Description - The Burning by Thomas Legendre
When an acquaintance suggests a wild weekend in Las Vegas, Logan Smith, struggling to establish an academic career in Philadelphia, thinks it might be just the kind of bright lights and reckless fun he needs. What he doesn't expect is a personal lesson in blackjack from a beautiful, dangerous, red-headed croupier called Dallas Cole who is going to change his life forever. Uneasily transplanted to a campus in the bleak desert state of Arizona, Logan immerses himself in his research, and tentatively he begins to explore a new and revolutionary theory. Gradually, as his work takes shape, not only does Logan's personal life shift and turn hostile around him but the ideas he is pursuing turn out to have repercussions more far-reaching than he could have imagined: and if he is right in his theorising the very future of the planet is at stake. He must deal with temptation, self-doubt, betrayal and implacable opposition before he can follow his discovery through, and by the time Logan's theories are put to the test all the assumptions he has ever made are brought into question.
Generous in its scope, deeply absorbing and effortlessly brilliant, this is one of those rare novels which makes you see the world afresh.
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(216mm x 135mm x mm)
Little, Brown & Company
Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
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Book Reviews - The Burning by Thomas Legendre
US Kirkus Review »
A rogue economist negotiates a complicated web of personal and professional issues in this ambitious debut.Having just defended his dissertation at Penn, newly minted doctor of economics Logan Smith unwinds with a weekend trip to Las Vegas. Resisting his companions' invitation to visit a strip club, he settles in at the blackjack table for some carefully budgeted, systematic gambling. He soon falls under the sway of voluptuous, redheaded dealer Dallas Cole. As she schools the cautious young man in the thrills of reckless behavior, their heady partnership moves from the casino to the bedroom and, when Logan takes a teaching position at the University of Arizona, to a hasty and ill-considered marriage. Dallas is not well-suited to life in Phoenix, nor does she make the ideal academic wife. Voraciously needy and intensely self-centered, she resents every moment Logan spends on his attempt to dismantle classical economic models and build a new theory that conforms to the laws of thermodynamics. As his passion for the project grows, her behavior becomes more desperate. Ultimately, she spends his entire trust fund on video poker and slot machines, then earns the money back by prostituting herself. Meanwhile, Logan contends with university politics and falls in love with the scientist who is helping him with his paper, a smart, emotionally astute single mother named Keris, with glasses and a sensible haircut. Logan's personal and professional lives collide when he learns that Keris had a one-night stand with his departmental rival, the ambitious and craven Deck. Lectures on economic theory, academic conferences and the occasional burst of astrophysics frequently interrupt a fairly conventional love story featuring a down-market femme fatale who would be quite at home in a Jackie Collins novel. If it sounds like these elements might not fit together well, that's because they don't. Confused and confusing. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Thomas Legendre
Thomas Legendre received his undergraduate degree in English and Economics and a Master's degree in Literature before gaining his MFA degree in Creative Writing. He taught Creative Writing, Literature, and Communication at Yavapai College before moving