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on Aug. 14, 2010 :
Just because you are paranoid and have an over-active imagination, doesn't mean that you won't be drugged and forced to take part in bizzare, ritualistic sex acts with rodents. Or maybe it does. This is the tale of Brennan Frick, an intelligent, high-strung young man who decides to leave everything behind for a fresh start as a reporter in Biloxi, Mississippi. Along the way he befriends Les, a man who is larger than life in both the physical and metaphorical sense. (Though at the same time, he manages to be somehow familiar, like some bombastic favorite uncle.) Together, they take on the evasive and somewhat mysterious Vietnamese immigrant community, some wicked and depraved young future republicans, and the society of the sickeningly weathly elites at the very top of the Pittsburgh social pyramid.
Silva clearly takes delight in interesting wordcraft, constructing his sentences much like his scenes and images with some of the potency of Lovecraft mixed in with some of the farce and absurdity of Kennedy Toole. The story itself has many of these elements, but with more of a (for lack of a better term) "literary" slant, in that he actually takes the time at certain points to engage in the lost art of character development, which adds depth to the experience. It is hard to make a direct comparison of this rather unique style, but you can definitely tell his influences if you've previously read "Confederacy of Dunces" or "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."
This novel is silly, insane, exciting, and fun. It is clearly the product of a diseased mind, and I badly want to read more. Brazen may be a bit too literary to be subjected to a traditional sequel, (one never knows) but Jason Silva is definitely one to watch.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on July 09, 2010 :
BRAZEN by Jason Oliver Silva ushered in my summer reading with the venom of a viper. Set against the always intriguing world of print media, Jason rolls up the Biloxi Inquirer slapping the reader with the Vietnamese Mafia, a mysterious tranny, laced brownies, Dame Edna Von Straussberg, and the drunken strumpet. Silva’s narrative is effective with suspenseful and humorous twists that allowed my imagination to cast these characters with ease. Brennan Frick is the smart, young, and hungry protagonist that allows his partner, Les, to drag him into a dark and deviant adventure. Once the partnership is formed, the games begin. Silva’s story is an exciting romp with darkness and comedy. His words, particularly his voice in Brennan, will keep the reader in wanting the craziness that lies around each corner.
(reviewed the day of purchase)