by a guy named Banks. Ray Banks. I might have mentioned him once or twice before. He has a thing about cats and dogs.
I know, this is a little late for you connected readers, those in the know, those who get advance copies gratis, but not here, not this guy, not at The Impoverished Planet. No, I had to buy this puppy. No ARCs for Terrenoire. Oh no. Terrenoire had to lay out hard cash for this bad boy.
Anyway, I'm reading this book, and normally I wait until I'm done and if I like a book I give it a bit of public appreciation. If I don't like it, I choose to say nothing, because this business is hard enough without some jerk in North Carolina whizzing upon your dreams.
But I'm reading this book and come upon this line about a guy in a tattoo parlor with, and this is what stopped me, "a full-on Rod Steiger."
Now, Mr. Banks doesn't stop the story to explain the allusion. He doesn't say, as a lesser writer would, "a guy with a full-on Rod Steiger like in the movie The Illustrated Man." No. Mr. Banks assumes you know what he's alluding to, because it's a classic film based on a classic story. Not a great film, mind you, but a classic. And it's perfect.
"A full-on Rod Steiger."
Damn that's sweet.
Why it hit me hard enough to stop reading (and use it as fodder for another day's post) is that Mr. Banks takes your intelligence for granted. He doesn't feel the need to explain. He throws it out there and then moves on.
This respect for the reader reminds me of a much different writer, Patrick O'Brian. O'Brian wrote the Aubrey-Maturin series of sea adventures and he can go on for pages about mousing the horses and frollicking the jimwads and stoning the cocksles and I have no fucking clue what the men are doing and it's OK.
Because I get it. The men are busy. Doing what, only God and O'Brian knows. But the point is, O'Brian wrote assuming his readers were smart enough to get it. Just as Mr. Banks is writing for what he assumes is an astute crew.
I like that. It makes me feel smart (possibly smarter than I really am).
Thanks, Mr. Banks.
When I finish the novel I'll let you know what I think. But so far, he's vindicated my already high opinion of his talent.
Now I have to go gimsaw the joynings before the luffer reels.