Thursday, September 25, 2008

Book Review: P. J. Wolfson, Bodies Are Dust (1931)

Part of the story of police inspector Buck Safiotte. I say part of the story because Bodies Are Dust does not have a neat plot of the beginning-middle-end variety. The novel begins seemingly at random in the middle of Safiotte's sordid life--characters enter the story in a confusing, half-explained way--and most of what follows lacks any kind of moral center. Indeed, reading Bodies Are Dust made me feel unclean, which is no easy trick for a novel published 1931. And while the end of the book may not bring a full sense of closure, it serves as a fitting coda to the world that P. J. Wolfson portrays. Bodies Are Dust is not noir for the weak of spirit. It shines an ugly, messy light on an ugly, messy world. Grade: A-

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