It isn’t often that you happen upon a main character like Riley Mansfield. Hell, to be completely honest, Riley is a true one-of-a-kind. When was the last time you read a good book centered on a plucky pot-smoking musician who likes to live by his own rules and doesn’t really give a damn about fame or fortune? All Riley is looking for is a good time, but he finds himself at the center of a brewing storm in Monte Dutton’s unique and compelling novel.
In The Audacity of Dope, Riley goes from being a folk singer to a folk hero, though he wants no part of the acclaim that comes with his new role. Politics are front and center throughout, but the author’s views on Republicans, Democrats, and the media never get in the way of a good read. Sure, there are a number of potent and relevant themes embedded in the text along with Riley’s songs, and Dutton pulls no punches when it comes to skewering the establishment. Yet his primary goal here is to deliver an entertaining yarn and he does a great job in that regard. The story that emerges is mostly a comedic effort with a dash of suspense and a dash of romance thrown in amid all the political intrigue to round things out.
The players are likable and the locales are inviting. Monte has a distinct flair for fleshing out his characters with pitch-perfect dialogue that calls Elmore Leonard’s work to mind. The prose is crisp and keeps things moving, making The Audacity of Dope a quick and enjoyable read. Though there are a number of characters, agencies, and subplots in play, it is a credit to Dutton’s ability that he is able to spin this intricate yarn without it ever growing too complex or cumbersome. Make no mistake, there is an awful lot happening, but the book is engaging and easy to follow from start to finish.
The Audacity of Dope will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good buzz or a good tune, and it will also greatly please those who enjoy vibrant characters and sound writing. I had a great time hanging out with Riley Mansfield and I strongly recommend his story to anyone who digs sex, drugs, or rock and roll. Truthfully, if you don’t enjoy at least one of the things on that list, you ought to go ahead and dig yourself a hole.
You can score a copy of The Audacity of Dope here.
|Looking for a good book? Take a hit of Monte Dutton'sThe Audacity of Dope.|