Smith, Rich 1981-

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Smith, Rich 1981-

PERSONAL:

Born 1981. Education: Attending university.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Portreath, Cornwall, England. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer and student. Worked variously as a typist for the British National Health Service and as a yardman at Builder Centre.

WRITINGS:

You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

Rich Smith is a young British author whose debut work, You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree, looks closely at unusual and often completely ridiculous American laws from an often bemused, slyly humorous English perspective.

The premise of the book revolves around Smith's quest to travel to America with his friend, Luke Bateman, locate as many ludicrous laws as they could find, break as many of them as they were able, and see what happened. For example, in Chicago, it is illegal to fish while wearing pajamas; there, Smith and Bateman fished in their nightwear. In Utah, where it is illegal to hunt for whales (notwithstanding the general lack of whales in Utah's waters), the two set out with harpoons. Elsewhere, it is illegal to play cards with Native Americans; ride a bicycle in a pool; peel an orange in a hotel room; sleep on a refrigerator; or wear a goatee. Smith and Bateman gleefully set out on their journey of discovery to find and break all of these oddball laws, in a mischievous and affable way, with the support of several British newspapers seeking a quirky story about the United States. Throughout their travels, they meet numerous eccentric Americans, and discover that even though there are many things about the United States that are wrong, there is also much to like. "This thoroughly enjoyable, occasionally provocative book will delight readers" who have wondered about strange laws, why they came into existence, and why many of them are still on the books, observed Library Journal critic Joseph L. Carlson. "The book is very funny … but it's also quite an eye-opener," commented David Pitt in a Booklist review.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, August 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of You Can Get Arrested for That: 2 Guys, 25 Dumb Laws, 1 Absurd American Crime Spree, p. 19.

Library Journal, August 1, 2006, Joseph L. Carlson, review of You Can Get Arrested for That, p. 111.

ONLINE

Rich Smith Home Page,http://www.rich-smith.net (August 5, 2007).

Rich Smith Web log,http://www.dedicationswhatyouneed.blogspot.com/ (August 5, 2007).

Transworld Web site,http://www.transworld-publishers.co.uk/ (August 5, 2007), biography of Rich Smith.

You Can Get Arrested for That Web site,http://www.randomhouse.com/crown/youcangetarrestedforthat (August 5, 2007).