You know a book you read and enjoy while acknowledging it’s not that good? I’m not talking about a “guilty pleasure” read, a term I’ve always found to be condescending anyway. I’m talking about something that you know is probably not well-written but it meshes with your taste and you wind up enjoying it?
That’s how I feel about p.g. sturges’ (sic) Shortcut Man. sturges writes in an absurdist, Chuck Palahniuk-esque style that I don’t often enjoy. And he has no running plot, rather a series of small plots that come together more or less near the end. Plus, he shifts character perspectives in the middle of chapters, which is incredibly confusing and made for some occasionally frustrated reading.
But the stuff that works really works. sturges might be writing in a style I don’t often like but it helps that he’s good at it. There were multiple scenes where I literally laughed out loud. I don’t know that a book has made me laugh this much in a while. I didn’t like the main character or anyone else in this story and I didn’t really care. It was fun reading. A quirky, endearing crime story that takes Los Angeles full on. It made me want to read more, even as it annoyed me.
This was another recommendation from Michael Connelly and, including North of Montana, he’s two-for-two. Shortcut Man couldn’t possibly be farther from Connelly in terms of style but I see why he likes it. I don’t agree with the Chandler comparison but it’s a good LA tale.