Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Adjustment -- Scott Phillips

WWII (the Big One) is over, and Wayne Ogden, the first-person narrator of The Adjustment, has returned home to Wichita, Kansas. He has a job as head of PR for Collins Aircraft, but he does little actual work. His real job is getting booze, whores, and drugs for his boss, Everett Collins. Sure, it's a great job, but Ogden has a wife, and there's a child on the way. He feels tied down by his responsibilities . As a supply sergeant in the army, he had lots of good things going for himself in the black market, and his side job as a pimp was bringing in even more money. Now he feels he's stagnating.

When threatening letters start to arrive, Ogden doesn't worry as much about them as you or I might, but then Ogden's not like most people. He's amoral. He goes about his killing, whoring, procuring, and everything else with a cheerful countenance and a glad heart. He just wishes he could be doing more of all those things.

Just about every character in The Adjustment is as despicable as Ogden. The world he lives in is full of losers, boozers, whores, and people who'd shoot their own mothers if the price was right. And it would be easy to get it right.

Phillips orchestrates all of this perfectly, and it's great reading if you like this kind of thing, as I know you do. It's like an old Gold Medal novel, but with more explicit sex.

One interesting thing. Be sure to read the jacket flap copy. Either whoever wrote it hadn't read the book, or someone's having us on. I report, you decide.

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