Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Friday, May 22, 2009
Book Review: Charlie Huston, The Shotgun Rule (2007)
The second half of Charlie Huston's dedication for The Shotgun Rule points to the subject of his novel: "To the kids who don't know any better. / The ones with the attitude problems. / What the hell are they thinking? / Man, believe me, they aren't. / That's the point. / We never do." In general, subjects who don't think (and idiot teenagers in particular) are a better subject for sociologists than novelists. And if the "point" of Huston's novel were nothing more than the fact that some kids never think, then it would be a waste of time. But even if the four kids at the center of The Shotgun Rule never really do think, they nevertheless achieve enough depth as characters--especially during the novel's extended climax--to make this a richer story than I had expected. Grade: B
Memo to Charlie Huston or his editor or his publisher or anyone in a position to fix a simple problem: Please fix the botched cultural reference on page 128. Face Dances is an album by The Who, not The Rolling Stones.
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.