I loved this book! P. G. Sturges has created an original character. He also sports an original style, with an intoxicating mixture of gladness, badness and sadness. Bonus: The chapters have titles! This is the follow-up to The Shortcut Man ($15), although Tribulations stands alone quite well.
Dick Henry is a fix-it man in L.A. for people with problems, and we're not talking a leaky sink or an overgrown hedge. He gets his clients to their desired ends, not all of which are legitimate, by bypassing normal methods and channels, thus creating a shortcut. That's all right, Dick Henry is not quite legitimate, nor is the odd bunch of people who help him. Among his colorful associates, I'm most fond of the world's stinkiest man. I will say no more. You will enjoy meeting him and finding out how he fits into Dick's world.
Here's Sturges introducing his "Shortcut Man":
All is not raucous and irreverent humor, however. There are poignant moments as well, and they mostly have to do with Dick's children and an old girlfriend, perhaps the one true love of his life.
The majority of the story is concerned with the problems of Judge Harry Glidden and his TV star wife, Ellen. They are in a financial pickle and their solutions involve, willingly or un-, Dick Henry. They were the highest of the high and now they are on the verge of becoming the lowest of the low. Once catered to and fawned over, soon Harry and Ellen will be lucky to own a hotplate. Their plans to remedy their situation are incredibly stupid and hilarious. Let's just say that Mensa won't be knocking down their door.
One more funny tidbit from the book. At one point, Dick must pretend to be a gas repairman, and he uses the name "Dave." His cohort forgets and calls him "Dick," so he is henceforth forced to use the name "Dick-Dave."
So some of the book is first-person Dick Henry narrative and some of it is third-person, the latter mostly used to follow the increasingly unsteady footsteps of Ellen Glidden. Sturges writes well from both viewpoints.
Here's one last bit to give you a taste of what's in store:
You. Must. Read. This.