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The Burning by Thomas Legendre
The Burning begins with recent economics doctoral graduate, Logan Smith, going to Las Vegas before searching for his first academic job. There he meets, Dallas, a poker dealer and compulsive gambler, who teaches him how to win at cards. They marry and move to Phoenix where he begins teaching. There he meets an attractive astrophysicist named Keris, and perfects his economic theory that the earth is doomed due to overconsumption of natural resources. He needs to present his theory at a major conference, unaware that Dallas has returned to her gambling ways and is draining his bank account. Meanwhile, another economist has his eye on Keris. Thomas Legendre's debut novel has received positive reviews with The Telegraph saying, "Any book which makes me want to find out more about ecological economics in order that I can argue with the central character has succeeded in provoking a strong response. Sex, gambling and saving the world in the desert? The Burning could be the coolest novel of the year."