Rag Man by Pete Hautman
A Novel

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Synopsis

Suppose you quit your job, took out a second mortgage, and borrowed every penny of your in-laws' nest egg to start up a surefire new business. What if your partner ran off with all your money? What if you caught up with him? These are the questions Pete Hautman's hero faces in Rag Man, a wryly funny, Faustian tale of a good man going bad.
Mack MacWray's new clothing manufacturing company was wildly successful -- until the day his charming, street-savvy partner, Lars Larson, disappeared with all the assets, leaving Mack stuck with nothing but debts and shattered dreams. Devastated, Mack thinks he has nothing left to live for until, at the edge of a cliff on the idyllic Mexican resort of Isla Mujeres, he comes face-to-face with his former partner. Mack discovers something about himself that fateful afternoon -- that maybe he's not such a nice guy after all. After push comes to shove, Mack must live with what he has become. Mack returns to the U.S. with his moral compass demagnetized and discovers a world of opportunity. Without the ball and chain of guilt and accountability, making money is all but guaranteed. He transforms himself from bankrupt loser to hard-nosed success story -- but at what cost? His wife wants the old Mack back; her best friend wants Mack in bed; Lars's widow wants money (or revenge); and Detective Jerry Pleasant wants answers -- or maybe more.
As the pace quickens and tensions rise, these characters begin to surprise even themselves. Pete Hautman treads the line between psychological darkness and laugh-out-loud funny as he asks tough questions about the nature of good and evil -- and offers some unexpected answers.
 

About Pete Hautman

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Pete Hautman is the author of many books for young adults and adults, including the National Book Award winner Godless and The Big Crunch, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Award. About The Cydonian Pyramid, he says, "I could never resist a tough, spunky, conflicted heroine. Following Lahlia through the diskos was an incredible journey. She still scares me a little." Pete Hautman splits his time between Wisconsin and Minnesota.
 
Published February 20, 2002 by Simon & Schuster. 256 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Rag Man

Kirkus Reviews

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And clouds are already forming overhead, in the shape of an inquisitive sheriff’s investigator and the vengeful Rita Monbeck, whom Larson had evidently handpicked for her Mac-Lar job because she was his wife.

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AV Club

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John "Mack" MacWray, the protagonist of Pete Hautman's novel Rag Man, isn't a criminal when the book begins, but once he tastes the fruits of deceit, he quickly slips into the underworld.

Apr 19 2002 | Read Full Review of Rag Man : A Novel

Reviewing the Evidence

Mack Wray discovers a whole web of theft, fraud and other assorted chicanery, all part of Larson's history.

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Reader Rating for Rag Man
75%

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