You know what’s a crime? Too many books, so little time to read them. Hence the reason why I try my best to be selective and just read books which I’m one hundred percent sure I will enjoy. Life’s too short for boring books. Clichés aside, and try as I may, every once in a while though I come across a stinker. I don’t like to write bad reviews about the hard work of my fellow writers, but sometimes. Whoa nelly-stinks on ice pal-o-mine. I’m sure lots of folks feel the same way about my own output, that’s okay because at the end of the day (Damn I’m full of clichés today) It all comes down to taste. Okay, well since I filled out my cliché quota for the day; on to my take on a few books I’ve read recently.
The Mammoth Book of Pulp Fiction.
Edited by Maxim Jakubowski with 33 hard-boiled stories by Dashiell Hammett, Donald Westlake, Mickey Spillane, John D. MacDonald, Jim Thompson, and many more.
Granted, I’m still reading this little brick of a book. Read three stories so far, and it pains me to say that I’m not impressed. I’m not moved by it; however the introduction is fucking stellar. Here’s the beginning of that introduction by Editor Maxim Jukubowski.
There is no such thing as Pulp Fiction. Sweeping assertion, hey? And, I suppose, a perfect touch of controversy to open a volume which I hope you will find full of surprise, action, shock galore, sound and fury, pages bursting with all the exhilarating speed bumps of a rollercaster ride. Which is what the best story telling provides. So long live Pulp Fiction!
Long live indeed. And then he goes into a brief history of pulp and how it touches every single form of literature and entertainment. From its inception until the modern age; it’s a fantastic little piece of history. Three stories in though and I’m having my doubts; maybe is because I like my pulp with modern touches? I don’t know. I do have 31stories to go so; I guess I shouldn’t dismiss it at first crack? Who knows things might just take a turn for the better; I might come across those surprises the editor talks about. Will review the stories individually provided I’m move to do so. Stay tune. Now on to other reviews.
The Shark-infested Custard by Charles Willeford.
Four self-absorbed, womanizing, borderline sociopathic bachelors inhabit this novel. There’s raunchy sexual content, burst of violence and sprinkles of racism. Set in the Miami of the 1970’s (which makes some details seem dated.) Best enjoyed by middle-aged men and I get the sense that women will not find this novel cute, endearing or funny. (Kinda like the stuff I write—I’m working on it though.)
The novel has an odd structure, with lots of descriptive filler as though the Author just wanted to hit a word count; then again lots of authors seem to do that—which bugs me.
Didn’t love it, didn’t hate it. I really like the author but I think this is one of his weakest.
Make Me by Lee Child.
I enjoy a Reacher novel every now and then. In this one, Alpha Male Jack Reacher feels the hurt in a few pages—or so—which makes him come across as ‘human’ for once—ha! I digress. Lee Child is a brilliant writer, pacer and researcher, but he tends to describe every nook and cranny. Every minutia, which just makes me skip page after page. A matter of taste I supposed.
All in all a good read.
In other news.
It looks like I will be releasing my short novel DESPERADOS in early June. The book is all done but the editor I work with is so damn busy that that’s the earliest she could do for me (sad face.) Get ready to be happy though because there’s going to be a 9,000+ words Short Story coming your way soon. Yep, is gonna be FREE (If I can figure a way to do that.)
That’s my report from life in marginalia. Be well you crazy kids.