Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Book Review: “Hard Bite The Novel”, by Anonymous-9, Blasted Heath, 2012, 144 pages.

Back in April, after I got up off the floor, I reviewed Anonymous-9’s “Hard Bite And Other Short Stories”. I reported the anthology to be an absolute knock-out.

Since then, the shiner on my right eye has healed and my left eye lid can now open. My nose is finally straightening out. But my neck is still sore and my back still yields, on occasion, traces of ring chalk.

Now Anonymous-9 and Blasted Heath bring Dean and the ever cuddly Sid back for round two. This time the format is a 144 page novel. Time keeper: ring the bell.

It is difficult to transform a concept with well-established characters from a short piece into a sustainable novel. Many have tried. The history of literature is flush with writers’ realizations that this can be at the very least problematic and at worst insurmountable.

But not here.

This novel is a crazed slugfest of wild windmill and roundhouse punches that all connect. Mexican Mafia, drugs, murdered innocents, shedding flesh and spurting blood, a hooker, and of course Sid. As I write this, my left ear resembles cauliflower, my lower lip is busted and my ass is kicked. The vengeance of Dean is amplified in the novel and played out against a canvas of kidnapping, the drug trade and Dean’s own honor and introspection and . . . Well, I won’t spoil that.

The Dean and Sid we met and enjoyed in the shorter version have become larger, deeper and more complex. Yes, A-9 has expanded the personality of a capuchin monkey without devolving into cuteness or absurd humanizing of the animal: Sid is still Sid, but more so. Because of their growth, we are more invested in them. Just when you think serial killing by monkey is cracked up to be a worthwhile endeavor, you dear reader will be hard-bitten. And believe me, you will enjoy the teeth sinking in your ear lobe, tearing away a portion of your ear and instead of complaining to the referee, you will ask for more.

A-9 can still pound the keys and lay down words and imagery that not only engross you but leave you wet, tired and panting for more. When this book becomes a movie and they come out with the action figures, I want the whole line of Sid and accessories. I also want to see, because of what happens in this novel, where this franchise goes from here. The potential is there.

“Hard Bite The Novel” is due to hit the shelves October 25th. Buy it. Pre-order it now.


Kyle MacRae said...

Cracking review! And for anyone who'd like to see the HARD BITE book trailer:

Anonymous-9 said...

Joseph, this review is beyond my wildest dreams. The pre-order link seems to be down just now but watch the trailer HERE: (scroll down)

Link to The 1st Short Story Collection:

Al Tucher said...

Counting the days until this one hits the streets!

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