I’ve never claimed to read terribly fast, dear reader. My average is about a book a week, give or take. But Michael Kardos’ debut novel The Three-Day Affair? Yeah, read that shit in a day. Pissed away my Sunday fucking plowing through it, missed the Vikings somehow killing the Niners, avoided the bar, didn’t catch The Master like I’d planned to. Just read this fucking book.
I many be an online book reviewer (and you better believe I’m getting all the green and tail that that self-designation entitles me to, i.e. none and fucking none), but I rarely let books run my life like a lot of book nerds. It’s what I do when I don’t feel like writing, have nothing social lined up (read: no one to go to the bar with), have jack shit on the DVR, no DVDs to watch, and my pud will fall off if I tug it one more time. I fucking love books, but they are a low priority in terms of my personal entertainment hierarchy. All that explainorizin’ should tell you that yeah, this book is pretty fucking terrific.
The Three-Day Affair follows three guys as they get together for a golfing weekend only for things to go to shit toot-fucking-sweet. Married recording engineer sends his wife off to her sister’s and has his college buddies out to his place in Jersey for a weekend of boozing and hitting the links. There’s the single Nolan, the Missouri state senator looking for a seat in Congress come the fast approaching 2004 election and Jeffrey, the former dot-com millionaire living in California with the hot wife and the quickly evaporating fortune. Not knowing of Jeffrey’s money troubles, Will asks the two men if they wanna invest in the record label’s he trying to start up while they’re having a nice dinner.
After the uncomfortable meal they stop off at a convenience store and Jeffrey loses his head, robbing the place and taking the clerk hostage. Assuming the girl is hurt and in need of a hospital, driver Will takes off before realizing that he is part of a kidnapping. The foursome decide to take the girl to Will’s studio until they know what to do with their captor. To spoil any more from there would be a disservice so huge that I’m afraid the internet bookaverse would tear up my posting-reviews-online-for-no-compensation license.
Kardos tells this story from Will’s perspective, the narrative alternating between the “three-day affair” of the title to the boys’ more innocent days back at Princeton, the flashbacks deepening their relationships and shedding light on their present situation handily. With a no-bullshit, conversational voice that doesn’t skimp on character development or tension, I burned through to the beautifully rendered, slyly surprising ending in, you know, under fucking twenty-four hours. If you don’t scoop up this motherfucker toot-fucking-sweet you’re missing out on some entertainment that somehow managed to beat out me catching the latest Paul Thomas Anderson movie on its opening weekend in my town.