FOREIGN GODS, INC. is one of those rare books that has you laughing and crying at different intervals. It is well-written, excellently characterized and the story line is near perfect. I enjoyed this reading experience immensely.
The titular novices of Marcus Sakeyâs recent novel, THE AMATEURS, are four friends, three men and one woman, who band together against the frigidity of Chicagoâs winters and the loneliness of urban life to form the Thursday Night Drinking Club. But amateur drinkers these four are not â experts in the art of throwing back martinis, the first thing any of these four do in a time of crisis is reach for a bottle of vodka. If only the same could be said for their foray into the criminal underworld.
Imagine a kick-ass action flick–say one starring that perennial crowd-pleaser, Bruce Willis, and then imagine the source material, and youâd just about have an image of Duane Swierczynskiâs latest book, FUN AND GAMES. This is the first entry in the Charlie Hardie trilogy. HELL AND GONE follows in October 2011, and the third novel, POINT AND SHOOT is scheduled for publication in March 2012. FUN AND GAMES delves into the old Hollywood story that studio fixers leap in to stabilize publicity nightmares. This legend has bounced around Hollywood for decades and still lingers over the deaths of notables such as Jean Harlowâs husband, Paul Bern.
Well-known for his Simeon Grist and Poke Rafferty Bangkok series, Tim Hallinan introduces a new series character in CRASHED. Junior Bender is a top-of-the-line crook, hired for specific jobs, and pretty much working when his child support payments come due. Junior is also a private investigator, and most of the time, he works for the down-and-out, the underdog and/or those who canât defend themselves. In essence, heâs a burglar with a good heart.
Struggling writer and coffee barista, Ian Minot, is frustrated and depressed. For one thing, he just canât seem to write the kind of stories that will get the publishing worldâs attention. After all, Ian knows, his life isnât as glamorous as his Romanianâs girlfriendâs Anya Petrescu, whose travails under Ceausescu, has landed her an attractive publishing contract. In a snide reference to the New Yorkerâs 40 Under 40 list, Ian points out that âAnya had recently been named one of American Reviewâs â31 Most Promising Writers Under 31.â This year, I was too old to qualify,â he adds.
For me, P. G. Wodehouse and eighth grade totally belong together. I spent all of eighth grade reading whatever Wodehouse I could get my hands on and totally inhabited the lives of Bertie Wooster, Jeeves and Blandings Castle. I still remember my friends and I writing letters to each other in the Wodehouse style: âHow are you? Hope youâre in the pink of h.â That sort of stuff.
That instantly recognizable style of writing is also here in AUNTS AREN’T GENTLEMENâone of the many Wodehouse novels re-released by Overlook Press on the 25th anniversary of his death. This is a Jeeves caper, which means the stoic butler is again rescuing his employer, Bertie Wooster, from comically sticky situations.