Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Monday, July 5, 2010
Book Review: Benjamin Appel, Brain Guy (1934)
When the oxymoronic title character of Brain Guy loses his job as a "rent" collector, he responds by clawing his way higher on the hoodlum food chain. The story of Bill Trent's rise may be as compelling as that of Rico in W. R. Burnett's Little Caesar, but Benjamin Appel's writing is not in the same class, hedging its bets between hardboiled colloquial and overwrought purple while mixing in a healthy dose of sloppy metaphors. A near miss that needed a good editor. Grade: C+
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.