Audiobook(Cassette - Unabridged, 6 cassettes, 540 minutes)

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John Ridley — author of Stray Dogs and Love Is a Racket — is back with a scathingly funny, outrageous new novel that chronicles the mayhem unleashed by the misadventures of one hapless young man trying to make it in Hollywood.

Paris Scott can't make anything work out. A failed Hollywood screenwriter, he works nights at a convenience store, and drives a '74 Gremlin. And he was just dumped by his best girl. But when the last master tape of a freshly-suicided rock star and a small fortune's worth of stolen drugs fall into his lap, he seems to have stumbled on the key to his dreams.

It might as well be a neutron bomb.

Although the people who want the dope get themselves dangerously confused with the people who want the tape, it's clear to everyone that Paris is the target. And how does a guy who's wanted dead stay alive? "Get out of town, get some money, then get more out of town." Paris puts his Gremlin in gear and the resulting chase and chain- reaction madness stretches from Los Angeles to Las Vegas leaving a trail of blood, bodies, and broken hearts in its wake.

Dope dealers, Hollywood agents, two-bit criminals, three-bit criminals, waitresses, rock stars, strippers, beautiful women, not-so-beautiful women, honest working Joes and psychopaths — no one comes out clean in this raucous romp-and-stomp. It's John Ridley at his most devilishly sly, laying out proof that, without a doubt, everybody smokes in hell.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780788753367
Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date: 01/08/2002
Edition description: Unabridged, 6 cassettes, 540 minutes
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 2.75(h) x 6.30(d)

About the Author

John Ridley began his career as a stand-up comedian in New York before becoming a writer for television, including such hits as Martin and The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and for film, working with directors Francis Ford Coppola and Oliver Stone. Ridley's directorial debut, Cold Around the Heart, won a Best Director award at the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York. His previous novel, Love Is a Racket, was named one of the Ten Best Books of 1998 by the Los Angeles Times. He lives on the West Coast somewhere.

Read an Excerpt

"Three oh three."

"What if I don't got it?" His smile went on saying "Fuck you."

Buddy: "Give him the money, Alf."

Alfonso just kept staring at Paris, kept smiling at him, kept waiting for him to do something, the something he knew Paris would never do except stand there while a guy cracked wise at him.

Buddy again: "Just give him the money!"

"Fucking wimp." Alfonso looked straight ahead, but he could've been talking to either of the roommates; to both of them.

Buddy clawed for his wallet. "Here, take it." His fingers moved so quick they were barely able to dig free some bills and fumble them to the counter. "Just take the money."

"Fucking wimp." This time, for sure, it was meant for Buddy.

Buddy to Alf: "We don't need any extra drama. Not tonight."

Paris to Buddy: "Why you getting messed up with this guy?" It was a rhetorical question. Paris knew Buddy well enough to be hepped to his aspirations of becoming a hustler and a player; a man who was connected and respected. Like every other nobody in LA, he wanted to be somebody.

The dude Buddy had chosen to apprentice under, Alfonso, was none of the things Buddy wanted to be, but he mimed the banter and faked the rest good enough so that being in Alf's proximity made Buddy feel like he was moving smooth and steady along the road to Mack-dom.

And it's not that Paris much cared what Buddy did or who with, but Alf was such an obvious fuckup he had to ask his roomie: "Why you wasting time with him?"

"How about you just worry about your own shit?" Alfonso stepped in to cover for Buddy.

"Wasn't talking to you."

"Well, I'mtelling you. . . ." Alfonso pressed himself up against the counter. It was all that separated him from Paris, and there was nothing but empty air to keep Alfonso from reaching out and giving Paris a great and mighty ass-kicking if he wanted.

Paris took a slight but obvious step back.

"Worry about your own shit, or I'll give you some shit to worry about."

Shared stares. Alf's angry, Paris's anxious, Buddy's scared. Eyes flinching around the room, sweat streaking over his forehead, Buddy was a long way from quitting his nervous-guy ways.

He inched for the door: "I'm . . . I'm gonna . . ."

"Do yourself a favor, Buddy. All this guy's going to bring you is trouble."

"What are you, his mommy?" Alfonso cutting in, not giving up the press.

"What are you? Nothing but a wannabe hood."

Reflexively Paris flinched in anticipation of the automatic punch to the head that was likely to follow that brand of smart mouth.

But the remark didn't so much bother Alfonso as give him something else to fuck-you smile about.

"Oh, yeah," he said. "I'm nothing. Why don't you say that again while you're ringing up a Big Guzzle. I'm nothing . . . and you're nothing but a loser."

For a real quick second a picture flashed in Paris's mind. A picture of her screaming those same words at him, the memory of it a bitter sting like a bad scar that won't fade away.

"Shut up!" Paris yelled back.

"How's the world look from across that counter? Better get used to the view.

"Get out of here!"

Alfonso got out. He took all the slow-groove time he wanted doing it. Buddy tagged along behind.

Paris was left standing right where he was, kept close company by the shame of so readily accepting the humiliation he'd been handed.

A beat later the filthy white guy took up the space at the counter Alfonso had previously filled, his arms brimming with frozen burritos. Frozen burritos were a popular item with late-night hopheads. The filthy white guy opened his arms and the burritos thudded on the counter cinder-block heavy.

Without putting thought to it, Paris scanned the burritos as he'd done with tens of dozens of frozen burritos and frozen pizzas and frozen burgers and frozen chili dogs he'd rung up in the thirty nights and counting he'd been working at the 24/7 Mart.

Thirty nights.

One month.

Happy anniversary, Paris.

Paris said: "Eight dollars."

Filthy White Guy dug gangly hands in his pockets; pale fingers pulled out a bill. A hundred-dollar bill. Filthy White Guy just held it up for Paris like it was nothing but ordinary for a filthy white guy to come around a 24/7 Mart in the middle of the night buying frozen burritos with a hundred-dollar bill.

Paris took the bill and looked it over careful, as if he would know a fake one when he saw it. After going through the motion of giving Ben Franklin all the attention he felt he deserved, to Filthy White Guy: "Welfare been good to you, huh? I always knew even poor white guys was rich."

Barely Paris made change, gave it back to Filthy White Guy. Filthy White Guy jammed the fistful of bills in his pocket with all the care of someone who'd gotten back used Kleenex for their cash.
Scooping up the burritos, Filthy White guy carried them -- dropping a few along the way, they bounced off the linoleum -- over to the complimentary 24/7 Mart microwave and put them, all of them, inside.

Paris, who had watched this one-man "Just Say No" campaign, came around the counter. "C'mon. One at a time."

It was just then the two thirteen-year-olds, who had been laying in wait for the perfect op, reached over the counter and grabbed the Penthouse they'd been eyeing all night.

"Hey!" Paris moved for the kids.

Filthy White Guy turned on the microwave.

The overstuffed machine groaned and flashed and popped and spewed radiated burritos all over the store.

The kids made it out the door.

Everywhere, burrito parts dripped and slid and oozed in downward patterns.

Paris caught a glimpse of himself in one of the Mart's security mirrors. His body, draped in the multicolored uniform, distorted by the curve of the glass, made him look very much like a pathetic circus clown.

"I can't deal with this," the clown muttered. "I can't deal with it."

Customer Reviews

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Everybody Smokes in Hell 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
soulcruzer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy read. Entertaining and fun.
HvyMetalMG on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A pure pul-fiction romp that was mildly entertaining at times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is rediculously unbelievable. Saying that, some characters (Bryce) are so overdone it is hilarious. Sex has never been easier. Any character in this book will have sex at the drop of a dime. In the middle of traffic? gotta make a fast money transaction? ABout to catch someone you have been tracking for three states? All good reasons to stop and have sex with a stranger in this book. Sex sex death death (Not necesarily in that order). As ludicrous as the story is, it moves along rather nicely and doesn't fail to keep you turning the pages. It was really quite entertaining. ONce you get over the absurdities of the story it flows rather nicely. I feel the ending was abit of a let down. They should have just had sex. :P
Guest More than 1 year ago
Although this book has a lot of violence, I otherwise found myself laughing aloud at the descriptions and dialog. I loved this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There was a lot of action going on in this book. It kept my interest. Although I had to read it again and again to figure out if Paris got killed. I liked it better than Love is a Racquet.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It has been a great pleasure to find a young and talented author who can write with such originality. I found this book to be a greatly satisfying read, interesting characters in a tightly wound story. John Ridley is a must read!!!