Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Damn, this is good.

First, my apologies to Mr. Banks for taking so long to read this. Life gets in the way.

I've been a fan of Mr. Banks since I read a short of his 4 or 5 years ago. At the time, based on that one story, I knew Ray was a major talent.

The Callum Innes series runs from Saturday's Child, No More Heroes, Donkey Punch (called Sucker Punch by his nancy boy American editors), and now Beast of Burden.

As in the past, Callum is Callum's worst enemy. Forget Mo Tiernan, the son of a mob boss. Even Detective Sergeant "Donkey" Donkin comes in second to Callum's own self-destructive streak.

One of the things I love about Ray is his commitment to doing what's honest, which means Callum doesn't get the benefit of a reset button, one that will make him healed and whole in the beginning of each book. No, as Cal absorbs the punishments of being run over, shot, beaten, kicked, stomped on and a stroke, he's not quite the man we met in Saturday's Child. He's now 29, with a gimp and a half smile he uses to give people the creeps, and it's a rare chance he'll see 30.

As always, the language is the real star. Even Ray's least worthy characters have a flicker of humanity and his best have a streak of the devil. The people are complicated, the situations swimming in shades of gray. Throughout, Ray writes dialogue that stings like a Manchester rain. And he's funny.

I loved this book. I think you'll love this book.

But that's enough of this schoolgirl giddy fan gush. Go buy the damn thing and let me get back to work.

Because, as Callum might say, what I think means fuck all.

1 comment:

Paul Brazill said...

Yeah, it's a great book. Dark and very funny too.