Saturday, February 23, 2008

Book Review: Max Allan Collins, The Last Quarry (2006)

One problem with contemporary noir is that the freedom to curse openly and describe sex explicitly can make writers lazy. In The Last Quarry, for example, there is nothing even remotely sexy about it when Quarry pauses to describe the nipple measurements of the book's two female characters, and the actual sex scenes read like stale Penthouse Forum. This book is far from the worst that Hard Case Crime has published (see Stephen King for that), but noir writers should at least aspire to be Raymond Chandler or Jim Thompson or [insert name of great noir writer of your choice here], even if they can't quite pull it off. The saying, I believe, is that your reach must exceed your grasp, etc., etc. Grade: D+

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