Mar 29, 2012
By Ted Heller
Paperback , 368 pages (also available in CD-Audio)
ISBN: 9781565126206 (1565126203)
Published by Algonquin Books
Publication date March 27, 2012.
In this dead-on satire of online obsessions, a novelist with writer’s block finds a new—and very lucrative—stream of income in a virtual world that appears to give him everything he lacks in the real world.
When frank Dixon, a frustrated writer who has seen his career crash and burn, decides to dabble in online poker, he discovers he has a knack for winning. In this newfound realm, populated by alluring characters—each of them elusive, mysterious, and glamorous—he becomes a smash success: popular, rich, and loved. Going by the name Chip Zero, he sees his fortunes and romantic liaisons thrive in cyberspace while he remains blind to the fact that his real life is sinking. His online success, however, does not come without complications, as he comes to realize that his “virtual” friends and lovers are, in fact, very real, and one rival player is not at all happy that Mr. Zero has taken all his money.
This is a story that's funny - in a bitter way - and sad all at the same time. A writer is obsessing about his newest book that's just been released....and the reviews are not good. In fact a helpful hint to authors out there.. do NOT shave legs or faces while listening to reviews on the television or radio - things often do not turn out well in the end and sometimes stitches are required.
He is desperate for sales and reviews and also the dangling carrot of possible movie rights. While all continue to be dangled, none really appear on the horizon. In his downtime he becomes hooked into the world of online gambling. Complete with cool fake names and lives. As his writing career continues to stall out, he slowly forgets that his online "friends" aren't necessarily friends at all... or even all that real.
Now - to everyone out there - in this age of Amazon reviews and Facebook friends - sounds familiar to all of us doesn't it?
The writing grabs your attention and the main character is just charismatically desperate enough to keep it.
Reviewed by Idgie. If you would like to have the Dew review a book, please contact me at email@example.com