quarta-feira, novembro 27, 2013

"Hard Feelings: A Novel" by Jason Starr

Hard Feelings: A Novel - Jason Starr

My first Jason Starr. I'm reading this novel in tandem with "Light's Out" and I sense a running theme.

I'm always a sucker for novels with amoral characters, or unsatisfying endings. This one has plenty of that. Richard Segal looks like a normal guy in every sense of the word. He doesn’t manifest any overt psychological abnormalities if his life. At the beginning everything is running smoothly, but when problems arose, he reverted to his primal state of psychopathology.

Starr likes to draw his characters from everyday life, make everything seem pretty normal. And then he punches you in the stomach... He pushes his story lines and his characters to extremes, and takes it from there.

Character-driven fiction that starts bad and gets worse, but not necessarily with a dark, relentless tone. I don’t need to like the characters I’m reading about, but I need to understand them. That's fully on display here. I like reading about fucked-up characters...

He was able to capture the perverse pleasures, edgy excitement and dark humour of what I see as twenty-first century noir. I've been into 21st-century noir fiction lately, and I was told in vigorous terms that I should start reading Jason Starr. The vigour and diversity of recent literary noir are difficult to convey in a brief review. That's also not the point here. What's definitely the point here is that Jason Starr is worth keeping an eye on.

One of Starr’s strong points is his ability to make uncompromising pulp traditionalism seem both radical and fresh. More than most authors, Jason Starr uses the workplace as a setting to fuel tensions (vide Richard Segal's interactions with his boss Bob).

What definitely won me over was the abrupt ending. What a stunt. Fitting as he

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