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I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is Big Numbers by Jack Getze.
I sometimes wonder whether fictional characters know they’re in books. Now, I’m not clinically insane, I know things in books aren’t real, except for Hogwarts, but I do like to think about these sort of things. I mean, if I was a fictional character, would my book be highbrow literary fiction, or chick lit with SAT words? Maybe it’s a romance novel I am having a perilous relationship with a dashing stranger who may be either the wealthy but brooding Lord of Castle Greyfalcon, or possibly he’s an ex- spy who’s learning to trust again, or he could be the ghost of whoever used to live in my apartment, and his soul won’t rest until I find out what’s buried under the floorboards. I hope it’s the last one, I need to get the floor refinished anyway.
Some situations just seem so obvious. Take Austin Carr, the hero of Big Numbers. If he took a good look around, he’d be able to say, oh, this is a noir crime thriller, I should probably stay away from the recently widowed young redhead with all the money. Would have saved himself a lot of trouble. Austin actually is a bit of a trouble magnet, getting beaten, shot at, robbed, abused at work by his awful boss and well, I think the young widow may have an agenda.
Austin himself is an interesting character. He’s his own biggest fan, referring frequently to the ol’ Carr charm, and his foolproof 90-watt smile. As a stockbroker I guess you have to have unshakeable confidence or you won’t be making many sales. But just when I was ready to call him a blowhard and an oaf, he reveals a little more he knows he’s losing the fight to stay in his kids’ lives, and he knows living in a camper isn’t the prize you get for a life well lived. He does go after the widow and take plenty of foolish risks, but at least his intentions are good. Plus, he’s a loyal friend and he does love Mexican food. He’s neither a bad guy or a superhero, but someone you might meet sitting next to you having the taco dinner and a draft.
Jack Getze has spent the last 20 plus years waiting for his big break, and he is loving his newfound success.
The book is Big Numbers by Jack Getze. I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation on Book Radio, SiriusXM Channel 80.