Carmel writes this comparatively simple narrative with an appealing wit and directness . . . . At the center of it all is Zolly, a wonderfully realized fictional creation whose multifaceted portrayal grounds the entire book. An intelligent and involving novel ....(Kirkus Review)
Meet Zolly Berns, a middle-aged hustler who lands in jail when he refuses to give evidence against customers of his Rush Street bar. The feds pressure Zolly's testimony by sending him to a coed prison--the Federal Correctional Institution, Lexington, Kentucky, where the government housed non-violent male and female offenders in a park-like setting where sex and cynicism mirrored life on the street.
Zolly's comic exploration of the human condition ultimately surprises him with what he finds both around him and within himself. A spiritual journey is related from the perspective of a man who knows all the angles until he stumbled on one that cuts to the heart in this new religious fiction.