Sunday, July 31, 2005

NY noir

Just read an excellent NY noir novel, Disturbed Earth by Reggie Nadelson (who is described in this Bookreporter profile as "an international woman of mystery"--I think this is an unfortunate coinage; actually, there's a funny but slightly grotesque Austin Powers reference in the novel, but still...).

Prose style isn't Nadelson's particular strength--this novel called to mind Jim Fusilli's Hard, Hard City and the Mo Prager novels by Reed Farrel Coleman, but where both Fusilli and Coleman are really angelic sentence-writers, Nadelson's sentences are more serviceable than stylish (and the punctuation definitely could have used another go-through--yes, yes, I know I am ridiculously pedantic with this, I have the soul of a copy-editor). But Nadelson more than makes up for it with her journalistic-sociological sensibility--the characters are all appealing and complex and the stuff about NY truly excellent, there's some great Russian-Brighton Beach stuff and other very nicely observed scenes in different social milieux. Definitely recommended--it's an interesting book a s well as being a highly readable one, you get the feeling that Nadelson would be an excellent person to hang out with.

(Incongruously Nadelson's novel is blurbed by Paul Theroux and Salman Rushdie. Disconcerting! Clearly she moves in rather elevated circles...)

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