By Keith Blanchard
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9780743256285, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 22, 2004
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A hip and hilarious debut novel about a twentysomething guy searching for love, for meaning...and for a long-lost deed that could make him heir to the island of Manhattan
Meet Jason Hansvoort, a single New Yorker with a curious knack for surviving near-death experiences. Wistful about college, apprehensive about the future, he's currently flailing around in post-college limbo as low man on the totem pole at one of Madison Avenue's "Big Five" ad agencies, impatiently waiting for the Next Thing to happen.
And then one day he's approached by Amanda, an attractive young law student and one of the last members of the Manahata, the Native American tribe who sold Manhattan Island to the Dutch almost four hundred years ago. She's spent years on the trail of a lost document that supposedly gave ownership of Manhattan to a seventeenth-century benefactor and all his descendants. She believes Jason's the last of this line...and therefore heir to the island of Manhattan and everything on it. If they can find the deed, that is. Jason's skeptical...but enchanted enough to play along.
If Jason and Amanda can indeed locate the deed, the consequences will be tremendous and far reaching: grave for millions of landowners and mortal for every title insurance company on the Eastern seaboard. There are literally billions at stake, and when a dysfunctional New York City crime family looking for a big break picks up the scent, it places Jason's streak of surviving near-death experiences in peril.
Informed by Blanchard's gift for dead-on observation and pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, The Deed heralds the arrival of a fresh comic voice in contemporary literary fiction.
Keith Blanchard is the editor in chief of Maxim magazine and has contributed articles to numerous other publications, including Glamour, Cosmopolitan, US, Redbook, Marie Claire, and TV Guide. A former staff writer for Comedy Central's Wastes of Time, he has written episodes for The Drew Carey Show and has appeared on the Today show and The Oprah Winfrey Show, among others. He lives with his family in New Jersey.
author of the bestselling If Looks Could Kill
What a delicious read! In this fresh and funny first novel, Blanchard proves himself to be a talented chronicler of modern men in the modern city. Packed with offhand humor and genuine warmth, The Deed is funny, ingenious, and soulful.
Peter Lefcourt author of Eleven Karens A funny, smartly-written and engaging book -- The Sotweed Factor meets The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.