Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Review of The Pistol Poets by Victor Gischler (No Exit Press, 2004)
The Pistol Poets is a screwball noir with a healthy dose of mayhem and madness. As with all books in this sub-genre, plausibility is thin on the ground, but that’s hardly the point. Instead, the plot skates the edges of credibility with a series of twists and turns, double-crosses, dead ends, and violent clashes, acted out with a weird and wonderful set of characters who are all slightly larger than life or are kooky in some way. Moreover, the book is written in nice, tight, expressive prose, with a plot that is well choreographed. I was hooked from pretty much the first page and they then flipped over at a steady pace. It would have been quite easy for the various intersecting subplots to drift away into a bit of a mess, but Gischler has a firm hand on the tiller and keeps the whole thing together until the last page. A very enjoyable bit of escapist noir.