Monday, February 23, 2015

Review -- Jack Strong


Jack Strong by Walter Mosley

Long short story or short novella, I'm not sure what should be the technical term.  Too short for me, really.  I got to the end and wanted more.  I can't complain, though.  The e-book was a gift and I enjoyed it.

Well, maybe not "enjoyed".  That's far too vague and mealy a word.  This is a scattered story told by a scattered protagonist, a protagonist who doesn't know what's going on, who or what he is, or why he's going through what he's going through.  Everything is a discovery, even when he "knows" what's happening in the moment, and which of the many people inside him is doing whatever he is doing.

This makes for a complicated reading experience.  I handle books like this by taking my brain out of gear and just riding where the author takes me without being very critical or doing much back-seat driving.  I was lucky that this time, despite the rugged road and the hairpin turns, Mosley is an expert driver who didn't wreck the story.

Yeah, that's a better metaphor.  This was a drive in the dark on a road I didn't know.  I couldn't even make guesses, and that was fun. The real negative was that the ride stopped at some lonely truck stop in the middle of nowhere.  It was certainly a different place than the one where I'd started, and I had an inkling that the ultimate destination would be interesting, but I wasn't there yet.  Part of me wonders if Mosley did this because he intends a series of short stories and part of me wonders if he just ran out of steam with his cool idea.  And there's a teeny bit that can't help sneering and wondering if this was intended to be "Art", that "let the reader..." stuff popular with a lot of young artists who are feeling very clever (more clever than their audience).  I haven't read any other Mosley writing, but that's not his reputation, so maybe that teeny bit is just some rising snark.  I have Blue Light on my wish list and am eying the Easy Rawlings series.

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