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Low Town - Daniel Polansky This is one of those books that I started reading as a palette cleanser between heavier, denser books. Polansky states that Hammett and Chandler were his inspiration for writing this book. Well alright, I love those guys. The back of the book says:

Drug dealers,
dirty politics,
corrupt cops . . . and sorcery.
Welcome to Low Town

Sounds great right?
I've been a life time reader and usually have a pretty good filter. I don't get taken in by hype. I don't get in too much of a hurry to read the new hot book. I now have goodreads to help me make sure I don't spend my hard earned dollars on bad books. I was taken in by this book folks. It happens, but how was I to know that Daniel Polansky sleeps with Smurfs.

The book is just boring, bland, like eating a cheeseburger without the cheese or the pickles or the ketchup and certainly without the onion. The writing was simply uninspiring like it had been put through a polysyllable strainer leaving me to muddle through a monotonous, lifeless text.

I started this book during what turned out to be a really great basketball game between Florida St and Duke. I was reading during the commercials, so I was distracted. The cardboard taste of this book went down easier with the excitement of a close fought basketball game. By the time I realized that I had been bamboozled I was already in over a hundred pages. Absolutely nothing had happened. Polansky spends very little time world building. If the fantasy elements had been taken out of the book I'm not sure I would have noticed. If the hard boiled elements had been taken out of the books I don't think it would have changed anything one iota.

I have struggled with fantasy books in the past. Recently I couldn't get through Brent Weeks. There have been many other fantasy books that have been tossed aside never to be ventured near again. I would give up on the genre except for the fact that I love Jeff Vandermeer, China Mieville and Alan Campbell. Their books light up my brain like a pinball machine. A new writer who I think is fantastic is Mark Lawrence who released his first book last year called Prince of Thorns and the second book is coming out in August called King of Thorns. My advice pick up the Lawrence and give Polansky a pass.

I would challenge Daniel Polansky to a duel for the price that I paid for this book, but really is it the writer's fault? I mean he worked his pants off writing this book and it was the editor who decided this book needed to kill trees. So though it has been 20 years since I said ON GUARD (Kansan for en garde) in my fencing class in college, I would gladly don my equipment and whip a blade through the air once again to reclaim the money that rightful should have rewarded another writer.