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

Monday, October 16, 2006

#92: Soul Kitchen -- Poppy Z Brite

The latest in Brite's 'Liquor' series, featuring Rickey and G-man: a story about love, jealousy and addiction, with a garnish of murder mystery. As a whodunnit, I have to say, it doesn't really work: I spotted the villain more or less as soon as he appeared. The ending of the novel seemed a little rushed, a little abrupt: although all the threads were tied up, there wasn't really a sense of closure.

It's very much Rickey's novel -- I suppose they've all been, but this seems almost claustrophobically focussed on his POV -- as he comes to terms with addiction (to Vicodin and to work), and wonders whether he and G-man have lost their way. They're still home to one another, but is that just habit?

That said, I did enjoy Soul Kitchen, not least for the loving and lavish passages about food -- good food, bad food, soul food, tourist-trap food. And it's so very evocative of New Orleans, a New Orleans that I recall from a trip in the early 90s: a New Orleans that was washed away by Hurricane Katrina, which swept in just after this novel was delivered. I'm looking forward to Brite's next, to reading an insider's view on the wreckage of a city that's loved by author and characters alike.

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