From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 17 Jun 2006

I just finished Ken Bruen & Jason Starr's Bust and I thought it was a great mix of their writing styles. I have to admit I'm more of a fan of Jason's being that I'm a New Yorker, but the one problem I had with the book (okay, two problems) stem from that fact. Nothing wrong with the book per se, mind you, which is a real page-turner with very three-dimensional low-life characters. It's a good read, one of the best that HCC has issued to date and I highly recommend it.

Okay, that being said . . . there are no spoilers here . . . I had a problem with one element of the plot, which leads to another problem I had with a larger subject of the book--the city of New York. I had a problem with the assumption that one could fire a .38 automatic in an apartment building in NYC and nobody would call the police. New Yorkers may jaded, and might overlook a lot of criminal activity and strange noises and, yes, sometimes even screams, but they can always be counted on to call 911 at the sound of gunfire. New Yorkers know the sound of gunfire and will not mistake what the hear on TV for the real thing nor will they try to appease their consciences by telling themselves that's what it was. It seems highly unlikely that not at least one person would have called the police. I even bought the fact that apparently no one heard the four shots (by my count) inside the townhouse earlier in the book.

This leads to the bigger issue of the portrayal of New York, itself. In most of Jason's work, the city is itself a character. Unfortunately Jason's Twisted City owes more to Tom Wolfe than Thomas Wolfe. I wish there were some more romantic notions about the city in his work to balance the violent and jaded denizens, the tabloids and the rest of the sleaze. Even in film noir the city was portrayed as glamorous and exciting, albeit dangerous.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Jun 2006 EDT