January 8th, 2009

there!, Hello

The dog was suffering, mainly from old age.

So it begins! The first book I've read this year.

1) Straight Cut by Madison Smart Bell (2006, Hard Case Crime, 256 pages)

A book that takes the sort of literary approach to a crime story that Grahame Greene did with The Third Man, this novels follows a film editor (and regular reader of philosopher Soren Kierkegaard), to Italy, where he grapples with an awful film, an estranged wife who flits in and out of his life, and a sealed bag that might contain large quantities of cash (intended for illegal purposes) or substances of an illegal nature. This is the only Hard Case Crime paperback (a reprint of a novel published in 1986) featuring blurbs from such renowned critics as Harold Bloom.

I rather enjoyed the reading experience. By shifting the attention from simplistic plot twists and linear narrative, this thriller finds a solid home as an existential character study. There are plenty of fine plot moments, of course, but for my money the real meat of the book is in the interplay of thought and action, of character and language.