Sunday, July 29, 2018

Book Review: DOWN TO NO GOOD by Earl Javorsky

Earl Javorsky's third novel, and second in his "Charlie Miner series, Down to No Good, is hopefully the sign of great things to come. The book itself is written in a hard-bitten style though the story revolves around a very real--and a very fake--spiritualism. When writers try to bring hard-boiled prose to other genres, Javorsky's done what they're trying to achieve. The plot could kick into full steam sooner and allow itself to grow more complex, but for the sheer joy of reading a no-nonsense, existentialist nearly hard-boiled prose, Down to No Good is as hard to beat as it is to put down.

Pretty good stuff, people. If you're in the mood for discovering someone new, here's a guy on a plate....

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Quick Book Review: JACK WATERS by Scott Adlerberg

Back from New York, the Noir @ the Bar was a lot of fun--best crowd I've seen at the Shade bar in the Village--and my car is even out of the shop. It shot craps coming back from Florida a couple of weeks ago and when I finally got two mechanics to get it back on the road, the check engine light came on. One of the problems was the catalytic converter had gone bad, they said.

"No," I told them. "I just had it replaced in January."

"This is the other one."

"There's TWO?"

I hate cars. And the check engine light had come on for two problems, one of which needed the dealer. And then there was a problem with the steering, but that came from the catalytic converter the first mechanic had used. Fortunately they put a factory replacement in and all is well and while I still hate cars, I like that someone actually cared enough about customer service to eat the additional cost to do a job right and keep a customer happy.

Anyway, I'm in the midst of people waiting on me for things, so here is a review I posted on Amazon for Scott Adlerberg's latest, Jack Waters. Stylistically, Scott makes brilliant choices and I cannot remember the last time I felt I learned something artistically from someone else's novel. Of course it's happened, and happened a lot, it's just been a long while. And then comes this gem.

Really cool stuff. And they make great gifts.

The very best lessons often come as epiphanies, and in JACK WATERS, Adlerberg has taught me something wonderful with his book about style. "Show, don't tell" is not just a cliched rule or advice for a writer, it exists as an aphorism because it is--I thought--more or less a universal truth. With this book, Adlerberg "tells" the entire book, with very little "showing," and he pulls it off brilliantly. From the beginning he made me realize that this is how fairy tales and myths are told, this is how legends are told and re-told in the oral tradition. Whatever inspired Adlerberg to write this book in this style was a masterstroke and deserves to be not only read widely, but written about as well.