In Tony D'Souza's new novel, Mule: A Novel of Moving Weight, we meet James and Kate, a young couple hit hard by the recession who resort to transporting primo pot for little fun and lots of profit. The book's smooth-sailing pace and eye for detail make it read almost like nonfiction. James' obsession with not getting pulled over on the road makes for a white-knuckle read at times — which is a thrilling thing when it's someone else's future potentially ruined. Sample: “Back in the car, I sat in the parking lot with the engine off, took some deep breaths. I was in a rental and couldn't refuse a search. Of course that was true. Why was I such an idiot? I'd have to have my story ready in case I got pulled over.” Upwardly mobile young people stooping to desperate measures normally reserved for the underclass? Could that really happen? Book Soup, 8818 Sunset Blvd., W. Hlywd.; Fri., Sept. 30, 7 p.m.; free, book is $14.95. (310) 659-3110,

Fri., Sept. 30, 7 p.m., 2011

LA Weekly