Sunday, March 2, 2014

Book Review: “Dutch Curridge” by Tim Bryant, 2010, Createspace, Kindle Edition, 212 pages.

I am huge fan of classic noir; I love the old gumshoes, those two legged bloodhounds tracking down the missing and ultimately the dead. These were my first heroes, anti-heroes who drank too much; who ate at greasy spoons; who smoked; were behind on their bills; were hot for ‘broads’ and ‘tomatoes’; and who frankly didn’t give a shit. You know, these are the guys who were politically incorrect.

My first exposure was through Dashiell Hammett then I found Raymond Chandler and the greatest phrase turning I still have ever seen. I then fell headlong into James Cain and every time I finished a short story or novel; every time I experienced the human condition through the eyes of these writers I needed to count my fingers, get a tetanus shot and take a long, hot shower with cleanser.

The world in these stories was real; full of filth, deceit, violence and death and this reality has been missing in the infantile homogenized mass mystery market that has since taken its place.

“Dutch Curridge” is the name of our hero and is a turn of the phrase from ‘Dutch courage’ meaning ‘liquid courage’; that valor you attain at the bottom of a shot glass; old school valor when men used their fists and women used heaters packed in their garters.

Tim Bryant thankfully returns us back to these days with a novel that reads like a cross between a Robert Altman film and those standouts of classic noir mentioned. From the first paragraph you can feel the easiness of the tale unfold into the dust and heat of Fort Worth around the time Landslide Lyndon stole his first election. The characters seem all too real to be fictional and the hunt for the missing Whitey Calhoun is a trail you just cannot put down.

Mr. Bryant’s style is more than refreshing; it is clear and reader friendly; he puts you at the side of the protagonist and in the middle of the action. There are times when you feel as though you are watching this rather than reading it.

Why Tim Bryant isn’t in the New York Times Book Review or its ‘Best Seller List’ is beyond me. But then again the New York Times only worth is as a birdcage liner and ‘best sellers lists’ are manipulated by those big publishing houses peddling manure.

This is a novel worthy of stellar storytelling. This is a novel that should be read while the Cornwalls and the Pattersons should be used for doorstops.

If you don’t buy this book you deserve a knuckle sandwich.


Anonymous-9 said...

Now THAT is a review. Thank you, Joseph.

JosephPatchen said...

You are toooooo kind.

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