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Another fine mess

Reader fan critic teacher reader fan.

Currently reading

Ottessa Moshfegh
Knife Fight and Other Struggles
David Nickle
Far from the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity
Andrew Solomon
The Good Lord Bird
James McBride
Ancillary Justice
Ann Leckie
Our Underachieving Colleges: A Candid Look at How Much Students Learn and Why They Should Be Learning More (New Edition)
Derek Bok
Dissident Gardens
Jonathan Lethem
Nightmare Movies: Horror on Screen Since the 1960s
Kim Newman
The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood
James Gleick
Complete Novels
Dashiell Hammett, Steven Marcus
Beat the Reaper - Josh Bazell You read the plot summary (former mob hitman, in WitSec and now practicing medicine, runs into his former cronies and must escape their revenge) and you don't wince, or sigh, or yawn--and I'm not sure this is for you. 'Cause that summary reads like a recipe for some high-concept Hollywood bullshit, all flash-cut-editing like Michael Bay, no sense whatsoever in its execution or (you'd think) in any element of its production. And you may come into the novel hoping for that kind of tough-guy lunkheadedness, a larky bit of hypervee...

And you'd be disappointed. Oh, sure--it's got that ludicrous plot, which if any more fantastic would find orcs and Dumbledore flipping butterfly-knives at our hero in the E.R. Check. And violence. Check. (Let's avoid spoilers and just say "shin bone.") But Bazell is as clean and mean a plotter as you'd want, able to take this baloney and serve it up like it's a filet. And he's funny. And did I say mean? This is some serious smartassery.

Making rounds, the good doctor comes upon a woman freaked out at the imminent surgery to remove her leg. He has a few conversations with her, including one where she laments the loss of men's lust, sarcastically notes to Dr. Brown that she doubts the boys will be asking her to dance any more. And our hero responds, "Sure they will. Down at the hop."

I dug this. Maybe reading it while insomniac, far from the comforting dull hum of my internet connection, for four hours late late one night, unable to get real work done and freaking out about same .... so maybe a dose of nasty, nutty, well-written crime fiction was just what I needed. I'm sending this one to you, too, Donald!