill collectors. It’s also one of the year’s funniest efforts, good-natured and warmhearted, with the author displaying great verbal skills and characters drawn from a remarkably fertile imagination. Bento is an ex-con who spent money earned in the prison laundry on Anna Karenina. Liz, with her master’s in library science, dances in a chicken suit. Philyaw, a dead ringer for Bogart, owns an offbeat collection agency and employs this unlikely crew, jesting with them and treating them well. Together they punish the wicked and reward the good, and when everyday reality breaks through, it’s in the jolting stories of the people they try to collect from: people who worked hard, but it didn’t do any good. This is not one of those creepy crazy-is-sane novels; instead, it’s a banjo act before a darkening sky, a little bit Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., with howlingly funny dialogue. Don’t let it slip by; this one needs lots of word of mouth to become the cult classic it deserves to be." —Booklist, starred review