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Tussinland Paperback – October 7, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
What really stood out to me was Monson's take on social media and the power it plays in our lives. Murder, homophobia, heroin deals gone bad...none of these things are precluded from the world of Twittersphere or Youtube.
Tussinland is a damn fine read. If you're in the mood for a well written page turner, this book is for you. If you are apt to stew in the text you've read and the subtexts contained within, Monson's got you covered.
The protagonist is Paul Dunn, a middle-aged loser and addict who is the top suspect for the murder of his ex-wife and her current partner. The murders occur on page one, and Paul is under suspicion from the get-go. What ensues is not a typical whodunit, as you know who from the first sentence. It’s not even a will-he-catch-the-real-killer-and-exonerate-himself. It’s more of a slow-motion train wreck happening across an approximate 24 hour period. And it is utterly fascinating to watch.
Along with Paul, Mike assembles a compelling ensemble of characters who each explore and deal with issues of their own, including (but not limited to) his mother (I won’t tell you anything about her, but you’ll love Mavis), brother-in-law preacher, a used car salesman/drug dealer, a homicide investigator, and a Bosnian refugee with a shotgun, and others.
This one is about murder, addiction, TV shows, sex, recovery, middle-age slumps, Frosted Flakes, illness, life, death, gay marriage, right-wing militias, all around bad behavior, and so much more. And if Mike Monson is not getting paid endorsements from Robitussin, Walgreens, Frosted Flakes, and the Chinese/Donut place, then he should.
Also richly painted on the pages of Tussinland is the city of Modesto. I’ve never been to Modesto, but after reading Tussinland, I feel as though I have not only been there but know my way around well enough to get to the local Walgreens, hole-in-the-wall AA meetings, and to a little joint called Ninos.
If you are familiar with Mike’s previous works and the noir genre that he represents so well, then you know that things are going to wind up in a bleak place and that it will get messy along the way. I have to say, though, that Mike kept me guessing in this one, and I was pleasantly surprised as things wound to a close.
Another thought on Tussinland, while Paul Dunn is the protagonist/anti-hero, it is Miranda (the girl you meet in the first sentence of the book) that drives the plot forward at almost every point. As you read this novel, she’s the one to watch. If not for, well, the first sentence—and quite a few others that follow—you could argue that Miranda is the true “hero” of the work.
Very highly recommended. A great, fun read. If you are a fan of crime/noir, this one is for you. The first sentence will hook you, and it’s an effortless read from there.
Could possibly be a decent screenplay. Craig t Nelson, Joanna carter, bring in some classic character actors. I understand Harry Shearer is wanting to do work outside of the Simpsons.......
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Got bored fairly early on, predicted a rush to wrap everything up without much detail in the last few pages & that's what...Read more