Thursday, June 01, 2006

Book: Bust, by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (2006)

Last week, Bill Crider began his review of this book by saying, “Probably everyone’s read this by now.” That was my cue to take my copy down from the shelf. I do want to be timely.

The latest from Hard Case Crime is a twist on a classic set-up: guy hires other guy to off his wife so he can get it on with his much younger mistress. To be honest, I didn’t warm to it at first. The proceedings seemed a bit too jokey (and in-jokey), and the two main characters are the least interesting in the book.

But eventually – around the time the ex-bank robber admitted to taking acting classes because his imitation of Ray Liotta in Something Wild wasn’t enough to scare the tellers – I got into the spirit of things. The plot corkscrews crazily in the second half, serving up double-cross after double-cross but never in the manner you expect. It’s just one thing damn thing after another, and I finally had the sense to hang on and enjoy the ride.

Miscellaneous: Links

Slate probes the seamy underworld of gray market DVDs. By all accounts the suppressed Rolling Stones documentary Cocksucker Blues, mentioned in the piece, is a total bore. But I still regret passing up the chance to catch a screening when I was a student in Boston. I have seen Billy Wilder’s Ace in the Hole, though, and it deserves its reputation. “I don’t pray. Kneeling bags my nylons.” Jesus. They don’t come any tougher than that.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Times considers the debased coin of glamour. And a lengthy, fascinating interview at In Focus with Dan Harris and Michael Dougherty, the two X-Men writers charged with reviving the lost son of Krypton in Superman Returns.