Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Friday, February 15, 2008
Book Review: Madison Smartt Bell, Straight Cut (1986)
Straight Cut is narrated by Tracy, a freelance film editor with a fondness for Kierkegaard. Intellectualism is not uncommon in noir fiction, and when it is done well, it can enhance a narrative with an added vein of dark poetry. In the case of Straight Cut, however, the narrator's philosophizing serves only to make a tedious narrative even more tedious. Tracy, who is at least not UN-likeable, is invovled in a love triangle (and other things) with his self-absorbed ex-wife Lauren and his creepy sometimes-best friend Kevin. As the narrative progresses--and it progresses SLOWLY--it is difficult to fathom why Tracy would ever have wanted anything to do with either one of them. Most interesting part of the book: the extended descriptions of the techincal aspects of film cutting and editing. Grade: F+
A: Excellent. I intend to read it again. B: Good. I might read it again. C: So-so. I didn't mind reading it. D: Bad. I resented reading it. F: Atrocious. I finished it only because I'm compulsive that way.