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Helpful Votes: 27

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Joe RSS Feed (New York, NY United States)

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And the Ass Saw the Angel
And the Ass Saw the Angel
by Nick Cave
Edition: Paperback
29 used & new from $7.36

7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars If He Writes Another Novel, It'll Be Great, September 29, 2004
Oh, I so hope Nick Cave continues to write, because he is a great storyteller. But he better get a better editor. Great elements: great characters, great plot, great use of language, and all for naught, regrettably, and I'm still not sure why. (Yes, I am a fan of his music -- Murder Ballads reduces me to tears at times -- oh, what a remarkable translator of tragedy!) This book will be more interesting after he writes more novels. Can I recommend And The Ass Saw The Angel? -- alas no; you Nick Cave fans will read it and love it, but for you folks who aren't yet devotees, get his music; you will be shocked and beguiled, and you will become fans of that, I am sure.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2010 10:28 PM PDT

No Orchids for Miss Blandish
No Orchids for Miss Blandish
by James Hadley Chase
Edition: Paperback
25 used & new from $1.99

9 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars For Classic Noir Fans Only?, October 12, 2000
Originally written in 1939 (and later revised by the author), this gritty crime novel has got a lot of fine elements in a nicely plotted armed robbery turned murder turned kidnapping. Unfortunately, for me there wasn't enough detail in the motivation of characters to make it at all believable (not that I think believability is always necessary); I'm left with the impression that characterization in this book is rendered by a paragraph which says "Criminal A behaves like this because...." Don't get me wrong, even though I just can't help thinking that every character in this novel is utterly s-t-u-p-i-d, it reads really good and is a great time passer that may serve to inform the reader about what Europeans thought about Americans (Chase (one of his pseudonyms) was an Englishman who learned about America from books). What's most interesting to me is how nobody seems to understand the unfortunate Miss Blandish. No review I have ever read gets her right (certainly none of the others on this page, so don't worry 'bout them givin' nothin' away). Is she the victim of a "fate worse than death"? -- whatever that means today -- or is she the victim of something else? Perhaps the spareness of detail here is what makes this novel work. George Orwell thought it was nothing short of "brilliant." What will you think?

Beggars Of Life
Beggars Of Life
by Jim Tully
Edition: Library Binding

11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Mighty Vagabond, March 25, 2000
This review is from: Beggars Of Life (Library Binding)
In this picaresque autobiography, Jim Tully takes us on a teen-aged hobo's ride through early-20th-century America. Set in the hobo jungles, freight cars, trainyards, flophouses and brothels from coast to shining coast, the author introduces us to victims of a society that has no use for them -- literally the great unwashed -- men and women whose morality is dictated by necessity (most notably, hunger). Frightening in part, but also touching, and at times damned funny, Tully gives us a fine portrait of a piece of Americana that no longer exists as such, but whose inhabitants have still not gone away. Though tame by today's literary standards (I doubt that it could have been published in 1924 had it been otherwise), no thinking reader's imagination will fail to fill in the gaps of this "hard-boiled" story. After you've read this book you will surely be anxious to read even more by Jim Tully.

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