Cleaning Up Finn Paperback – May 15, 2016
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- Item Weight : 6.4 ounces
- Paperback : 158 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1532902298
- ISBN-13 : 978-1532902291
- Dimensions : 4.25 x 0.4 x 6.75 inches
- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 15, 2016)
- Language: : English
Best Sellers Rank:
#4,877,994 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #1,737,196 in Literature & Fiction (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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If you’ve ever been on a date and wondered how it could possibly get any worse, or if you like reading about slimy characters because it makes you feel better about yourself, then this, my friends, is the book for you. Or if you want to simply support an underappreciated author who deserves so much more, then pick up this novella and read it for yourself.
Cleaning Up Finn gripped me at the first sentence, and it didn’t let me go until the final horn blew. The dialogue was crisp, the characters were sleazy, the pace was just right, and the South Bay setting enriched this tale in every way possible. I can’t wait to see what Ms. Chen does for an encore, because I’m gonna elbow my way to the front of the line.
Author of The Convenient Escape
Finn is a 30-something restaurant manager, successfully stifling his waning youth without the burden of a marriage or changing diapers. He’s got a sweet gig really: an easy going management job he uses to chase tail, with seemingly unfettered access to his best friend’s red Ferrari California, and small yacht. Cleaning Up Finn doesn’t start with a bang, but rather it gives us a slice of Finn’s life—easy and recklessly fun, that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere except downhill. When Finn meets Ronnie, a fetching underage floozy, things take a turn for the worst, and Finn’s debauchery and irresponsibility become his undoing, as the bottom drops out of the cozy world he’d been coasting through.
As Finn attempts to clean up his situation—and ultimately his life, we are introduced to a motley crew of minor antagonists with their own twisted agendas; all of whom provide the lengthening shadows at the edge of Finn’s world, as the seductive SoCal sun begins to set. But as Finn’s world collapses we learn through a series of flashbacks and inner monologues, that Finn is surprisingly a man of honor. Finn’s sterling core is juxtaposed against the seductive lure of a lustful lifestyle lacking substance, that he’s enjoyed for far too long.
Ultimately this story can’t help but become a study of character in a world of polished surfaces that hide what’s directly beneath. Sarah M. Chen is an accomplished short story author, and this is her first novella. It’s a perfect in-flight read from back east to LAX, and especially if it’s your first visit to the coast.
Finn’s latest target is Rhonda Havemeyer aka Ronnie.
" Finn flashed his most charming smile. Oh boy, a college student. How he did love the college students. They were at that ideal age, the perfect combination of naïveté and bold self-assurance. Eager to try anything."
The only catch was, after their date, she disappears and the police suspected foul play. Chen’s novel retraces Finn’s last five days as he tries to figure out what happened. Cleaning Up Finn also looks at Finn’s past on how he got to be managing a restaurant, how he went to jail, and his strained relationship with his best friend from high school. Finn isn’t someone you’d want to bring home to meet Mom and Dad; s***, he isn’t even someone you would want to have a few beers with. But to Chen’s credit, she creates a character that most would despise, you do find yourself rooting for him now and then.