eviewers have invoked James Ellroy and John le Carré when discussing Alan Glynn, and if I squint and hold my head at just the right angle, I can see resemblances. But Glynn's new novel, Paradime
, is a lot more like David Mamet's 1997 movie The Spanish Prisoner
than it is like anything by Ellroy and or le Carré.
The novel's fever-dream narration is intoxicating, its first section in particular a kind of contemporary nightmare picaresque. (A worker for a private military contractor in Afghanistan witnesses a shocking incident, comes back to New York City, discovers that the incident won't leave him alone, and finds aspects of the result a strangely attractive escape — addictive, even.)
The novel shares some themes with Glynn's previous books, The Dark Fields
(also published as Limitless
, and Graveland
: alienation, paranoia, helplessness in the face of corporate and government power, and the uncertainty of boundaries between the two. But, it seems to me, the action centers more on the protagonist than it does in the earlier novels, with distant but distinct echoes of mid-twentieth-century American noir.
The book also seems carefully constructed, full of epiphanies that shed shocking new light on earlier scenes. And that may be one more mark of its kinship with The Spanish Prisoner
© Peter Rozovsky 2016
Labels: Alan Glynn