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'Bad Paper': The book about debt collection is 'fascinating' and 'unexpectedly fun'

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(Read caption) 'Bad Paper' is by Jake Halpern.

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“Fame Junkies” author Jake Halpern’s book “Bad Debt” is earning praise not only for its examination of the world of debt collection but also for making his story accessible and fascinating.

Halpern’s book – through the eyes of a former armed robber and a former executive at a bank – explores how rogue debt collecting occurs. “In the industry, there are often problems with a debt that's being bought and sold,” he told NPR. “And also there's not a ton of regulation going on.” 

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The author is earning critical praise for not only looking at his topic in a worthwhile way but also doing so in a manner that’s interesting and easy to comprehend for the reader. Amazon selected the title, which is being released on Oct. 14, as one of their best books of October and Amazon editorial director Sara Nelson called the work “fascinating.” Jon Foro of Amazon called it “unexpectedly fun” in his review, writing that “how [collections agencies] actually operate is much more interesting than you probably think…. [it falls] somewhere between ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ and ‘Mean Streets.’”

Others agree, with Barnes & Noble awarding the book with an editor’s recommendation, and noting another author’s review that called the book “nonfiction that reads like the finest thriller; by turns, suspenseful, frightening, eye-opening, and even, at time, funny.” 

Publishers Weekly gave it a starred review and Kirkus Reviews wrote that the book is “a dramatic rise-and-fall tale…. Halpern brings unexpected literary heft to the world of debt collection.”

Meanwhile, Harry Charles of St. Louis wrote for Library Journal in a starred review that the book is “colorful and chilling.”


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