Monday, November 30, 2015

Why you should read Dirtbags and John McFetridge

Eryk Pruitt's Dirtbags is a tall tale, a couple-on-the-run story, a moving noir story as Jim Thompson or, especially, David Goodis might have written it, a rural roman noir, a dark comedy with a touch of Southern Gothic, and satire without hitting the reader over the head to make its point.  It's also a serial-killer story for readers who hate serial-killer stories, thanks to its blessed absence of interest in abnormal psychology.

One review calls the novel "sort of like a book about a serial murderer written by Carl Hiaasen, only a lot darker," but don't let the Hiaasen comparison stop you; this book is funny without, however, degenerating into a cheap yuk-fest.
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I wrote Saturday about Dietrich Kalteis' The Deadbeat Club, so this is a good time to remind you to read A Little More Free, by Kalteis' fellow ECW Press author John McFetridge, Nobody is better than McFetridge at seamlessly blending big crimes, small crime, social/historical setting, and an appealing protagonist.  This and Tumblin' Dice are my favorite McFetridges.

© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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9 Comments:

Blogger seana graham said...

I happen to have taken A Little More Free on my Thanksgiving trip and it was a good choice. I'm still only halfway through, but that's down to other things than the quality of the book. Love that Eduoard Dog-er-ty.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think Dougherty comes more to the fore in this book than in Black Rock, which would be an interesting step for John, who has written mainly ensemble casts of characters in his previous novels.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Hmm. I found him pretty central to Black Rock as well. I like to watch the way his mind works through things--the running commentary on what he really thinks while he mainly keeps a polite profile.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I wish I could remember why I had the impression that I did that he was a stronger character in A Little More Free, maybe because one of the subplots in particular. I feel like he takes a greater role in the action in this second book.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

You may very well be right, but Eddie Dougherty does give us a viewpoint character in a different way than the Toronto novels. I think one difference is that in the first he is a rookie and so has less agency than in this one.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Right, and I think John shifted even more in that direction in the second book. And now--good news--it appears that there will be a third book. John posted a photo of its cover somewhere.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

I'm happy to hear that.

November 30, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John posted the cover on Facebook. Here's a link, which I'm not sure you'll be able to get if you're not on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10153675473071203&set=a.10151163844216203.500947.712056202&type=3

November 30, 2015  
Blogger seana graham said...

Unfortunately, no, but that's okay. I don't mind waiting till it's a little closer to the pub date.

November 30, 2015  

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