From the first page of Seth Greenland’s new novel Shining City, I was hooked. It was sharp, hilarious, timely, and simply fun to read. Even more funny might be Greenland’s book promo, which promotes his book while taking the piss out of every other dull book promo that has come before.

I recommended it in a recent Lei Chic feature.

Who’s Your Daddy?
By Christine Thomas
Published July 9, 2008 in
Lei Chic

Should I have children, or travel? Pursue my dreams or get a job with benefits? Go to the denim sale or pay my electric bill?

Such pressing life questions seem simple compared to the quandary of middle-aged everyman Marcus Ripps, protagonist of Seth Greenland’s hilarious new satirical novel “Shining City.” After losing his factory job to China, Marcus faces defaulting on his L.A. home and living a sexless marriage, until his estranged brother bequeaths him an eponymous dry cleaning business. But this solution is quickly soiled when he learns the only thing being laundered there is money earned by a suite of prostitutes.

So, what to do but rationally consider the irrational—becoming a pimp. After all, then Marcus could pay off his mortgage, afford his son’s over-the-top bar mitzvah, rescue his wife’s business, and buy his medical marijuana-smoking mother-in-law health insurance. And if he’s a good provider and boss, offering 401Ks and health care to his ladies, is he really a criminal?

Greenland’s exacting characterization and pithy descriptions cleverly position this ludicrous plot somewhere between a laugh-out-loud farce and an illuminating portrait of modern society’s moral ironies and unbelievable dilemmas.

The perfect novel in a time when To pimp or not to pimp? is everybody’s real-life question.

Available online at or your local bookseller.