Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Indigo Slam - Robert Crais

It's been a while since I've upgraded the vintage crime blog. After reading Infinite Jest, I've been on a crime binge including Indigo Slam, The Damage Done by Hilary Davidson, and The Fiend in Human by John MacLachlan Gray (reviews forthcoming).

This novel finds Elvis Cole semi-adopting a few kids after their father has disappeared. It turns out he is an engraver/printer, and may be involved in some kind of counterfeiting ring. The entire time I was reading this novel, I kind of had in the back of my mind that I had seen this as a movie before. I finally figured out that Rush Hour 2 (2001) had a very similar plot. Don't worry though, this novel was published in 1997!

This novel also explores the possibility of Elvis' love interest (sorry, I forget her name... it's been a few weeks and I took the book back to the library!) moving to LA from Baton Rouge. I won't spoil it, but it leaves the possibility of interesting things happening in future novels.

As usual, Joe Pike plays a minor, but pivotal role in the novel, and it doesn't disappoint. I can't wait to read the Joe Pike novel, but I'm reading all of these in the order they were published, so I have a few more to go.

Up next is The Affair by Lee Child. It's a classic Reacher novel!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Infinite Jest - David Foster Wallace

You may have noticed the Vintage Crime Blog has been out of commission for a while. That's because I have been reading the epic novel Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. It was recommended to me by a friend after he heard I had read Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon.

Infinite Jest is a novel set in a near dystopian future where the US, Canada and Mexico have all become the same nation. The nation is largely run by a power source called annular fission, which requires a large amount of nuclear storage/wasteland. The US devises a plan where they give the northeast to canada, then transform it into the nuclear storage area.

The story revolves around three story lines.

1. Hal Incandeza, a top junior tennis player at the Enfield Tennis Academy, which was founded by his father.

2. Don Gately, a recovering alcoholic and live-in counselor at The Ennet House Drug and Recovery House.

3. Remy Marathe, a secret double/triple agent for Canada trying to secure an artificial heart for his wife who was born anencephalic.

The entire story is loosely related to tracking down the master copy of a video that is so good, it causes the viewer to not do anything except watch the video. Like Gravity's Rainbow, there is an epic journey with multiple digressions that do not relate to the story. It is a great story, which takes itself a litte too seriously, and has some serious digressions into prescription drugs (which are detailed in the 200 pages of footnotes).

If you're looking for a wide spanning novel with some serious literary background, I would recommend this novel. It took me over a month to read, so be prepared!

Up next is an actual vintage crime novel, Indigo Slam (1997) by Robert Crais.