Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bazell's Mob-tastic Masterpiece?

Read 2/27/10 - 3/3/10
3 Stars - Recommended to readers familiar with genre

Have you ever read a book that was all hyped up, recommended by everyone who read it to everyone who hasn't, and wondered if you had read the same thing everyone else had read???

Have you ever read the back cover of a book and thought "Hey! This sounds like something right up my alley!" and then proceeded to read it and realised that it really wasn't what you thought it was about, and wondered what book the person who wrote the blurb had read???

I'm kinda torn here. Which is a strange for me. I don't want to bite the hand that feeds me - See, this was part of a pack of books that Regal Literary mailed me for review. I worship the ground Michael Strong walks on, and look forward to reading more of the books they are associated with.... They do a great job of sending me books that match my tastes. And there really was nothing wrong with the book at all. I thought it was well written, fast-paced, and it held my interest the entire time I was reading it.

Were there moments of "oh yeah right, there is no way anybody would/could do that"? Sure. Like when our guy Peter Brown slices his leg open in a walk in freezer, breaks it's fibula and removes the bone with his own two hands, and uses it as a weapon. - But those moments were few and far between.

Were there moments of "in your dreams, buddy"? Uh huh, yup. Like when our same hero walks into an elevator, makes small talk with a hot chick, and suddenly she is pulling the STOP button to do it "aerosmith" style. - Not enough to take away from the big picture though.

Mostly it was just a cool little story about a guy who was once involved in some messy shit with the mob, put his time in for a crime he sort of didn't commit, entered the witness protection program, and tryed to move on with his life. There was no real race to beat death, not in the sense that the back cover blurb made it seem like. And there was no case of dual identities or split personalities, as the back cover blurb also made it seem like. Just a straight up story of a repentant dude having some bad shit finally catch up to him.

I just didn't see what all the fuss was about. I'm not screaming from the rafters about it. I wasn't left with the feeling that I had just read the next best book. I liken this to one other reading experience Ive had.. and that was with Joshua Ferris's "And Then We Came To The End": A good book that was hyped to hell and just didn't live up to all of it... for me.

I allowed the hype to build this book up. It's not the author's fault. The fault lies completely with me. No one made me set those expectations. I did it to myself.

I almost wish I could turn back the clock and read it without ever having heard a word about it from anyone else. Perhaps I would have been one of the ones raving about it? Where's that damn time machine when you need one, huh?

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