Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dust Devils

Roger Smith knows how to play up the good, old-fashioned virtues of honor, persistence, redemption, and love of adventure. He also keeps the bullets flying, the blades flashing, and the spinning tires kicking up dust on sun-baked South African roads.

The result in Dust Devils, Smith's third novel after Mixed Blood and the superlatively good Wake Up Dead, is as much unabashed fun as I can remember having had reading a crime novel.

This book offers one protagonist driven inexorably back to his home and another wrenched irreversibly from his. It's a tale of father and sons, and just maybe of daughters. It's a tale of the old South Africa and the new, and of the striking, amusing, touching and tragic ways the two intersect.  It's a tale told in the sights, the sounds and, far more than in most fiction, the smells of its setting.

It also may blaze a bit of a publication trail. It's available as e-book now, three months ahead of its publication in hardback from Serpent's Tail. Whatever the format, I can see massive popular and critical success for this guy. You should be reading him.
***
Roger Smith talks about Dust Devils, contemporary South Africa, and e-book pricing on Allan Guthrie's Criminal-E blog.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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24 Comments:

Blogger Crosby Kenyon said...

So many books...still, I'm intrigued by the South African setting. Thanks for the recommendation.

June 21, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ja, Smith is good. Track down some of my other posts about him for details.

June 21, 2011  
Blogger Robert Carraher said...

This book and this author were just suggested to me the other day by another author. I'm looking forward to it.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You have some good reading ahead. Have you read Adrian McKinty, especially his Dead books? I'd recommend those to people who like Roger Smith and Smith to people who like McKinty.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Robert Carraher said...

Adrian McKinty? The TBR list keeps growing and growing. Thanks Peter

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You can visit McKinty's blog here. Who recommended Roger Smith to you? I might like that person's work.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Robert Carraher said...

Harry Shannon. He writes a number of things but I like the series pychologist/tough guy, Mick Callahan. I reviewed them on my site, take a look and see if you ,might like them. (psst.. if you have a Kindle I can even send them to you).

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I like the idea of a psychologist/tough guy. I'll take a look. Thanks.

June 22, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

It also may blaze a bit of a publication trail. It's available as e-book now, three months ahead of its publication in hardback from Serpent's Tail. Whatever the format, I can see massive popular and critical success for this guy. You should be reading him

Did you read it in dead-tree format, Peter?

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

No, I read it via mysterious electronic pulses that came into a box sitting on my desk.

June 22, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

mysterious electronic pulses

What is this? The X-Files?

Fess up!

v Word: lidism. I don't know about lid but the ism sounds appropriate.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lidism is discrimination on the basis of the hats a person wears.

There are people who say one can read "books" sent through the air through machines. I don't believe a word of it.

June 22, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

So what do you think of the Kindle anyway Peter? Or was it a Nook? I'm on the lookout for a good e-reader and I'd value your opinion.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, I'm a bit abashed about going over to the dark side and buying a Kindle.

I bought one because of a confluence of books that I would have been unable to read otherwise: this book, the book of Japan stories, and, most to the point, a collection of short stories by the authors who make up the Do Some Damage blog. That's where I think e-readers will do some good. They'll make feasible the publication of short stories, novellas, and other forms not easily available in books.

I've had the Kindle for just a few days, and I've had no major complaints yet. I still do have that lingering apprehension about putting too much power and personal data in Jeff Bezos' hands, though.

June 22, 2011  
Anonymous solo said...

I looked at a Kindle in a shop and the damned thing looked so small, I didn't really like it.

I'd appreciate you trying out some of the alternatives so I could get a worthwhile opinion on the subject.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

The Kindle's keyboard is tiny, which means you have to stay focused when, for example, typing a note. The five-way cursor button is smallish, too. But the buttons one uses most -- those for turning pages -- are larger and conveniently situated.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

A local outlet of the Staples chain of officer-supply stores has displays of e-readers from various makers, including the Kindle and the Nook. I could stop in, try them out, and report back.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Robert Carraher said...

So, I talked you into it, huh, Peter? About a year ago I had the "luck" to try a Sony Reader, iPad (1) Kindle, Kindle DX (that's the 9" screen) and a Nook. I actually, from an engineering stand poit, liked the features on the Nook. You can expand it's storage thru USB. But I didn't like it's on screen touch screen. the iPad is useless if you want to read outside, waiting for a bus, on the beach, sitting on a patio. I went wioth the Kindle, and really the only thing it won't do is expand the memory, but do you need to carry around more than 3500 books? I also like the small one, and when you get down to it the screen is about the size of a paperback.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Your input helped, let's say. Interesting you should complain about the Nook's touch screen. If I had one complaint about the Kindle, it would be the small size of the keyboard and cursor button. I was just thinking (on my way to the Free Library of Philadelphia, by the way) that an on-screen touch-screen keyboard might solve that problem, at least for a larger screen the size of the Kindle DX's.

Sounds like the iPad is useless for most situations in which one would want to read.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Solo, it looks like Robert may have answered your questions.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

He's being published by Serpents Tail? Two things occur to me: 1) Well thats obviously a sign of quality 2) Why have I been buying these books when I could have been getting them for nothing. You just lost a paying customer Mr Smith.

June 22, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Well, his current book will be, at least. I don't know who published his first two in the U.K.

June 22, 2011  
Anonymous roger smith said...

Adrian, does that mean I can get yours for nothing, too? Peter, Serpent's Tail have published Mixed Blood & Wake Up Dead. They have also bought my fourth, I'm pleased to say.

June 23, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That house has fine judgment, I'd say.

June 30, 2011  

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