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Stash by [Klein, David Matthew]
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Stash Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A small misstep derails several lives in Klein's intriguing if uneven debut, which examines a mix of middle-class upstate New Yorkers, chiefly Gwen Raine and her husband. Gwen's misfortune begins with the purchase of a small bag of marijuana from restaurateur and former lover Jude Gates. Later, a car accident that isn't her fault results in the death of an elderly man. When police detective William Keller finds the bag of marijuana in Gwen's car and decides to go after her to get the name of her supplier, a charge of possession turns into much more. Klein paints a sometimes too clinical picture of an idyllic suburban life--successful workaholic husband, two near-perfect kids, a stay-at-home mom heavily involved in PTA activities. Eschewing a focus on evildoers, Klein instead portrays how the unintended consequences of one bad decision spread exponentially and change the fates of many people, but does so in a fashion where the design is often more important than the characters.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Stash is a masterly exploration of the pleasures and pitfalls of modern-day capitalism. David Klein writes with satirical flair, but also with compassion for his characters.”—Howard County Times

“Exhaustive details about corporate marketing practices and marijuana production make Klein’s debut novel informative as well as compelling. Fans of both domestic drama and corporate intrigue will enjoy it.”—Library Journal
 
“Klein has a nimble storytelling style, and readers who dig these type of melodramas will find some richly intertwined stories…A very adult remake of an after-school special that’s driven by story, not lessons.”—Kirkus
 
“Satisfying on many levels, not least in its moral ambiguity that lends complexity to a story well told. This is as much about a marriage as it is the unraveling of a suspenseful plot”--James Landis, author of The Last Day
 
“Warning:  This is the kind of book that will keep you up at night, holding your breath as you turn the pages.”--Sandi Shelton, author of Kissing Games of the World


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Product Details

  • File Size: 754 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Original edition (July 21, 2010)
  • Publication Date: July 27, 2010
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0036S4EUK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #847,077 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Buehl VINE VOICE on July 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I seriously finished this book in one day, and no, it's not a quick read...it's just THAT good!!

The author does an amazing job creating multiple characters that you feel like you really know them. It was so descriptive it was as if I was watching a movie..I was that absorbed into it and the author is that good at capturing your attention.

The story has you on the edge of your seat, so suspenseful, to the point where it was impossible for me to put this book down for the day. I kept returning to it in hopes of figuring it out or seeing the end. But, it was such a page turner that I was up until one in the morning, until I had finished the book.

The first time I read the plot/description of Stash, I couldn't wait to read it. I don't normally read a lot of fiction but this was sounded so intriguing and so real life, like you could imagine it happening.
If the description of this book sounds like something you'd enjoy, get the book, you will NOT be dissapointed!! Very original story, very well written, Five stars easily!

I'm looking forward to this up and coming author's second book!
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Debut novelist Klein has written a smart and nervy domestic drama/thriller. The pages fly, and the prose is crisp and economical. He tackles difficult, dicey, and controversial subject matter without handing out platitudes or falling into blunt party line agendas. I am tempted to call it a non-puff beach read. It is lively, energetic, and easily accessible, but it is also thought provoking and ultimately bold.

Loving mother and housewife Gwen Raine bought some pot from ex-boyfriend Jude for recreational use. On the way home, driving down some precarious mountain roads, she was involved in a car accident. She was hit by an elderly driver (suffering from dementia), and both end up in the ER. Although Gwen was not at fault, the police found the bag in her car and the THC in her system, and now the DA is poised to strong-arm or throw the book at her due to escalating drug sales in the community.

Concurrently, husband Brian is having some problems at his high-paying job at Caladon Pharmaceuticals. They have been walking a fine line with marketing an anti-anxiety medication as an off-label weight loss drug. Some speculative and hazardous risks were taken by the company's executives, which threaten to topple over onto Brian. The Raines have separate stressors and two small children together. The marriage is now loaded with accumulating anxieties and legal problems. How--or if--they pull through keeps the reader on edge.

Told from multiple narrative perspectives in alternating chapters, the story focuses primarily on Gwen and Brian Raine; the enigmatic and laconic Jude; and Jude's daughter, Dana. Gwen and Brian's depiction as a suburban married couple devoted to their children do fall into a quasi-stock profile. The "form" of their characters is familiar.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Stash is a strange book. I say this because throughout the novel the reader, or at least this one, didn't know whether to like or dislike the main character, Gwen, and also couldn't quite figure out what the author was trying to say about suburbia, marriage, recreational drug use, pharmaceuticals and several other topics that crop up in the plot.

One of the other main characters, Jude, also seems to generate ambivalence in the author. Note that I say "in the author," not the reader. David Klein doesn't seem to know how he himself feels about his own creation. One minute Jude is portrayed as a more-or-less good guy who takes his role as a single father responsibly and just happens to sell recreational drugs on the side. The next Jude is a criminal verging on the edge of evil.

Ditto for Gwen and her husband Brian. I couldn't make up my mind if Gwen is a myopic, rich suburban housewife or an enlightened mom who just needs to unwind once in awhile. I wondered if Brian was really the uptight, big pharma hypocrite he seemed, or if he was just a nice guy trying to deal with being the beast of burden for his spoiled wife and kids. If Klein set out to challenge the reader by making his characters subtle and full dimensional, I believe he failed. Instead they come off as schizophrenic.

Now here's the big HOWEVER...there are elements of this novel that are quite engaging and, true to the blurb on the book jacket, the book is a page turner. Klein is good at developing a plot and building momentum as events move along. And in Aaron Capuano Klein has created a character that truly is full dimensional. One feels empathy for Aaron while disliking him at the same time.

The net on this one: Klein has talent and with luck in his second novel he will be less ambivalent about the characters while keeping his instinct for strong plotting.
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Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
One moment can redefine your entire existence. One mistake can derail your seemingly normal life. David Klein's compelling and entertaining debut "Stash" capitalizes on this oft used premise and makes it seem fresh and new. With humor and insight, Klein tackles the ambiguity of what is acceptable in today's shifting perceptions of success, family and morality. But far from being preachy or judgmental, "Stash" exposes its characters as real people--not always likable or smart, but inherently human.

Gwen Raine, the perfect suburban housewife and mother, has a secret. She has an affection for a little toke or two, if you know what I mean (and if you don't, maybe you should check out the title again), just to take the edge off her day. Nothing major, really--until one day she's involved in an auto accident. With the other driver dead and a bag of weed in Gwen's car, this fateful incident will have long range repercussions on everyone involved. The rippling aftermath not only affects Gwen--but her husband Brian caught up in his own crisis at work, her ex-flame Jude who sold her the product, Jude's daughter just setting off for college, a disturbed vet working at Jude's grow house and the detective investigating it all. With shifting viewpoints, Klein does an excellent job juggling the characters and pushing the momentum of the story forward at breakneck speed.

"Stash" is an unexpected page-turner. The story twists and surprises with its suburban menace. And while not perfect, it is one heck of a fun read! Klein pushes near the end to have the stories converge concurrently in a crescendo of convenient happenstance (sorry, was that too much alliteration?). It's all a little coincidental, especially the timing of the final act.
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