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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
Burden Kansas - Alan Ryker A swift, fine little snarl of vampire/Western funk--it rips along, with little patience for the expansive mythological noodling which can bloat much horror fiction. Ryker's prose is stripped-down, as is the plot, but the author manages to flesh out in terse flashbacks some complex character dynamics that make the novel (novella? novelish? it's brief) improve as it progresses. He also takes vamp-lore in a couple cool, unexpected directions, too. Meth is medicinal--who knew?

The cinematic rush of the writing can at times be over-determined. There's a fine moment late in the novel where antihero Keith notices a strange cylinder of light piercing the dark, and realizes it's streaming outdoors through a bullethole--and it's described much like that. A cool scene to imagine, and it'd look killer on screen, but it'd be cool to have prose as piercing as the idea.

Still, minor whines--it's a very fun read, and I'll read more Ryker. (Never would have run into this but for karen's review--thanks, k!)