domingo, maio 18, 2014

"Hot in December" by Joe R. Lansdale

Hot in December - Joe R. Lansdale
My first Joe Lansdale and it won't be my last, but I've run into a few glitches. Maybe due to the novella form adopted.

The characters seemed to be interchangeable, ie, a few of them couldn't stand on its own. The Cason character comes to mind. After Cason's introduction at the beginning, and the explanation of burner cell phones, Cason serves no real purpose to the story. After that he became just a mere cypher in the story. With very minor changes, this particular character could have been eliminated altogether.

Lansdale is not alone here, particularly in the crime fiction shorter forms. In Crime Fiction, particularly in the Short Story and Novella form, the authors seem to be unable to avoid cyphering the characters to the point of being quite alike. In my view this is due to the fact that the shorter forms tend to be plot-driven, instead of being character-driven. In this type of approach, each of the characters must be spot on and be able to push the story forward from the beginning, otherwise they lose consistency (they become the abovementioned character cyphers).

This aside, it was still one hell of a ride. Lansdale is brutal in shoving the reader deeper and deeper into Tom’s troubles. It seemed this story was meant to be written this way, ie, to be read briskly, with little stop. And it worked.

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