Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A review for Lizard City by Jai Roon....



If James A. Newman's writing was music and he was a musician instead of a writer, I would tell you he can flat out play for long stretches but occasionally hits the wrong notes, for me. The problem is I feel like I have been thrown into the mosh pit at a grunge concert, where everybody around me is having a great time, but I am feeling like the Lone Ranger because my tastes run closer to the William Tell Overture. What I liked about Lizard City is the character, Kat. I was curious about her and my curiosities got answered. Good one. Johnny Coca Cola (Love the name change) was also a good character. But a match made in hell is sometimes better than a match made in purgatory. When in doubt an old fart like me asks: WWHD? What would Hemingway do? Save the $5 words for where they are needed. Hell can do without them, in my opinion. There was a line akin to: "An obese tourist sat outside." I want that tourist described to me. I want him described to me in such a way that I go on a diet tomorrow. Bangkok's full of great writers and I have started more than one diet based on the accurate description of a fat farang that hit a little too close to home. The Buddhist stuff, great. Rama references I liked. I am never keen on characters that are writers. The only thing the world has more of than writers is critics - so if I am going to read something, I'd like the writer to use his imagination more. And my bias goes all the way to the top. As beautiful a writer as Tim Hallinan is, I am not that keen on his protagonist, because he is a travel writer. Give me a shoe salesman, a Buddhist cop, a man named Sue, anything but not another writer. All in all, there was much to like. But the music was a little too loud for my tastes and the style not quite to my liking. That doesn't mean the composer isn't talented. Keep on playing. The rain drops have stopped.

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