How to Sell: A Novel
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Bobby Clark is just sixteen when he drops out of school to follow his big brother, Jim, into the jewelry business. Bobby idolizes Jim and is in awe of Jim's girlfriend, Lisa, the best saleswoman at the Fort Worth Deluxe Diamond Exchange.
What follows is the story of a young man's education in two of the oldest human passions, love and money. Skilled at the art of persuasion, Bobby is drawn to Lisa, but also to the myriad scams and frauds of the jewelry trade, where the power to appraise also means the power to bait and switch and cheat like hell. Clancy Martin's gripping debut novel takes us behind the counter, where diamonds and watches aren't the only precious commodity.
mother is what is technically called frigid. That’s not an insult, it is a scientific term. It is not her fault. It’s your grandmother. That bitch. She never held her when she was growing up. That’s why you boys have had the problems you have had. She never held you. She couldn’t even hug you when you hurt yourself. It wasn’t her fault. She didn’t know how. In your case, Bobby, she weaned you too soon. It was on an airplane. Because she was embarrassed of her own body. Sad.” “That doesn’t sound
mostly the ugly and the overweight who worked the phones, and two of Sheila’s cousins, twins, who were both in wheelchairs and could not navigate the showcases. “Some of them used to be on the floor,” Jim told me. “Rachel, for example. Then her husband went into the catering business and she put on all that weight. I should have paid to send her to Weight Watchers. She sells three times back here what she ever sold on the floor. That’s why I’m sitting you across from her. When you’re selling,
sitting, to say, Gosh isn’t that nice, a big stack of cash like that, and her chair was empty. So, you know, they don’t have cameras in there,” I said. “I bet they will now,” Lisa said. I wanted to say, Look, I know you need the money, and maybe you could even tell me why. But I did not want to interfere with her love for me in any way at all. I tried to recover control of the conversation. “One thing about me, Lisa, is I was raised by bankrupts. That teaches you not to take property very
with platinum without costing us money. He never broke diamonds, not even the corners on princess cuts. He worked late like Jim and me. But we came in early and we never asked Old John to come in before noon. Often, after the store was closed and everyone else had gone home, he would tell me about his time as a gunner in Vietnam, or his year in prison in Mexico, or the seven years he did at Leavenworth, in Kansas, where he learned to be a jeweler. It’s a fact many people don’t know, that most
had been climbing into it and then, when she got to her middle, her hips, became discouraged and decided to lie there, bent over in half. I pulled her out. She did not look dead to me. I knew I should perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on her but the bottom parts of her face were not available. Her right eye, no, not her right eye, her left eye was out of its socket. Under her hair I could see a large part of her bruised brain. I tried to fold her arms around my shoulders. To lift her up, to