Skip to main content Skip to search Skip to search

Fiction Literary

One Good Hustle

by (author) Billie Livingston

Publisher
Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Jul 2012
Category
Literary
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780307359889
    Publish Date
    Jul 2012
    List Price
    $22.95
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780307359896
    Publish Date
    Jun 2013
    List Price
    $19.95

Add it to your shelf

Where to buy it

Description

From award-winning writer Billie Livingston, an unsparing novel of loyalty and survival that is fierce, sharp and funny even when it's breaking your heart.
 
The child of 2 con artists, 16-year-old Sammie Bell always prided herself on knowing the score. But now she finds herself backed into a corner. After a hustle gone dangerously wrong, her mother, Marlene, is sliding into an abyss of alcoholic depression, spending her days fantasizing aloud about death--a goal Sammie is tempted to help her accomplish. Horrified by the appeal of this, Sammie packs a bag and leaves her mother to her own devices.
 
With her father missing in action, she has nowhere else to go but the home of a friend with 2 parents who seem to actually love their daughter and each other--and who awkwardly try to extend some semblance of family to Sammie. Throughout a long summer of crisis among the normals, Sammie is torn between her longing for the approval of the con-man father she was named for and her desire for the "weird, spearmint-fresh feeling" of life in the straight world. Sammie wants to be normal but fears that where she comes from makes that beyond the realm of possibility.
 
One Good Hustle chronicles 2 months in Sammie Bell's struggle with her dread that she is somehow doomed genetically to be just another hustler.

About the author

Billie Livingston has published short fiction and poetry in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. She is the author of Going Down Swinging (Random House, 2000) and winner of This Magazine's 2000 Short Story Contest. Born in Toronto, Billie now lives in Vancouver where she writes, works in the film industry, and collaborates on various projects as a member of The Seven Sisters Writing Group(www.sevensisterswritinggroup.com).

Billie Livingston's profile page

Awards

  • Nominated, Scotiabank Giller Prize

Editorial Reviews

LONGLIST 2012 – SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE

“You must read Billie Livingston…. Sammie is smart, mouthy, literate and articulate, and she compels you to listen.”
The Globe and Mail
 
“Very involving…. Livingstone portrays Sammie’s internal conflict with devastating precision…. Great storytelling.”
NOW (Toronto) NNNN
 
“I loved, just loved One Good Hustle.”
—Susie Moloney, Numéro Cinq
 
“First-rate storytelling.”
The Georgia Straight
 
“Billie Livingston has the knack of portraying teenage life in a way that is unerring and intimate.”
Toronto Star
?“Entertaining, thoughtful & perfectly crass from page 1, character is steady & strong — Written feverishly: a primal scream.”
The One Line Review
 
“Stuck in a rough hustle, the sensitive daughter of two con artists uses badass honesty and wit to survive. Funny, sharp and tender, One Good Hustle delivers a gritty page-turner about what happens when love and loyalty collide with self-preservation.”
—Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach and Blood Sports

“What a joy to read a work so brave and unsettling. Billie Livingston holds nothing back: the terrors of teenage life; the charm of criminals; and the innocence and anger of girls on the run. Sammie Bell is Holden Caulfield, if he was born on the wrong side of the tracks and wandering through Vancouver streets.”
—Rebecca Godfrey, author of The Torn Skirt and Under the Bridge: The True Story of the Murder of Reena Virk
“In One Good Hustle, Billie Livingston once again masterfully deploys her edgy wit to create a perfectly pitched adolescent voice, an unforgettable heroine whose scam artist toughness is matched only by her yearning for authenticity. A great read from start to finish.”
—Lilian Nattel, author of Web of Angels

User Reviews

A Wholly Believable Heroine

The heroine in One Good Hustle -- teenage Sammie Bell -- is as authenticly exasperatng as they come. Having worked in a juvenile detention centre for several years, I recognized her challenges and triumphs as being absolutely true to life -- a testament to Billie Livingston's ability to render wholly believable characters. I wanted to simultaneously shake and hug Sammie into her senses. And after I put the book down, I wanted to call her up and check in on her.

Other titles by Billie Livingston

Related lists