Saturday, August 28, 2010

Book Review: Gil Brewer, Sugar (1959)

Gil Brewer's novels of the late 1950s are sort of like a bag of Hershey bars: As you're eating them, you know they're not the best chocolate in the world, but they're consistent, and you'll like them just fine if you don't eat them all at once. Like Brewer's other novels of the period, Sugar is noir from the Everyman school: Jess Cotton is an ordinary guy, struggling to make a living sell air conditioners. But even before temptation falls into his lap, he has already decided that he will do anything, legal or not, that has a big enough pay-off. Then comes the title character, a missing suitcase full of money, and noir. Of Brewer's novels published in 1958-1959, Sugar is a cut slightly below The Bitch, The Vengeful Virgin, and Wild to Possess. A somewhat scare Brewer title, but worth it if you can find a reading copy. Grade: C+

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