Pulp poems, book reviews, and other tidbits from the noirboiled world
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Book Review: Peter Cheyney, Poison Ivy (1937)
Lemmy Caution, American "G" man, is the creation of Peter Cheyney, a British writer who made a bundle with his ersatz hardboiled writing. The plot of Poison Ivy, the second Caution novel, deals with the mob's attempt to rob a bullion shipment headed from New York to England, but the main thing readers (especially American readers) are likely to remember after finishing this book is Caution's over-the-top, unintentionally parodic (at least I think it's unintentional) narrative voice. As a literary creation, Caution is so bad that he is almost entertaining. I can imagine someone wanting to read a second Caution novel, but I can't imagine someone wanting to read a third. Grade: D+
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.