By Jason Starr
Vintage, Paperback, 9780375727092, 256pp.
Publication Date: January 8, 2002
Things aren’t going so well for Richie Segal. His prospects at the job are pretty miserable and, what’s more humiliating, his wife’s prospects at her job are pretty good. Richie knows he’s a good salesman, but he just can’t seem to land an account. And he’s starting to drink again. And worry about whether Paula’s seeing that old high school flame, or maybe someone new. It’s a little early, at thirty-four, for a mid-life crisis, but that’s pretty much what it feels like. And there’re those unwelcome memories of the neighborhood bully, Michael Rudnick and what he did to Richie when he was thirteen. Richie Segal’s feeling, well, abused.
Just when Richie’s about as low as he can get, he runs into Rudnick on the street and knows exactly what he needs to do. And suddenly things seem to be going much better. That is until they get much, much worse. In the classic tradition of Jim Thompson and James M. Cain, Hard Feelings is novel that lets us into the mind of an ordinary guy capable of things that even he couldn’t have imagined.
"Jason Starr is the first writer of his generation to convincingly update the modern crime novel by giving it provocative new spins and HARD FEELINGS is his most accomplished thriller yet. It might be new-school noir but like the classics of the genre it has a brutal escalation of tension, pungent dialogue, a hardboiled simplicity and grace, and a whopper of an ending. It's also darkly funny and a pure pleasure to read. As you race through it you realize that Jim Thompson has just moved to Manhattan." --Bret Easton Ellis