Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Book Review: Gil Brewer, Flight to Darkness (1952)

If Gil Brewer knew one thing, he knew this: Ordinary guys with perpetual erections should stay far, far away from sex-crazed she-devils. He illustrated this point in his debut novel, Satan Is a Woman, and then showed it again in his third novel, 13 French Street. While both novels are well executed, there is never much mystery where they are going. What makes Brewer's fourth novel, Flight to Darkness, more interesting is that his protagonist/narrator, Eric Garth, is not an ordinary guy. Rather, he is a veteran of the Korean War with a tenuous grip on his sanity. In fact, everyone in the novel seems at least a little bit crazy, which can mark it hard for readers to be sure that they ever really understand why anyone is doing anything. And in noir, that can be a good thing. Grade: B+

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