Sunday, January 18, 2009

More crime books

I believe I may have pointed out before that I don't read many crime books. I had another go a couple of weeks ago with Tokyo Year Zero by David Peace. Eoghan gave me this book for Christmas 07, and I just got around to it now. That gives you an idea of the rate at which I'm ploughing through books.

Anyway, I didn't like Tokyo Year Zero. His writing style irritated me. It was too sing-song and repetitive; too much poetry and not enough prose. I know that's the point. I know it was probably supposed to signify something about feeling trapped and the claustrophobia of the destroyed city and the endless grind of being a police investigator, but it was too much style and not enough content for me. It also had that feature of crime novels that I hate, when there's some really important and pertinent piece of evidence that will tie the whole case together, and it's hinted a lot, and everyone knows what it is except the reader. That always seems kind of lazy to me, like using pure coincidence to drive a story forwards all the time.

So I gave it up after about 100 pages, and I decided that I would give the George P. Pelecanos book that I bought months ago a shot at the title. If I don't like this, I thought, that is officially it, I will officially give up on crime books.

And now I'm wondering why I'm sitting here blogging about this, when I could be READING GEORGE PELECANOS.


Queenie said...

I like Pelecanos' first novel the best. He wrote some episodes of The Wire, didn't he... and ex.produced it.

That Chinese detective novel you gave me was very good, by the way. The first 50 pages, I thought mmmmwwweeehhhh, but then it just ramped up and as well as being a pretty good crime novel, it's a great description of the year or two post Tianaman Square. Good find!!

LukeM said...

Which George Pelecanos is it? I've read two, both excellent, it's definitely Wire-esque

Trish Byrne said...

I started with The Sweet Forever, because it happened to come into the bookshop. But then yesterday, the first one in the quartet came in, so I've stopped reading The Sweet Forever and started reading that instead.

I just really like his clean prose style and his dialogue. Yes, he did work extensively on The Wire, and the similarities are pretty clear.

Ray said...

Hmm, I'm going to have to ignore your review. I read David Peace's The Damned United before Christmas and thought it was very good.