From the Foreword: Money Talks is a novel with a strange past behind it-and an even stranger present all around it. It's a book that some readers and reviewers have been kind enough to call prophetic. That's a nice word, and very flattering, but let's be clear: It just does not apply here. Back in 2009--when the novel was first published with the title Maxxed Out and under the pseudonym David Collins--neither I nor anyone else imagined how the world would look less than a decade later, or who would be in charge. I wasn't trying to write a political satire or a predictive dystopia. All I wanted to do was to create an entertaining fiction--part boardroom drama, part dark comedy, part love story, and part murder mystery--about a New York real-estate mogul with a bullying manner, a head of hair flamboyant enough to match his ego, and a somewhat childish fixation to see his name on very large buildings. I wanted to get inside the head of such a man, to understand what drove him, what kind of bottomless need was behind his unremitting quest for attention and for power. First and foremost, then, Money Talks was intended as a character study of a certain kind of billionaire and a certain kind of villain. Cut to the present. Read the headlines. Check out the news. I think you'll get the picture. And I hope you'll agree that this novel, while it makes no claim whatsoever to prophecy, has turned out, at the very least, to be weirdly...and even spookily, timely.
- Paperback | 313 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 18.03mm | 539.77g
- 17 Feb 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- Illustrations, black and white
About MR Laurence Shames
Laurence Shames has been a New York City taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman. Having failed to distinguish himself in any of those professions, he turned to writing full-time in 1976 and has not done an honest day's work since. His basic laziness notwithstanding, Shames has published more than twenty books and hundreds of magazine articles and essays. Best known for his critically acclaimed series of Key West novels, he has also authored non-fiction and enjoyed considerable though largely secret success as a collaborator and ghostwriter. Shames has penned four New York Times bestsellers. These have appeared on four different lists, under four different names, none of them his own. This might be a record. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1951, to chain-smoking parents of modest means but flamboyant emotions, Shames graduated summa cum laude from NYU in 1972 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Shortly after finishing college, he began annoying editors by sending them short stories they hated. He also wrote longer things he thought of as novels. He couldn't sell them. By 1979 he'd somehow passed himself off as a journalist and was publishing in top-shelf magazines like Playboy, Outside, Saturday Review, and Vanity Fair. In 1982, Shames was named Ethics columnist of Esquire, and also made a contributing editor to that magazine. By 1986 he was writing non-fiction books whose critical if not commercial success first established his credentials as a collaborator/ghostwriter. His 1991 national bestseller, BOSS OF BOSSES, written with two FBI agents, got him thinking about the Mafia. It also bought him a ticket out of New York and a sweet little house in Key West, where he finally got back to Plan A: writing fiction. Given his then-current preoccupations, the novels--beginning with FLORIDA STRAITS--naturally featured palm trees, high humidity, dogs in sunglasses, and blundering New York mobsters. Having had the good fortune to find a setting he loved and a wonderfully loyal readership as well, Shames wrote eight Key West novels during the 1990s, before taking a decade-long detour into screenwriting and collaborative work. In 2013, he returned to his favorite fictional turf with SHOT ON LOCATION--a suspenseful and hilarious mix of Hollywood glitz and Florida funky. TROPICAL SWAP, Shames' tenth Key West novel, tells the riotous tale of a home exchange that sounds too good to be true, and is.