Book Review: How To Sell by Clancy Martin

Clancy Martin’s debut novel is a truthful confessional that you just don’t hear too often and for that reason alone is worth a read. Bobby Clark is the the jewel slanging, hooker banging star of the show. The book begins with Bobby moving to the United States from Canada after he is dissed by his high school and his girlfriend. He chooses to live with his money hungry brother in Dallas Fort Worth as opposed to his father in Florida and his life is forever changed by this decision. Bobby’s education in life, love, and money come from his experiences in the jewelry store in downtown Fort Worth he started working in as a kid. Over the course of a dozen or so Christmas eves, Bobby transforms into a shell of the man he was supposed to be. The novel ends and the story wraps with a tragedy that forces Bobby into manhood.
Love and money have played foolish tricks on him.

Martin writes simply, allowing his characters to live in the heads of the readers as we imagine them. His story is Shakespearan in its commentary on family values and relationships, Fitzgerald-like in its depiction of the upper middle class and its scrupulous behavior, not too mention a Gatsby-like climax. And when it happens, you know its got nothing to do with love. And you realize this was no love story. There aren’t too many books that confess so honestly the evils that men do when money is involved. You might not like the characters, but you’ll appreciate that they didn’t lie to you.

— Ryan Mega


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