Random (Hardcover)

Random By Penn Jillette Cover Image
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From Penn Jillette of the legendary magic duo Penn & Teller: a rollicking crime caper that will bend your mind like a spoon.

"Penn Jillette is an atheist, triple-goddamned lunatic, and his book is a glorious Las Vegas lunatic paean to chance and adventure—a page-turning, scabrous, hilarious ride into randomness." —Neil Gaiman

"Jillette's latest novel, Random, is about a young man who inherits his father's crushing debt to a loan shark and turns to dice—and other dangerous measures—to dig himself out. That the dice bring him luck sends him a new philosophy of leaving decisions both big and small up to chance." New York Times

Two weeks before his twenty-first birthday, Las Vegas native Bobby Ingersoll finds out he’s inherited a crushing gambling debt from his scumbag father. The debt is owed to an even scummier bag named Fraser Ruphart who oversees his bottom-rung criminal empire from the classy-adjacent Trump International Hotel. Bobby’s prospects of paying off the note, which comes due the day he turns twenty-one, are about as dim as the sign on the hotel’s facade.

The two weeks pass in the blink of a (snake) eye, but before Bobby’s luck runs out, he stumbles upon enough cash to pay off Ruphart and change his family’s fortune. More importantly, he finds himself with a new, for lack of a better word, faith.

Bobby does not consign his big break to a “higher power”—what Penn Jillette hero ever could? Instead, he devises and devotes himself to Random, a philosophy where his life choices are based entirely on the roll of his “lucky” dice. What follows is a rollicking exploration into not so much what defines us as what divines us when we give over every decision—from what to eat to whom to marry to how or when to die—to the random fall of two numbered cubes.

Random combines the intellectual curiosity of Richard Dawkins with the humor and grit of an Elmore Leonard antihero. Jillette’s up-on-his-luck Ingersoll is the character we need to help us navigate the chaos of the post-truth era.

Well, unless his roll runs cold.

About the Author

PENN JILLETTE is a cultural phenomenon as a solo personality and as half of the world-famous Emmy Award–winning magic duo Penn & Teller, whose live show spent years on Broadway and is now the longest-running headlining show in Las Vegas. The pair have their own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Jillette cohosted the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit! which was nominated for thirteen Emmy Awards and won him a Writers Guild Award. He currently cohosts the CW Network competition series Penn & Teller: Fool Us! His weekly podcast, Penn’s Sunday School, was the number one downloaded podcast on iTunes during its debut week and was named by iTunes as Best New Comedy Podcast. He is the author of numerous books, including the nonfiction New York Times best-selling books Presto!: How I Made Over 100 Pounds Disappear and Other Magical Tales and God No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales; the novel Sock; and the essay collection Every Day Is an Atheist Holiday! He is the author of Random.

Praise For…

Jillette (Presto!), the magician best known as the verbal half of Penn and Teller, unveils an entertaining Las Vegas picaresque . . . Jillette’s acerbic wit and perfect pacing keep this afloat. Readers will hope Jillette has more fiction up his sleeves.
— Publishers Weekly

Jillette is one of our weirder national treasures. [His] unironic hero is Bobby Ingersoll, a nobody who makes his living driving strip club ads up and down the Strip . . . After accidentally ripping off some gangbangers during a botched robbery, Bobby drops it all on a roll of the dice and suddenly finds himself a multimillionaire with an epiphany: ‘The Dice now owned Bobby. He owed his life to Chance’  . . . An average joe’s free-spirited, madcap romp through the last days of American empire.
— Kirkus Reviews

Penn Jillette is half of Penn & Teller, the longest-running magic show in Las Vegas. This is his crime-fiction debut, and he has put together a wild story set in Sin City that is sinfully diverting . . . [A] crackerjack caper.
— Booklist
Product Details
ISBN: 9781636140711
ISBN-10: 1636140718
Publisher: Akashic Books, Ltd.
Publication Date: October 11th, 2022
Pages: 264
Language: English