"He wore a silk Aloha shirt that framed chilled, pale skin and clung to a spare tyre that belonged on a monster truck."And this, about a gangster who claims to have lost a leg in the Falklands war:
"Another one wore a cap, had box-whites on his feet and a hare lip."
"A lot of thoughts running through Richie's head, the same old story about a lost leg on Goose Green when everyone knew what really happened — stupid bastard mainlined an artery."Those are nice examples of a world defined by grotesquery and stupidity — morally defined, I mean. The grossness is neither titillation not the butt of jokes, not something for you, me, the author, or a pretty hero to laugh at. Banks' world really is as harsh as its inhabitants look.
The novella's ending seemed standard-make, but I'll be eager to see what Banks gets up to in his novels. Now, how about you? Who creates the harshest, hardest, toughest worlds you have visited in your crime-fiction reading? Which authors create characters whose physical appearance reflects their world?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011