Friday, January 22, 2016
Review of Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto (Sphere, 2014)
Galveston is a story in the classic noir mould – a dangerous man, whose life is immersed in violence and crime, seeks redemption trying to save a young woman and small child knowing that he will probably reap the consequences of his actions. Despite the well-worn set-up, Pizzolatto provides an entertaining, edgy read that is lifted by very strong characterisation and engaging prose. The plot revolves around the interaction of Roy Cady, a forty year old bagman who’s just been told his lungs are full of small tumours, and Rocky, a young, naïve prostitute who has little conception of how to make it in the world other than to sell her body. Both have troubled histories and despite being ill-matched nurture an uneasy friendship. A key plus in the telling is that Pizzolatto places a strong emphasis on character development and their personal journeys as much as on the plot and their flight from the New Orleans mob. The result is a thoughtful noir tale that doesn’t pull punches, mixing hope with despair, violence and pathos, and has a nice twist in the denouement.