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Book review: Who Gets The Apartment?

January 26, 2006 03:18 PM EST | Books | Email to Friend | Comments (0)

During the past few years most of us have watched reality television shows such as Survivor and The Amazing Race. In essence, these shows revolve around contestants teaming up, paring off, and plotting against one another in their quest for victory. First time author, Steven Rigolosi, has now skillfully adapted this reality format to the printed page with, Who Gets the Apartment?

An advertisement is placed in a neighborhood Manhattan newspaper, The Clarion, where a luxurious 3000 sq ft. duplex penthouse comprising two bedrooms, fireplaces and three baths, and some other goodies, is offered for rent at the incredibly monthly low rental of six hundred dollars. If you have any idea of the tight and expensive rental market situation in Manhattan, you can very well appreciate how laughable this sounds!

The apartment is quickly gobbled up with, however, one drawback- the rental agent had cunningly rented the same premises to four different individuals. The four comprise an assistant district attorney, Venice, a struggling artist, Ian, a computer geek, Oliver, and an editor, Corinne, who all find themselves moving into the apartment at the same time. The question facing them is which one will keep the apartment, as they all have a valid legal right to the lease.

The suspenseful story plays out with four different possible scenarios crafted as short stories, each with unique plot twists. Should the four play the game of chance and roll the dice? Perhaps, it is everyman for himself, and let the most devious one win the apartment? If the apartment is large enough, why not all live in it for the two year term? Then again, how about banding together and bring the scoundrel who rented them the apartment to justice? The stories are contrived wherein friendships and relationships are tested during the course of several days offering different perspectives of humanity and human interaction.

Rigolosi is an original voice who uses a very clever and unique approach in inviting reader participation involving discussion, speculation, and philosophical reflection. He further teases and entertains his readers by including in the novel a sequel, Good Boys Never Win, that presumes the foursome had agreed to a plan of action and in so doing arrived at a very satisfactory feel- good conclusion. Their success now leads them to indulge in another situation involving one of the foursome's boss and his secretary. Herein again by putting all of their heads together they are able to bring about vicious revenge on two individuals who deserve it.

Rigolosi can clearly write, keeping his readers on edge with his easy-to-read narrative, lovable characters, and intentionally intriguing plot. I would tend to agree with the author's publicist who indicated to me that as a student of pop culture (and a former editor of sociology texts), Rigolosi is poised to accomplish something in which few authors have succeeded-turning watchers of television into readers of book.

Norm Goldman is the Editor of the book reviewing and author interviewing site, www.bookpleasures.com. Bookpleasures.com comprises over 25 international reviewers that come from all walks of life and that review all genre. Norm also offers his own personal express review service that you can find out more about by clicking HERE.

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