Vintage, Jan 2003, 12.00, 256 pp.
Teenager Mickey Prada works at Vincent's Fish Market in Brooklyn while sharing a flat with his Alzheimer's suffering father. Mickey counts pennies planning to attend Baruch and earn an accounting degree that is when he is not serving fresh fish to customers or searching for his father lost somewhere in Brooklyn. With his love life showing zero, his only positive is that his father has not found the train to Manhattan or Queens and even more teeth gnashing no thonks Da Bronx.
With his bookie, Mickey places losing bets for a fish customer Angelo Santoro. However, Angelo fails to pay up so Mickey and his buddies commit a failed robbery in the Manhattan Beach section of the borough. Though shocked with HARD FEELINGS, he goes home expecting the police to come, but instead learns he has funeral expenses as his father just died along with Mickey's dreams of a white-collar accounting job.
TOUGH LUCK is an amusing urban noir that spins darkly following the misadventures of Mickey through one blue note after another. This character study focuses on the aspirations of a youngster whose dreams seem so simple yet might as well be in another galaxy. Mickey is a great protagonist while his friends torturing him over his girlfriend void seems as real as the tour of Brooklyn's mean streets. Though not a spark of light to grow a tree in this black hole of a tale exists, fans of Jason Starr will relish this humorous trek through the rotted inside of the Big Apple.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner