Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review: Southern Scotch

Like Quentin Tarantino movies? Like violence and mayhem? Enjoy a bit of magical realism in a retribution tale in America instead of discovering ice as in One Hundred Years of Solitude? This is your book. Southern Scotch is fast paced, twisty, and even has a good sense of character growth (or retardation) in it. It is well written and without many of the grammatical gotchas that plague many self-published books. It even has a dark sense of humor sprinkled throughout it reminiscent of Elmore Leonard.

All-seeing (despite one eye) and seemingly all-knowing Boss McTavin starts out as a lovable lump with issues, but a mistaken beating changes his life, and he becomes some sort of Avenging Angel with Jackie Chan-like physical abilities. With a reluctant grifter as Robin to his Batman, they move forward to avenge wrongs done to both of them. The story is centered in Atlanta and delves into the seedy side of life. It is a world that most of us probably have never seen or know about, but which the author does a good job bringing to life as the Dynamic Duo execute Boss's plan, that unfortunately has holes in it, relies on some good luck, and features some horrific bad turns for the Duo.

While I enjoyed the book, I must admit that there were times when I got lost in what was really happening. Sometimes the descriptions weren't grounded enough for me to form the necessary mental image. This may be unimportant to some readers just along for the ride, but it did bug me. The author took risks with the point-of-view, but pulls it off. The ending was awkward: every time I thought I was done, there was another ending and then another one. To me, it took away some of the magical nature of Boss and his situation. I have no problem with those who give this book a "5" rating. For me, this is top-shelf "4".  

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