There are two kinds of book review. One is "Well done old chap! Have a couple of stars." The other kind of review is "I'm a pompous ass reader and this is how you can improve your story." Of the two, I guess this is the second kind. But neither should ever be taken too seriously. Mostly people who write more than a couple of books, know their weak spots are. As for me, I'm a fan of Peter Cheyney. His hero Lemuel Caution, and Slim Callaghan. Between Slim and Lemmy, Slim is the more interesting character. And the thing is I enjoyed reading Stateline because Cody and Reno kind of remind me of both Lemmy and Slim. My own view is that while dialogue did give me a sense of the characters and a sense of the narrative past and future, dialogue did go on just a little. The main bad guy who only ever spoke three or four words, was totally scary, I could see him in my mind. Too much talk from the others and I kept seeing middle class jock straps, communal shower rooms and towel flicking. Guess it's got something to do with character development, but horrible memories for some of us who are trying to get behind a hero. And I'm a person who can read from Finnegans Wake, thoroughly enjoy it, without producing a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about sleep and dreams. So dialogue is tricky because it's easy to go all Finnegans Wake on it and reckon it's dialogue. I suspect Cheyney, who was a major bull-shitter, got round it by acting out his scenes for his secretary, and I reckon when she yawned he knew it was time to stop talking. And I do hope you get my drift. Got a little confused when the story jumped from the first person, not quite certain why, and maybe I wasn't reading carefully enough. Conan Doyle wrote a lot of detective stories, but he always wanted to write something else, he had a whole thing with the Mormons, but couldn't get away from the demand for Holmes and Watson. Poor chap earned money writing of course! Funny thing about writing, it's a battle between purity of genre, what you call saleable product and a person just wanting to write whatever the hell it is he wants to write about. Got a good sense of the weather in Stateline and I think I liked hearing about the pioneers who froze to death, it did make me think of Reno as a more well rounded person, who might have been interested in wider horizons, and I could forgive him the odd towel flicking incident. And I think his creator is of the same mind. The other area has to do with people killing each other. Didn't bother me so much in the past, but now days I like remorse from a hero. Thing is some people actually know what it's like to kill another person. Not sure that drinking is all about remorse. But that's just me. Loved the hero's car, great descriptions. Love the two pot heads, they jumped out at me and I could smell the THC. Spelling and all that kind of stuff was brilliant. Some confusion in the format. My problem of course is it's a either a pack of cigarettes or a book. So basically thanks for the free read and I owe you a pack of cigarettes, a debt I will attempt to pay by actually buying one of your books. Looking forward to it!
(review of free book)