Saturday, October 08, 2016

Why you should read John Rector

John Rector, Voodoo Lounge,
New Orleans, September 2016.

 Photo by Peter Rozovsky
John's Rector 's 2015 novel Ruthless is a terrific noirish, wrong-man-in-the-wrong-place story, perhaps a bit more emotionally pitched and certainly elegantly written than most. Things get especially interesting when the third circle of hell into which the protagonist plunges threatens to veer off into another genre entirely. But Rector, in supreme control of his storytelling at all times, makes it work.

That paragraph is deliberately vague in order to avoid giving anything away. Suffice it to say that if the main storyline is reminiscent of Charles Williams, the surprising turn may put readers in mind of Alan Glynn. That's a high compliment to Rector on both counts.
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John Rector first jumped onto my radar screen in a big way a couple of weeks ago when he read his story "In the Kitchen With Rachel Ray" at Jay Stringer's Noir at the Bar in New Orleans. The story is not only jam-packed with hilarious surprises, but rendered with fine control, and the author read it well. You should hear him read if you have the chance.

© Peter Rozovsky 2016

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10 Comments:

Blogger jedidiah ayres said...

I love that story. Originally appeared in NOIR AT THE BAR V2 BTW - a fact I am immensely proud of.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger R. T. (Tim) Davis said...

Peter, thank you for highlighting another author with whom I am not familiar. Your praise of the quality of writing is sufficient to send me scurrying to the library in hopes of finding a copy. All the best from my new crimes-and-punishments blogging effort with the unlikely address:
http://theabbessofandalusia.blogspot.com/

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Charlieopera said...

I think I met John in Toronto 15 years ago? (I was there enlightening Canadians about NY bagels) at my one and only Bouchercon ... we were in mixed company and he was an absolutely hilarious raconteur. I'll have to grab one by him soon.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jed: I'd been hearing John's name for a whie, but it was his reading of "In the Kitchen With Rachel Ray" at Noir at the Bar in New Orleans that sold me. That's a good argument for Noir at the Bar as a marketing tool, though I hate to use that term. Maybe all Noirs at the Bar should be held at places called the Voodoo Lounge.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, R.T. I like to think I have good taste, and this guy is good. I'm going to look for more of his stuff today.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Charlie: No surprise to be that John was a hilarious raconteur. He certainly was one in New Orleans. Nothing is easier than being outrageous To make outrageousness work, to make it into a story is more difficult, and John does it.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger seana graham said...

I was there at the Voodoo Lounge and I can testify--the story was good. But then, they all were. I wish every town had it's own version of the Voodoo Lounge, because it's a great way to get to know new authors. I'll look for Ruthless.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Elgin Bleecker said...

Peter – Thanks for the post. I will check out his work.

October 08, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana: Right you are. The writing, the performance, and the venue were all high-quality. That's why I say I've never been to a better Noir at the Bar.

October 09, 2016  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Elgin: He's the real thing. It's easy to write shocking material. It's harder to make that material affecting and also to make a tightly controlled story out of it. Rector does it. So do Christa Faust and Martyn Waites among that evening's readers. Look for work by all of them. And go hear them read if they come to a Noir at the Bar in your town.

October 09, 2016  

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