"Diofebi is an irreverent and audacious new voice."- Susan Choi, National Book Award-Winning author of TRUST EXERCISE
"Vegas has been right there forever, waiting for a great novelist, and Dario Diofebi has come dealing nothing but aces."--Darin Strauss, NBCC Award-Winning author of HALF A LIFE
From an exhilarating new literary voice--the story of four transplants braving the explosive political tensions behind the deceptive, spectacular, endlessly self-reinventing city of Las Vegas.
On Friday, May 1st, 2015 a bomb detonates in the infamous Positano Luxury Resort and Casino, a mammoth hotel (and exact replica of the Amalfi coast) on the Las Vegas Strip.
Six months prior, a crop of strivers converge on the desert city, attempting to make a home amidst the dizzying lights: Ray, a mathematically-minded high stakes professional poker player; Mary Ann, a clinically depressed cocktail waitress; Tom, a tourist from the working class suburbs of Rome, Italy; and Lindsay, a Mormon journalist for the Las Vegas Sun who dreams of a literary career. By chance and by design, they find themselves caught up in backroom schemes for personal and political power, and are thrown into the deep end of an even bigger fight for the soul of the paradoxical town.
A furiously rowdy and ricocheting saga about poker, happiness, class, and selflessness, Paradise, Nevada is a panoramic tour of America in miniature, a vertiginously beautiful systems novel where the bloody battles of neo-liberalism, immigration, labor, and family rage underneath Las Vegas' beguiling and strangely benevolent light. This exuberant debut marks the beginning of a significant career.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
This thrilling novel gives us an insider’s view of the gritty reality behind Las Vegas’ neon. On the night that a bomb rips through a luxury resort casino, four strangers’ lives slam into each other in ways they could never have imagined. Going back in time, we discover the strange paths that led a poker whiz, a cocktail waitress, an investigative journalist, and an Italian tourist to converge on the Strip on this unforgettable night. It’s clear that first-time author Dario Diofebi, a former professional poker player, is intimately familiar with the world of high-stakes gambling and the hard-luck stories that happen behind the scenes. His exquisitely detailed descriptions make the story feel incredibly real—from a detailed breakdown of a good poker hand to a stunning description of a casino’s bright colors fading in the relentless desert sunlight. Quirky, compelling, and raw, Paradise, Nevada is a sure bet.
Diofebi's sprawling, eloquent debut follows four characters whose lives converge in Las Vegas. On the night of Friday, May 1, 2015, a bomb goes off in the Positano Luxury Resort and Casino. Six months earlier, four people separately arrived in Las Vegas: Ray, a professional poker player from one of those "rare American households where moneymaking was not considered of value in and of itself"; Mary Ann, a depressed cocktail waitress from Mississippi; Tom, an Italian tourist who came to play poker after letting his tourist visa expire; and Lindsay, a Mormon journalist for whom storytelling has been "the one constant in her ever-changing set of ideas about her future." All four characters are at the Positano during the explosion, having desperately pursued their hustles to varying degrees of success . Rather than a central plot, Diofebi pieces together a revealing mosaic of the city. In between he lays bare the cold machinations of casino operators, such as a series of layoffs of nonunion female employees revealed in an exposé by Lindsay, the fallout described by Diofebi with scathing precision. With intelligence and empathy, Diofebi delivers a powerful and unapologetic slice of Americana.