- File Size: 2476 KB
- Print Length: 61 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: TSB Books (December 18, 2011)
- Publication Date: December 18, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006NY2YH4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #581,818 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
California Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Banks totally captivated my attention. Ask my opinion as a reviewer how does he do it? I have no idea! It's just top notch and totally immersive, addictive prose. The secret I think is in the voice. His characters come out of the page at you raging and frothing in Blu-Ray 3D HD and demand your attention.
California is the tale of one man's fight to keep his cool. Of course he fails at this spectacularly and yet he is provoked time and again. The logic Banks uses to justify his characters actions is irrefutable. Banks doesn't so much tell a story as he drags you along to experience the action. An absolutely first class read.
But it's harder to do than he could have guessed. When he shows up in his old stomping grounds in order to pick up the cash he had hidden before heading out to follow his dream, it leads to several run-ins with his old girl and his old crew, and Shug's long-term goal begins to look longer and longer term.
CALIFORNIA, the latest novella from Ray Banks, is another expertly drawn character study, disguised as a violent, bleakly funny crime story. In some ways, it's a bit of a heart-breaker. Banks is terrific at letting the reader know, in very subtle ways, that the whole venture is doomed from the start, that our man Shug is locked into a pattern and no amount of dreaming can change it.
Shug has come out of prison a different man, yes. He actually has a plan for his life now, some dream to cling to. But in CALIFORNIA, Banks questions the whole notion that a dream is a good thing to have. Does a long-term goal make Shug a better person? Does it guarantee his happiness? No, not at all. In fact, the great dream just might be the young man's undoing.
It's a very unsettling proposition, this idea that desire leads to ruin. And I don't know, really, that that was Banks intention. But it resonates. And the inevitable disaster that follows on Shug's heels is devastating to read. CALIFORNIA could very well be the most intensely compelling thing Ray Banks has yet written, and that's saying a lot.
Shug has learned well. His years with a Jarvis-Cocker-lookalike therapist during his stay in Saughton Prison have given him something to aim for. A goal. California.
He’s virtually a reformed character now he’s been released. We learn that early doors as he treats the old man whose car he’s hijacked calmly and without resorting immediately to violence. The car he’s nicking is going to take him home, back to his ex-girlfriend’s Falkirk home where his stash is hidden and into the territory of the two men with whom he robbed a post office and weren’t caught – these are two men who Shug would like to have a word with, a quiet and rational word if they’re up for it.
‘California’ is a thing of beauty. A real pocket rocket. The story has energy from the off, driven by the sense of purpose in the main character. Shug’s history comes to light as events move the plot forwards and this keeps the momentum up all the way through.
What I feel is particularly special is the way Shug is painted so sympathetically, in spite of his volatile emotions and unpleasant past. When he reaches the points when he has to make decisions that are make-or-break (will there be serious consequences or damage limitation?) the emotional pull is huge. If you’re like me, you’ll be screaming internally and at different points, ‘DO IT’ and ‘DON’T DO IT’ in the hope that Shug’s able to get the message somehow.
I loved it and think it’s likely that you will too.
A flawless gem.
Having just got out of prison Shuggie Boyle pops out of the page as he tries to achieve his dream of starting a winery. I found myself feeling sorry for this angry man who's trying to straighten out his life. By the time I made it to the 60 percent mark on my kindle I was afraid things weren't going to go his way. And after putting bullets into old friends and taking your brother-in-laws car it usually doesn't.
This is a quick read and well worth the cheap asking price. Highly Recommended.
This is a short, straightforward read that is exceedingly well written. The insight into Shuggie's psyche is chilling in its stark authenticity. Banks is a heavyweight in the gritty Brit crime genre. Powerful.
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