Monday, March 26, 2007

Ray Banks' "The Big Blind"

Ray Banks, who shares his birthday with Chuck Barris and Curtis Mayfield and was born in a Fife town famous for chocolate cake and linoleum, is the author of The Big Blind -- today's feature at the Page 69 Test -- and the forthcoming Saturday's Child and Donkey Punch.

About The Big Blind:
Stella Artois, Jack Daniels’, American Roulette and Caribbean Stud. Double glazing salesmen Alan Slater and Les Beale are on the town, doing what they always do: getting hammered and losing money.

It all kicks off when Beale trades aggro with some Chinese lads. As always, Alan’s on hand to pick up the pieces.

But he can’t manage it forever. Slater’s getting sick of it. Sick to his stomach. Beale used to be a good salesman and an okay friend, but since his wife left him, he’s become a bigoted, fat, falling-apart-at-the-seams victim of drink, paranoia and his own slavering greed.

To make matters worse, he’s about to lose his job. And Alan Slater’s about to have a road accident that’ll spell the end of his old life and the beginning of a brand new world of shite.
Among the praise for the novel:

“…tears off the page like a Mack truck spewing diamond prose of such finesse that you have to push back from the page lest you burn.”
--Ken Bruen, Shamus-winning author of The Guards

“Seedy, sordid and unpleasant — you wouldn’t want Alan Slater’s life, but watching it spiral spectacularly out of control makes for a hugely compulsive and entertaining read. If you’re making a list of authors to watch, Ray Banks should be right there at the top.”
--Kevin Wignall, author of For The Dogs

“I loved The Big Blind. Ray Banks’ rapid-fire prose takes no prisoners. It’s fast, hard and tight, with a story that doesn’t let go until the very last page.”
--Simon Kernick, author of The Murder Exchange

“Banks is as close to Ken Bruen for smarts and economy as anyone. The Big Blind is a winner and Ray Banks establishes himself straight away with this raw, gripping, and very excellent debut.”
--Charlie Stella, author of Cheapskates

Visit Ray Banks' website, "The Saturday Boy."

The Page 69 Test: The Big Blind.

--Marshal Zeringue