Lush Life

Richard Price

Lush Life was a Top Ten Book of The Year in Time magazine and the NY Times, and the Best Book of the Year in the Boston Globe, Washington Post and St. Louis Post, and endless other praise, almost as if purchased by the author, publisher or their agents.  In any event, the reviews inspired me to buy it.

It is the story of a crime in the New York slums; it deals with street people, the vernacular of the ghetto, replete with slang and endless profanities, conveying the fecal scum of poverty, illiteracy, ignominy and deprivation.

The “prose” style is more that of a playwright, a Chekov, than of a novelist skilled in the music and cadence of well chosen metaphors and similes.  From the first page, it turned my stomach like an emetic or colonic into a peptic morass of excruciating pains.  I found nothing redeeming about it, and I could not wait to put it down, nor can I bear to write more about it this ghastly experience.

I write book notes, primarily, to record my observations about books that added value to my life.  I rarely write about those I dislike, unless they have received so much good press that a warning to others seems warranted.