t's just one book, not a fest, but "gish" was always one of my favorite sound effects in Don Martin's cartoons in Mad magazine (usually to accompany a floppy foot squashing an insect), so a crime writer who goes by the diminutive Gisch is bound to evoke a fond glow of nostalgia.
OK, the book. Gun Monkeys
is an early Victor Gischler novel, and it's a nonstop, violent action fest that loses me only occasionally with a burst of wackiness. I mean, if you're going to have a character use the word "schlong" when three thugs intent on mayhem are breaking into his house, you'd better be sure the rest of the book is similarly slapstick.
've also read the first few chapters of Barry Gifford's Wild at Heart
, and it's touch and go whether I'll be beguiled by the low-key humor and rhythm of its dialogue or driven crazy by Lula's ending two out of every three sentences with a question mark. I suppose it's a testament to Gifford's skill that his mere use of a punctuation mark can so perfectly evoke an annoying vocal quirk.
And that leads to today's question: How do writers successfully create a grating, annoying, or boring character without grating on, annoying or boring the reader? Examples, please.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013
Labels: Barry Gifford, Victor Gischler