The 25th Hour - David Benioff
The movie version is coming to Salina next week, so I had to read the book first after seeing the preview (before a showing of Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, btw; wacky strange good movie!). It's probably not a book I would have picked up if it weren't a movie starring Ed Norton (hubba hubba), since it's very much a guy thing and women are not much more than sex objects. Scratch that, women are nothing but sex objects in the story (and my hubba's above are based on his personality, thank you). Nevertheless, it's an interesting character study of nice complex post-modern neither-totally-good-nor-bad people trying to do the best they can with the situations, wits and morals they've been given. There's not much plot to speak of; basically there are three guys who are all buddies and one of them is a convicted drug dealer out on bond until his jail sentence begins (in 24 hours from the start of the book; hence the title). The characters learn some unpleasant things about themselves, but it's hard to say whether or not this causes them to grow. Maybe they only grow depressed about themselves and about humanity in general. The book's a short read, and I don't think reading it will spoil the movie at all (there's no plot!), so maybe it's a good choice if you're in the mood for something quick and depressing with a little sex thrown in for fun.