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Mark Toma & Eva Kamm
on Sep. 26, 2012 :
A great little book catching the spirit of Dieselpunk. Dystopian without being depressive, The Troubleshooter: New Haven Blues is packed with adrenaline and humor. Vicious and surprising, the story rapidly absorbs the reader, making him/her into another New Haven citizen. Once you're familiar with local lingo, you feel at home in Mick Trubble's bizarre post-Apocalyptic world.
The author doesn't avoid pulp/noir stereotypes - on the contrary, he makes good use of every possible cliché to create an impossible post-Modernist atmosphere, mixing 1930s detective stories with present-day cyberpunk fantasies and adding a generous dash of "the future that never was". Glamor and filth, ugly thugs and beautiful dames, booze and guns, treachery and heroism - everything's here.
Mick Trubble aka The Troubleshooter is a great character, the one you'll instantly love despite all his flaws (and boy, he's got some!). So grab the book, don't wait.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on July 05, 2012 :
I'll give it to you straight: if you're into dystopian dieselpunk then The Troubleshooter is your sort of story. It's one part hard boiled noir, one part Bladerunner, one shot of Total Recall, two shots of Dan Turner: Hollywood Detective, with a slice of good old fashioned Pulp in the mix, shaken and served in a dystopian deiselpunk glass. Just as you like it.
And your barman - Bard Constantine - has done an excellent job. This smoke hazed, rain drenched tale of Mick Trubble's trouble is one very well crafted story, from the deftly witty voice of the protagonist through to the non-stop action. It's simply a delight to read such a well crafted piece of dieselpunk goodness.
Mick Trubble's narrative voice is fantastic, the author revelling in the sly cadence of the private eyes of old but not overdoing it and falling into cliche the way many a previous author has done. His unique 'perspective' steeps the story in the dieselpunk world that Constantine has created, provoking memories of every classic line of noir cinema you've ever seen or every classic detective pulp you've ever read. The world is rich in detail, the characters fantastically outlandish and it all blends together effortlessly as we follow Mick's out of control 'bad day' to a soundtrack of his own dry, slang-soaked point of view. It's a pleasure to read.
And the action doesn't stop. New Haven is a rollercoaster ride of fantastic genre mash ups that Mick careers through at a blistering pace. From two fisted brawls to verbal knife fights between sharp tongued opponents who are all trying to hide something the story is pacy and explosive in the best traditions of pulp. And it's all handled deftly and succinctly by the author's great writing style. An author who clearly has a love for all things that the genre has to offer.
If you're after a fantastic fun romp through a dystopian dieselpunk world then I highly recommend this story. It's well worth the $4 cover charge, if just to enjoy Mick Trubble himself in full song. Throw in the story's quirky mix of genre bending sci fi and pulp and the tale is worth even more. Well done.
(reviewed within a week of purchase)