Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Hardcore meets Hardboiled?
Here's a cover that'll grab your attention. According to Slate, this is the latest in what's been dubbed street lit (as opposed to chick lit, which this is definitely not) and, from what I gather, it's a mix of violence and porn which you used to have to buy two books to get so the reader saves enough money to buy hand lotion.
When I was in the service, we used to pass around what we called stroke books, which had zero plot, lots of sex and about the only violence was when someone flogged the bishop. I haven't read this book (and when did that ever stop anyone from having an opinion), but this seems to be a stroke book mushed all up with hardboiled noir, hence the author's name.
And what's with this name? Jesus, who would buy a book written by someone with Noire in the name? I mean, how obvious can you get?
But I digress. Here's what Slate says about this new fiction:
There is no shortage of inventive sadism in the pages of Candy Licker, the novel currently poised at the top of the Essence best-seller list. In the first chapter ... a 19-year-old singer named Candy Raye Montana is molested with the business end of a .44 Magnum.
Nice. But there's an upside. Apparently, Candy is a big fan of cunnilingus, and who isn't. Slate goes on:
...her first-person accounts of being pleasured rival the masterpieces of Penthouse Forum. Candy Licker's blend of vicious thuggery and raw sex is probably too harrowing for readers whose idea of steamy is Lady Chatterly's Lover. But it's a hit among aficionados of street lit, a pulp genre that chronicles the byzantine, Cristal-fueled world of pimps, hustlers, and the licentious women who love them.
Lady Chatterly's Lover? Damn, no wonder this book got Slate all heated. Lady fucking Chatterly? This is Slate's standard of steamy pulp? Oh my, Slate's got the vapors. Someone get the fainting couch. Really. Lady Chatterly's Lover?
Anyway, the article goes on to describe the true street origins of this stuff with authors hawking books out of the trunks of their cars which Jim Winter, Dusty Rhoades, me and John Grisham have all done with our novels, so WTF, why is that news?
They also say that "Advertising consisted mostly of handing out bookmarks to passersby."
And who does that sound like? Joe, are you reading this?
I could go on, but I have a job to get to, and since I haven't read the book I can't tell you if I think it's worth a damn. But I did check it's Amazon numbers yesterday, and the Slate piece put it in the top 1000, which is not bad. More from Slate:
At its finest, Noire's prose sounds like something that might spill from the pen of James Ellroy, had he grown up listening to Big L. Noire also has a remarkable knack for sexual invention; her description of a fantasy involving a jalapeño pepper and a strong-tongued suitor, for example, is nothing if not attention-grabbing.
OK, I like Ellroy and the jalapeño is hot, so maybe I'll pick this up on my way to Pheonix, get wood at 30,000 feet.
But Noire? Really, bitch, get your own fucking name.