Written by Al Dente with Tony Masone
Screw the odds: A story from the LA arts underground
Book Review by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony

At a recent "Gallery at the End of the World" art showing, my raffle ticket was drawn. Ben McGinty presented me with a wall of framed drawings and paintings from which to choose my art prize. I pointed at a book "Screw the Odds" on the shelf below.

As if to one-up this all too apropos artsy-book acquisition, I read it downtown during Artwalk LA at my own book-signing booth. (Doesn't say much for the traffic at my table, that I read this book cover to cover.)

Generally, a pleasure. Al Dente or Mac (whoever penned this thing) writes with all the color of an outside insider. He's a young creative mind, interested in the fire-spitting underground dwellers that peel back the faceless makeup, botox, and glitz of LA/Hollywood to drink up the night and bbq the big meats in crusty bars and "low brow" art stops.

His language is genuine street level, with a mildly searching tone. And while, personally I'm not a beer drinker or pot smoker, he takes me along with him as friend. He exposes the city's contrasting citizens. On one hand, the endlessly amusing rich kids whose conversations can't rise above topics of cars and shoes, to the working joes struggling to turn a dime, a date, or simply find life in the moment.

Ever meandering, you might be expecting a build to some sort of a tighter focus. Search not, the book actually becomes looser as it tangents a bit longer near the end -- especially regarding Mushball.

Still, over all, the author makes of himself an endearing friend with a sincere love for those that surround and define him. You'll enjoy his company and find curious his journey breaking into the seedier sides of LA.

Read more Book Reviews by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony.

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Copyright © 1998-2023 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at HollywoodReportCard.com, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: www.RossAnthony.com or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Wednesday, 29-Feb-2012 13:44:28 PST