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The Deed

The Deed

A Novel

A hip and hilarious debut novel about a twentysomething guy searching for love, for meaning...and for a long-lost deed that could make him heir to the island of Manhattan

Meet Jason Hansvoort, a single New Yorker with a curious knack for surviving near-death experiences. Wistful about college, apprehensive about the future, he's currently flailing around in post-college limbo as low man on the totem pole at one of Madison Avenue's "Big Five" ad agencies, impatiently waiting for the Next Thing to happen.
And then one day he's approached by Amanda, an attractive young law student and one of the last members of the Manahata, the Native American tribe who sold Manhattan Island to the Dutch almost four hundred years ago. She's spent years on the trail of a lost document that supposedly gave ownership of Manhattan to a seventeenth-century benefactor and all his descendants. She believes Jason's the last of this line...and therefore heir to the island of Manhattan and everything on it. If they can find the deed, that is. Jason's skeptical...but enchanted enough to play along.
If Jason and Amanda can indeed locate the deed, the consequences will be tremendous and far reaching: grave for millions of landowners and mortal for every title insurance company on the Eastern seaboard. There are literally billions at stake, and when a dysfunctional New York City crime family looking for a big break picks up the scent, it places Jason's streak of surviving near-death experiences in peril.
Informed by Blanchard's gift for dead-on observation and pitch-perfect ear for dialogue, The Deed heralds the arrival of a fresh comic voice in contemporary literary fiction.
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743245678 | 
  • March 2003
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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

MANHATTAN, 1999

THURSDAY, 9:05 A.M.

COLUMBUS CIRCLE


As Jason Hansvoort stepped off the curb and into the path of the oncoming taxi, his eyes never wavered. From a park bench on the far side of the street dangled a pair of female legs, sweetly agape, their northern reaches discreetly sheathed in a slack blue-jean wrap skirt. It was this steadily improving celestial view that had blotted out all earthly considerations; a last, curious image absurdly poised to fizzle with his soul into universal static at the crush of metal and bone.

Had Jason peripherally glimpsed the yellow behemoth... see more

About the Author

Keith Blanchard
Photo Credit: Mary Ellen Matthews

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