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Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite
Arik Kaplan, the author of Mayhem, Murder, and Marijuana says that his name is a pen name. That is a very good idea. I believe this book is based on true events and real people. Maybe everything didn’t happen exactly like it is portrayed in this novel, but somehow, at some time, these things happened. I believe that because I have met people like these. I have witnessed similar messed-up situations and even done similar dumb things. I kept waiting for some portion of this book to not ring true. I kept waiting for a mistake, something that would tell me that this was just a good writer with a great imagination, but the story was just made up. I didn’t find that mistake. From Davos in the Philippines, to Las Vegas, to Los Angeles, all places I have been in my life, Arik Kaplan told it like I remembered it. This book is awesome! It gave me the same feeling I got reading my first Elmore Leonard novel.
The plot of Mayhem, Murder, and Marijuana is good. It’s going to make an awesome movie, and I have no doubt that someone will acquire the rights. I hope it’s the same person that placed John Travolta in Get Shorty. The plot is good, but the characters are even better. They are so diverse, but oh so real. They are portrayed here with a master’s touch. You will love them. You will hate them. You will laugh at them and you will cry for them. I loved this book. It was the best surprise I’ve had in a long time. I can’t wait to see it on the big screen. I hope the director does it as much justice as Arik Kaplan did.