No two persons ever read the same book. --Edmund Wilson

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

#30: Prime -- Poppy Z Brite

I've probably overdosed on this series, but there isn't another one until July ... Prime was the ideal read for a sunny afternoon spent on the sofa, dazed with lack of sleep and the lingering after-effects of travel sickness. (I look forward to reading it again when I'm more awake!)

Set two years after the events of Liquor, Prime is the story of what happens when Rickey is recruited as a consultant chef to bail out a Dallas restaurant where Cooper Stark, a shady figure from Rickey's cookery-school past, is failing to make an impact. Meanwhile Lenny Duveteaux, the backer of Liquor, is in legal trouble; his lawyer is thinking of running for DA; dodgy deals are being struck right, left and centre. It is as corrupt as the Floridean politics in a Carl Hiaasen novel, though not as laugh-out-loud funny.

As in Liquor, the actual climax -- the Plot -- seems a little abrupt, a little more extreme than the build-up suggests. And Rickey is going to have to live with something pretty nasty. But there's still a sense of easy, comfortable fun to his relationship with G-Man: the two of them are splendidly vivid characters, and there's something very honest, very straightforward, about the way they're written. ... That sounds bland and imprecise. Do I mean 'credible', or 'pedestrian', or 'prosaic'? No. But there is no side to them, either of them, and for that matter no campness either. Two Blokes In Love.

"'I'm not interested in iconoclasm.' Rickey hoped he'd pronounced the word right. He'd actually stopped at a bookstore and looked it up in a dictionary to make sure it meant what he thought it meant, but he had never used it in conversation before." [p. 159]

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