From: Michael Robison ( miker_zspider@yahoo.com)
Date: 08 Jul 2004

John Lau wrote:

what do you LIKE about this book? I picked it up when everybody was talking about it, it finally made its way to the top of my TBR. by page 26 I was so disenchanted with the man's self-conscious prose style I started skimming. I'm around page 50 something and think I'll put it down for good. it's not in the least bit involving, just seems to be a wallow in ugliness. if it doesn't get any better when I try it again tonight, I'm done with the guy.

************* Glad to answer your question, John.

A lot of people deplored his style as excessive, garish, and childish. I liked the way Teran ran freewheeling with the language. I thought he invoked powerful visual images. Some of the more outrageous similes and metaphors I took to be tongue-in-cheek humor that served as counter-balance to the horrific subject.

A lot of people thought the characters thin and unconvincing. I thought the characters were forcefully drawn and that Teran convincingly evolved the two main characters, Case and Bob, through the novel.

A lot of people thought the plot was flat. I thought it was a powerful, moving, and exciting story of a walking-dead man and a damaged girl fighting their way through hell to seek redemption.

Of all the many reviews I've read of GOD IS A BULLET, I am surprised at how very little commentary there is on his heavy-handed symbolism. I thought it enriched the reading experience.

I liked the way Teran broke loose from the tired Freudian framework that's a noir standard and opted instead for a Jungian viewpoint.

A lot of people found the ulta-violence gratuitous and cheap. I thought it fit the framework of the novel perfectly. I liked his stand on vigilantism. One of my big complaints about hardboiled is its tendency to romanticize and glorify taking the law into one's own hands, without making clear the moral ambiguity. Teran definitely glorifies a lot of violence, but he pushes it beyond the acceptable and makes the moral ambiguity strikingly obvious.

I like the philosophical overtones. At the beginning of the book Bob is a man who has sunk into inaction. Spurred by his daughter's kidnapping, Bob watches as his beliefs crumble around him into an existential void. Case helps him regain his life through action.


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