RARA-AVIS: Recent reads -- Joe Connelly: Crumbtown

From: Karin Montin ( kmontin@sympatico.ca)
Date: 02 Jul 2004

People were discussing Connellys recently; I can't remember if there were two or three and I can't find the thread in the archives (too soon?).

So I picked up Crumbtown at the library. This Connelly is a former New Yorker. His first novel was Bringing Out the Dead; this is the second.

Bank robber Don Reedy has been released from prison on "TV parole," meaning he has to act as a consultant for a crime show, like many other parolees. The assistant producer (or someone like that) doubles as his parole officer. I can just see it happening. The story is set in an imaginary suburb of New York. Most of the real stores, bars and restaurants serve as TV and movie sets. It gets so it's hard to tell what's really happening and what's being staged. Even the actors and real people get confused.

There's a fairly comprehensive review and plot summary here. http://www.popmatters.com/books/reviews/c/crumbtown.shtml The reviewer doesn't seem to like the satirical angle, but I enjoyed it immensely. I loved the names of the streets and cars and drinks. No product placement here: all the brands are made up.

I found this essay Joe Connelly wrote on moving to the Adirondacks and writing his books very interesting: http://www.adirondacklife.com/template/ArticleDetail/assetid/28822 (halfway down the page)

He's slightly more articulate and cogent than Trevor and his pal.


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