Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Book Review: Bill S. Ballinger, The Tooth and the Nail (1955)
It's the gimmick that keeps on giving. As I described in my review of Bill S. Ballinger's Portrait in Smoke, the author's narrative method is deceptively simple: First-person chapters alternate with third-person chapters with each narrative line raising questions about the other until the plot elements fuse at the end of the book. This time out, the first-person story of magician Lew Mountain alternates with the third-person story of a murder trial--but who is on trial for killing whom? And how exactly does Lew Mountain figure into the court case? The answers are great fun to discover. Grade: A-
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.