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,
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.