Paperback, 152 Pages
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Take a chance & roll the dice on this rock & roll road novel and hitch a ride with Jack Morrison AKA the Jack of Hearts, and his Mexican sidekick, the one-armed small change bandit, as they road trip through the American Southwest. From the casinos of Las Vegas to the cliffs of the Grand Canyon, the saga careens through the violent world of organized crime, sinks into the seedy sleazy world of virtual sex, and makes an offbeat detour into the psychedelic mayhem of the Deadhead universe. With flashbacks to Vietnam, a lurid tale of sex, drugs, murder, and rock and roll, goes down late 20th Century style, as a Vietnam veteran long-on-the-lam, his pal, and his pal's tag-along jailbait girlfriend--the precocious Sugar-Spun Sister--get more than they bargain for when a routine game of blackjack becomes a bloodbath. Jack is forced to play hero, only to have his past sneak up on him in a bad, bad way, and bring their world crashing down.
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Apr 14, 2012I loved this book! Mr. Rossi has an authentic flair for deep, dark corners of the absurd mind...it kept me wanting more the whole time!
Jun 15, 2009"from this horses mouth" Double Down employs a literary device, a form of narrative monologue the main character has with a person he calls Queen. As we find out Queen, was his wife back when he first shipped over to Vietnam. He's telling the story of what happens to him and a colleague he picked up along the way in this road trip cum buddy novel. Add to the mix, a slightly underage love interest and the wacky character of Rooster, the secretive reclusive genius who simultaneously designs slot machines and virtual sex machines. Meanwhile, a menacing villain in the form of shadowy character from said Vietnam past resurfaces after the hero saves the day after a psychopath starts killing people inside a casino when a black jack hand doesn't go the way he wants. Rife with quotes from rock songs, the book's subtitle, Rock and Roll Road Novel, is appropriate. A pit stop along the way in Winslow Arizona, which pays tribute to the Eagle's Take It Easy, is one of the reasons. With a... More > name like Jack Daniel Morrison the main character not only tips its hat tribute to Jim Morrison of the Doors, but also to the hard whiskey choice of hard rockers everywhere. The Grateful Dead, The Doors, and Bob Dylan, acts associated with what many consider to be the Golden Age of Rock, wash up against, comparatively younger acts such as the Stone Roses. The Stone Roses actually fare rather well, even those this band broke up in the early 90s after only a few releases. The love interest takes her name from a song off the band's first release, Sugar-Spun Sister. And a lyric from their second release, from the song Love Spread shares opening page placement with a lyric from Dylan's Lily, Rosemary, & The Jack of Hearts, off his Blood on the Tracks release. In short, Double Down explores the duality of life. Every silver lining is explored the flip side of every coin, the yin for every yang. Characters are both deplorable yet likable. Good-looking but crippled. Foul mouthed and yet faithful. Naïve and petulant, yet wise beyond their years and tender-hearted. In a sordid mix of bad language, drug use, sex, gambling, bloodshed and rock and roll music, they discuss and debate abortion, pornography, religion, the meaning of life, and war. The ambivalence towards war could be summed up as World War II good, Vietnam bad. This two-sided coin is built around a motif of the infamous black jack bet, wherein you double your effort when things look like they might be leaning in your favor. Confronting fate by doubling down on life, on taking a chance, by knowing when to hold them and when to fold when it comes to the vagaries of the human heart, is the larger application of this metaphor for life. By carrying on when things like grim, by doubling your effort when things are looking down, we learn the novel's ultimate message against self-destruction and suicide. The main character may be rough talking man who loves to drop the F bomb, but he has a heart of gold, hence his nickname, the Jack of Hearts. The last chapter cites the Stone Rose's again, from their first release, I am The Resurrection, and calls to mind the novel's underlying theistic thrust, while at the same time staying true to its maverick go it your own philosophy. Most organized religion won't care much for Double Down, despite its vague theism, for the obvious reasons: precisely because it is so vague, and so forgiving, endorses no particular brand names and is awash in immorality. Its trappings are traditional. There are showdowns, and shallow graves, high speed chases, and hit men, hideouts and hijinks. I give it a three.< Less
Mar 15, 2008"Double Dawn" I cannot wait to read this novel by Joe. As talented and interesting he is, the novel can just be a reflection of his talent and everything good that he created so far. Keep creating and keep writing!!!!
Jan 31, 2007"A very cool character" You realize that with Double Down you have created a very cool character, one that could hold through more than one story. I really think, that if you can get this one going, you could do a whole series of Jack of Hearts stories. Bill
Feb 25, 2006"Begging to differ" Double Down is junk, Patrica Butler is right. The very first word of the book is shit and that is exactly what ensues The erotica is downright gratuitous as is the cartoonish violence. And preposterous! Anybody who knows anything about guns, will recognize the violence in the first chapter as anything but plausible.
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- Standard Copyright License
- January 15, 2006
- Perfect-bound Paperback
- Interior Ink
- Black & white
- 0.62 lbs.
- Dimensions (inches)
- 6 wide x 9 tall
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