by Marc Acito
Ah, 1983, when a year's tuition at a primo college was only 10 grand. But high schooler Edward Zanni doesn't have that kind of cash, and his CFO dad—who works for a company called Wastecom—is willing to pay only for business school, not the acting schools Ed wants to go to. What's a budding thespian to do? When he tries to work, he is instantly fired from every job, which he concludes is a sure sign that he's "best suited for a life in the arts." When he's admitted to his top choice, Juilliard, he decides that crime is the only way to pay. So Ed and his friends use their acting skills to bilk some sleazy figures.
Acito has fantastic narrative chops, writing funny, fast and satisfying chapters, even when the plot isn't always as sharp as it should be. The casual raunchiness can be surprising at times and completely unbelievable at others, as is the constant coupling and un-coupling that goes on with Ed and his friends, at least a couple of whom are bisexual. This is a book for mature readers that reminds us what a blast immaturity can be.