Stoner crime spree

Crime might not pay, but then neither does unemployment. This simple truth is all it takes for the affable stoners at the center of Iain Levison’s third novel to draft a bong-water-soaked plan that will enable them to steal their way to financial security. Unfortunately, there’s not much worth taking in their depressed Pennsylvania industrial town, a situation which forces them to make a premature leap from petty to not-so-petty theft. Levison keeps the tone light and the plot refreshingly realistic for a crime caper. Far from the high-tech secret agents of popular spy novels, these below-average Joes are continually tripped up by the sort of security devices and logistical issues that most of the rest of us wouldn’t see coming, either—even if we weren’t stoned. It’s a fun escape for anyone struggling with career options in this endlessly tanking economy.