Tag: James Sallis

Question Tuesday: Is Your Preferred Crime Style Gritty, Hardboiled And Realistic; Or Genteel And Cosy, A Puzzle To Examine With Cruelty And Realism Downplayed?

Posted August 14, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Question Tuesday / 0 Comments

If you are a regular reader or know me at all you’ll know the answer to this question is Dark, Gritty and Hardboiled. I’m a big fan of the hardboiled and Noir genres that have become famous in the 1940’s and you can see book reviews for these types of books under Pulp (if you are curious to know the difference between Hardboiled and Noir check out this post).

I’ve always been a fan of the dark and realistic, and while I do like that occasional cosy read, I often feel that the downplaying can often be overdone and in the end, I tend to not enjoy them. Those major bestselling crime novels tend to annoy me because they all feel formulaic and predictable. I want the laconic and dispassionate styles of a good pulp novel.

I know pulp novels don’t seem to be very popular anymore, there are some novelists that still write them like James Ellroy, James Sallis and Lawrence Block but I would love to know what others think of this genre and what they look for in a crime novel.

Driven by James Sallis

Posted July 22, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Pulp / 0 Comments

Driven by James SallisTitle: Driven (Goodreads)
Author: James Sallis
Series: Drive #2
Published: Poisoned Pen Press, 2012
Pages: 158
Genres: Pulp
My Copy: eBook

Buy: AmazonBook DepositoryKindle (or visit your local Indie bookstore)

I really enjoyed Drive, the writing, style and non-linear story, so I was interested to see where this story would go with the sequel. The first major issue with Driven is that it tries to continue a story that really didn’t need to be continued. Now, Driver seems different. Driver’s campaign against those who double-crossed him has ended; now seven years have passed and Driver has a new life and a successful business. One day, he and his fiancée were attacked by two men and while Driver can defend himself, his fiancée is killed. Driver finds that his past is catching up him. Will he face it?

I feel let down by this book, like this was more of a gimmick to follow the success of the movie adaptation of Drive rather than a continuation of Driver’s story. The noir voice is still there but the non-linear story has disappeared and the book ends in an unsatisfying way. Even though Driver has undertaken a transformation, his personality doesn’t seem to suit the character I got to know in the first book. The plot never lived up to its predecessor and this just made this book a weak attempt of a sequel.

I’m not going to lie, I did enjoy this book but having recently read Drive, this book just can’t live up to it. Personally I think there is no real reason to continue the story of Driver; he is a great character but trying to tell the readers what happened to him after he got his revenge seems redundant and unnecessary. The new characters weren’t that great and the shady Felix had so much potential. I wanted to enjoy this book so much more but I continually compared it to Drive and in the end that was this book’s downfall.


Monthly Review – May 2012

Posted May 31, 2012 by Michael @ Knowledge Lost in Monthly Reading / 0 Comments

What a great month we have had here at Literary Exploration. The site was officially launched on the 1st and we have been releasing a new post every one to two days. I really hope we can keep up this momentum and I’ve been working hard to get more and more content on the site for your enjoyment.  You might have noticed some older books being reviewed on the site as well as some new releases and ARCs. I hope you are enjoying the mixture of old and new as well as the different genres because we plan to read books and put up content of all types of books. We are proud to have a guest post up already as well as two books that I’m hoping people will enjoy when they are released in June.

On the forums on Goodreads we have been reading the classic detective novel; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle. This was the first time I’ve ever read this book and I’m still trying to work out why it took me so long to read it. Next month we will be reading another classic novel, when we read the Victorian novel; The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I hope you can join in the discussions on Goodreads and have your say on what books we will read in the future.

My reading has been going really well this month, from trying out my first book in the popular Harry Hole series, to the laughs of the weird things customers say in bookstores. Highlights for me included the Russian classic Crime and Punishment which may be a massive book; it was just a beautiful crime novel and a real joy to read. Talulla Rising by Glen Duncan which will be released on the 26th of June is an exciting follow up to The Last Werewolf; it’s dark, gritty, over sexed and I highly recommend it. As well as Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell and Drive by James Sallis which are both great crime novels.

May’s Books