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Airtight Paperback – November 20, 2012
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Doubt (Caroline Auden)
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Top Customer Reviews
Please don't punish yourself getting bogged down by reviews that plod through the plot of Airtight point by point. Rather, take a deep breath, relax, and allow J.P. Smith to draw you into a tale built on the foundation of cultural influences that matter as much in the story's present as in its past: when rock went off the rails.
With nods to noir craftsmen such as Hammet and Chandler, the author speaks in a confident voice establishing the bona fides of the protagonist. He sprinkles references-and never gratuitously-to seminal rock and jazz musicians of the '60s, lending cred to the portrait of the turn on, tune in Nick Copeland. But the character does drop out (of that lifestyle) and for 30 years assumes the persona of a latter day Mad Man.
Alas, one day Copeland finds himself out of work, isolated from his children, distrustful of his wife. Career problems rooted in the vagaries of the ad biz send Nick Copeland on an unexpected course to deal with circumstances mirroring the burdens borne by 50-something victims of the Great Recession: if not you, your neighbors.
Desperate to recapture economic and domestic stability, Nick embarks on an adventure that triggers (or is triggered by?) not just unintended consequences, but introspection and self doubt. His acid tripping brush with "the clear white light" returns to illuminate paths that may or may not polarize his future.Read more ›
Maybe you'll feel differently, though.
The writing picks up when the focus shifts to the cops & cons on the other side of the caper. These chapters and scenes are more in the vein of George Pelecanos novels such as Right As Rain, but not that good. They also stick out amidst the suburban angst of the larger chunks of the book that focus on Nick and Rob.
I imagine Smith is capable of writing an entertaining, pulpy page-turner. But, with Airtight, his reach exceeds his grasp.
Yes, there are two former college...I wouldn't call them buddies, more like acquaintances...who are reunited at a job fair thirty years later. After reminiscing, they remember they buried two mason jars of heroin back in the day. Not know what to do with it then and not wanting to get caught with it, it sat there for 30 years. Unemployed and desperate for money, they know what to do with it now. While one man, Rob, is a former lawyer; he knows someone, well, maybe, who can buy it. Nick, former burn-out and ad man and current family man, has no idea who to talk to.
MY THOUGHTS ON WHAT THE BOOK IS REALLY ABOUT:
Throughout the book, there are double-crosses on top of double-crosses. That is not the point of the book. The book is about Nick's life now, not his former life. Nick is having a mid-life crisis on top of losing his job and upper middle class lifestyle. He's questioning his career, his wife, his family, his life. The more he looks, the more he wants the carefree life of college. Rediscovering the heroin is just a means to an end.
It's a pretty good story and I recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“Airtight”, by J. P. Smith is a comic thriller about two guys who meet during college, and then meet again around 30 years later when both have lost their jobs and need money. Read morePublished on June 10, 2014 by WryGuy2
This story can only be described as a “Real Trip.” Two former college buddies—30 years later, their current lives in a shambles—attempt to bail themselves out of hock by revisiting... Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Adam James
I could not get to grips with the plot ,it was all over the place and i finally gave up ,and i have to say there are not many books i have given up onPublished on August 23, 2013 by John Keane
Nick Copeland is your basic drug user turned high income creative ad man kicked to the unemployment curb type. Read morePublished on August 16, 2013 by Amazon Customer
I just couldn't get into it. I couldn't relate to the characters. Didn't like the writing style. Wouldn't recommend it.Published on June 30, 2013 by sandyh
This must be an era of people coming-of-age at any old age. It seems that I run into these in bunches. Read morePublished on June 8, 2013 by Tanstaafl
I couldn't get into this book and therefore I didn't finish it. J.P. Smith is an unfamiliar author and that may be the reason why I couldn't relate. Thank you.Published on May 10, 2013 by Anne Glaser
Nick, ultra cool and high most of the time in college, goes on to have a successful career/wife and family type life--until he is laid off at 50 and unable to find a job. Read morePublished on April 25, 2013 by Cathe
I found this book a bit difficult to read at times, because it hits some painful notes in discussing the current job market for older job seekers. Read morePublished on April 20, 2013 by Ann P.