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The Delivery Man

3.23  ·  Rating details ·  1,341 ratings  ·  208 reviews
The Delivery Man is a thrilling and astonishing debut--a scary, fast-paced, and illuminating portrait of the MySpace generation. It is a love story set against the surreal excess of Las Vegas--and the artificial suburbs, gated communities, and freeways that surround it--where broken lives come to seek new beginnings and casinos feed the lust of tourists and residents alike ...more
Paperback, 276 pages
Published December 1st 2007 by Grove Press, Black Cat (first published January 15th 2007)
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3.23  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,341 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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J. Kent Messum
I stumbled upon this gem completely by chance in a bookstore a few years ago. I’d never heard of the book or the author before, but I was completely hooked upon reading the first few pages. The sharp, visceral story is set in Las Vegas and focuses on a character trapped between his toxic friends and the pitfalls of sin city. It's about a man dealing with the complexities of who he once was and who he wants to become. Disturbing and heartbreaking at times, McGinniss’s style and story are exactly ...more
Mar 19, 2008 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: shallow teens, really bored people
Anyone who thinks this is "the real Las Vegas" doesn't actually live here. It's /a/ Las Vegas. (Except for when McGinniss gets some directions wrong; despite help from locals, a few typos seem to have wedged in. That, or else no one has ever pointed me to the secret tunnel making it so easy to flit back and forth from the Summerlin Parkway to Green Valley. And I *really* don't recommend trying to take Maryland down to Boulder Hwy from Flamingo. As for those "west side ghettos" - er, west of what ...more
Dec 02, 2007 rated it it was amazing
love getting to read advance reader copies. And even better when a book turns out to be really great - and this one is really great. It's a very interesting take on teens/20'somethings and experiences growing up in Las Vegas. There is some really powerful imagery in this book.

I've been reading a lot of "darker" fiction lately, the kind that is meant to really get you (just read Fight Club for the first time recently even though had seen the movie...) and this book really fits that category. Is
Jan 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
great story. it made me really nervous to read but wanted to keep turning the pages. thank God I grew up when I did. best last line of a book ever.
Nov 21, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
love, love, love this book. "Find yourself here" great first sentence. Great ending all the way to the last sentence but won't post that :) Need to put a review here but in the meantime I agree with this guy:

--At first glance, this debut novel looks like a good, short read for the next time you're waiting at the airport. It's an insider's guide to the dark underbelly of twenty-first-century Las Vegas, brimming with brand names, hard bodies, hard drugs, and heavy doses of sex and violence. If tha
Brittany Joy
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it
It took me almost three months to read this book. It was just completely disengaging. The author seems to have no actual talent for writing a decent sentence. He has no sense of imagery whatsoever and would it kill for a little symbolism or SOMETHING interesting? The lack thereof was slightly insulting to the reader's intelligence.

The end came abruptly with no kind of resolution or explanation for the characters' behaviors. Which only hurt the story more by reducing every one to a shallow, sing
Oct 02, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: adult-fiction
I saw this in a Urban Outfitters, which possibly should ahve been my clue not to read it. It's gritty for the sake of being gritty and not that interesting. Boobs and a fight only keep the attention of certain demographics. (There's glowing reviews by Chuck Palahniuk all over the cover.)
Jennifer Sullivan
Jan 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Excellent. The main characters are all childhood friends that were raised - with little or negative parental supervision – on the edge of the main strip in Las Vegas. Now in their mid-twenties, the story focuses on their lifestyle, illegal professions and their caustic influence on the generation right behind. A solid read that shows teenage self-perceived invincibility, MySpace and love of cash can bottom out anyone's morals.
What a read! It's been a long time since I read a writing style that was this brilliantly effective. 'The Delivery Man' was a gut-wrenching tale of being held back and trapped by a life you'd sooner leave if you had the chance. Joe McGinniss Jr. is a new master who is hopefully just getting started.
Aug 07, 2008 rated it did not like it
I was expecting salacious content but it never put out, the ending is lame
Heather *Awkward Queen and Unicorn Twin*
Okay. Hmm. Where do I start?

First, let me admit something. I may or may not have a slight, perhaps illogical, prejudice against people who moved to Las Vegas after the building boom.

The author was obviously intrigued by post-boom Las Vegas, lured by themed slot machines and upscale casino clubs. Ah, Sin City, am I right? I guess you can't help but sin if you live here. Or visit here. ("And there's a gentleman's club!" I helpfully pointed out to a relative who visited recently for the first time,
Feb 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: idiots
Recommended to Charlaralotte by: desperate purchase at bookstore
Shelves: read-in-2007
This book was so bad, I put it in the recycling bin. I'm embarrassed to have it in the house.

Though it is an excellent example of how first novels don't have to be masterpieces, or even decently written. They just have to be first novels. You can only get better, one hopes.

Also, the front cover picture pisses me off. Did the designer READ the book, or get told what the main female character LOOKED like, because that is a far cry from anywhere near being her. Yeah, yeah, it could have been any of
Dec 23, 2007 rated it it was amazing
stong debut novel. Definitely not a pretentious book - very readable, very gritty. I think we'll look back on this book in 10 years and think something was really captured. Kind of like the first Dre CD The Chronic - it upset everyone at the time as being too angry--well, there really was something to be angry about. This book is like that. definitely some distubing parts. Also, liked the range of characters in this modern Las Vegas tale-the beautiful Michele is Salvadoran (and definitely a twis ...more
Feb 03, 2008 rated it it was ok
sorry but i did not love this book. it's full of tortured, pitiful characters whom i mostly hated. i also felt like i was reading the same twenty pages over and over....the characters are stuck in their own muck but did i have to be too? yes, it reminds me of early brett easton ellis but in this case, that's not a good thing. the characters are souless and so is the story....
May 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
In a word: bleak. It is a fairly well written novel. The characters warn each other, and you the reader, about the dangerous ease of slipping into the quicksand of life. "The Delivery Man" touched my own fears and despair. It made grateful for what I am and what I am not. And it made me sad for everyone.
Dec 24, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: chicks.
To be honest, not much greatness of plot occurs in this book, but there is something mystifying about the style of writing. Great complexities are found in the super-simple english used.
very quick read, liked it through to the end.
Mar 29, 2008 rated it really liked it
Gosh, hard book to rate. Unbelievably depressing, but very engrossing and haunting. I'm not sure I'd say I enjoyed the reading process, but I did think the book was well done.
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it
I read this book very quickly - the Vegas world of these kids captured me immediately and I kept reading because I was genuinely interested in where the main character would end up based on his series of bad decisions. I did have a hard time connecting with the characters at first, but the slow interweaving of the setting and the M.C.'s flashbacks helped me connect with them a bit more. The M.C.'s unconscious and understandable return and further descent into the particularly seedy world in whic ...more
Feb 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: prudes. it's more fun that way.
Shelves: books-from-work
There were a lot of "oh my god" moments in this one. Page after page you follow Chase (the names of the male characters I'm convinced are symbolic -- Chase, Hunter -- they're chasing/hunting, what? money? sex? meaning in their lives?) as he makes decision after decision that he shouldn't -- all the while telling himself it's just a detour from the path he knows he should be on. He's an aspiring artist who, after losing his art teaching job the way many teachers only wish they could -- by kicking ...more
Jul 18, 2009 rated it did not like it
Why did I read this entire book? I knew, within five pages, that it was poorly written and sloppily constructed. I also knew, since my roommate already read it, that it wasn't going to improve (and it really didn't--it got steadily worse). But I had had this book on my shelf for months and I'd wanted to read it for a year, so I felt obligated to see it through. Next time I pick up something this bad, I'm making myself put it down.

A former co-worker of mine (who works in publishing), recently sai
Sep 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, own, favorites
This was one of my favorite books of 2008, which is pretty impressive given it is the author's first novel. The story is centered around Chase, a 25 year-old who went to art school in NYC but finds himself working as a high school teacher in Las Vegas (his hometown) with hopes of meeting up with his girlfriend Julia who is working on her MBA in California. Of course his plans never truly materialize as he is hung up with childhood crush Michele. Michele and her boyfriend Bailey (Chase's other ch ...more
Brenda A
Dec 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: borrowed
This book made me cringe a lot. I don't know how, but I wanted to jump in the book and help these lost souls figure out their lives. It's a dark and gritty novel, but I think the description in the flap describes it perfectly: Ultrasophisticated local kids grow up fast and burn out early.

I found that no matter what optimistic thought Chase would come up with I was still waiting for the slide back into the rut. He couldn't break away from the life that he hated, despite Julia giving him the chanc
Mar 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
Chase asks her what time the appointment is booked for. Rachel says, "It's at 11:30 or midnight. He's supposed to call to confirm." She checks her cell. "But I want to be there early." she says.
"Just to be on the safe side."
"There isn't one, Rachel."

And so goes the story of Chase, The Delivery Man. If you've looked at my reading list, you'll see a lot of Vegas related crime fiction. This is another strong entry. Amoral, hedonistic, and fearless. Hey, what else do you want in contemporary f
Dec 26, 2007 marked it as to-read
Marie Claire: The Delivery Man
by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Grove/Black Cat) It's sex, drugs, and a slew of lost souls in this engrossing story of a 25-year-old known only as Chase. An out-of-luck wannabe artist, he retreats to his hometown—that being Vegas, a downward spiral ensues, thanks to madams and more. Since no less a connoisseur of depraved excess than Bret Easton Ellis helped McGinniss Jr. score a publisher, could The Delivery Man be this decade's Less Than Zero?
Karen Germain
Apr 23, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put this book down and read a majority of it in one sitting. It's gritty and even though the circumstances are kind of crazy, I could see people that I know in the characters and this made it real. In a more general sense, I know a lot of people who are like Chase, stuck and drifting. I also just love anything that is set in Vegas, even the slummy side of the city. The ending was perfect. I can't wait for McGinniss to write a new book.
Apr 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
I guess Las Vegas is the last remaining city in the US with enough distinction to sustain multiple, credible sleazy characters at once. Or maybe it's because it's the intersection between traditional seedy/glam and modern McMansion, false boom, Bush-era low-life. Either way, it lends itself to a pretty fesh and believable take on a failing artist trying to sort it all out and his methed-up-hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold.

All told, a very nice, modern novel.
Brandon Tietz
Jul 19, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite
Fantastic book!!

It kind of reminded me of "Less Than Zero" in a Vegas locale, but this is by no means a retread of Ellis. You can see the influence, but McGinniss Jr. stands on his own two feet.

I don't have a bad thing to say about this one.

It's quick, a page-turner, and incredibly well-written. I eagerly await this guy's next one.

Jun 30, 2008 rated it liked it
A novel set in Vegas, centered around high-school and college-age kids, all of whom are involved in drugs and prostitution: not something I would have picked up on my own. It definitely sucked me in though, and I was pulling for Chase to escape the whole way through. The writing is understated and clean.
Nov 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I was young:

I was super into this book because it was vintage feeling and the "myspace era" at the same time. I'm not sure if I would still give it 5 stars.

def. a cautionary tale, however the "good" parts of the story are clearly not what brought these ppl down. the best kind of cautionary tales there are, in my opinion.
Apr 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
I would definitely not recommend this book to anyone. I thought it would be fun to read and interesting. But, it turned out to be centered around the lives of a few people in Vegas who area all a mess, addicted to drugs, some are prostitutes, etc. It is definitely not recommendable, just don't read it, there's nothing to get out of it.
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What's the Name o...: SOLVED. Man in Vegas and his prostitute crush /s 4 133 Oct 17, 2014 04:43PM  

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“...giggling disconnected from humor.” 5 likes
“Chase asks her what time the appointment is booked for. Rachel says, "It's at 11:30 or midnight. He's supposed to call to confirm." She checks her cell. "But I want to be there early." she says.
"Just to be on the safe side."
"There isn't one, Rachel.”
More quotes…