Recent high school graduate and college bound honor student, John Smith is the perfect American boy - a straight A student, championship athlete, and good to his dying mother. There’s just one hitch, he kills people for money using the business guide from his New Orleans high school’s Young Entrepreneur’s Club, hence the title of the book, “The Young Entrepreneur’s Club.”
Told in the first person and beginning with the disclaimer, “not a word of this is true,” John describes his progression to killer for hire with such insight, detail and, even humor, that the reader gets an unsettling sense of how easily it could be factual. Starting with a vignette about killing a bully who had been torturing him, his next divulgence describes a childhood friend with cancer who wants to die, but is afraid of going to hell, followed by: a sexual predator, a mafia figure (his first as a paid enterprise) and finally culminates in the contract murder of a Louisiana politician. Along the way, he evokes a “Swiftian” examination of the violent American psyche and how its manifestations in mass killing, gun violence and more can’t be definitively solved with reactionary tactics, but by an anticipatory understanding of the root nature of us all.