Monday, February 06, 2006

After reading James Crumley's The Last Good Kiss, I immediately checked out all his other books and this weekend I finished the first of those. The Wrong Case features the other regular detective Crumley writes about, Milo Milodragovitch. Also set in the mid 1970s and also featuring a hard-drinking detective, it still feels different from TLGK primarily because of the lack of humor. The mood is bleak in this one and, while interesting and fast-moving, it lacked that extra wit that elevated TLGK.

Yesterday I read Wounded by Percival Everett and... well, I just don't know if I'm ready to talk about it. The ending hit me pretty hard, probably because I was pulling for a happy one, but somehow knew it wasn't going to happen. The book is short, but doesn't feel like it. Not that it reads slow or anything; it just feels totally complete. It's full of great one liners, but it's not a funny book. Man, this is all jumbled. Okay. It's about a black horse trainer named John in Wyoming. Early in the story a gay man at the local community college is found murdered and John finds himself caught up in the growing tension in the community and in the conflict between an old friend of his and the friend's gay son. I absolutely loved it and the ending totally had me in tears. I'm definitely checking out more of this guy's stuff because he's a fantastic writer.

By all means, you should devour Everett's work. He is a genius and pulls off smart as well as authentically emotional - whether it's funny, sad, or irate. I would highly recommend reading Erasure next. It's an amazing book and is criminally underappreciated.
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