If you walk into a bar and hear a bunch of guys wondering about why angels have to sit on clouds “as if they don’t got chairs in heaven,” you’re probably in a Dortmunder novel. If the guys are hunched over their drinks with that 1000-yard stare that suggests that therapy is no longer an option, and the bar looks like that section of the socialist realist mural where the workers have been utterly shafted by the plutocrats, you’re reading the most exacting critique of the overfed, distracted unproductive children of America since Schumpeter.
Alternatively, you could just be a tourist having a real New York Experience, like spending 40 minutes in a Central Park buggy behind a farting horse.
Dortmunder, Kelp, Tiny, Stan and Stan’s mother, are crooks but they are crooks with values. Unlike the new huge indoor population who prop up and support a huge, useless service industry and its reality hacks. What, after all, happens to real thieves when property is virtual?