Shocking scan of contemporary America as well as a three-dimensional self-portrait of the writer himself
For three years, Jan Novak lugged cash around the city of Chicago. It was heavy; five hundred dollars in quarters weighed thirteen kilos. The largest sum that he ever delivered as an armored carrier of United Armored Services was twenty-four million dollars, though most of the time, he had around three million in the armored truck. After ten years of making a living by his pen, he chose this job so that he could write about it, but he got more than he had bargained for: the only friend he’d made in the business, a Bosnian Muslim Senad Omanic, ended up being shot in the head point-blank on Christmas Day. The robbers made off with sixty thousand dollars; Omanic was nearly robbed of his wallet again by the ambulance staff on his way to the hospital; he survived it all; the crime was never solved… Novak seizes the palpitating, crazy-making, hard-to-fathom experiences he gathered in Chicago ghettoes with his typical narrative virtuosity. His stories from the world of „money men“ offer a close-miked rendering of a looney, cash-hating, robbery-dreaming clan and lively portraits of the author’s coworkers who put their lives on the line for ten dollars an hour just so they could walk around the city with a gun on their hip. What gradually emerges is a shocking scan of contemporary America as well as a three-dimensional self-portrait of the writer himself.