Wednesday, February 09, 2011

What is Wallace Stroby reading?

Today's featured contributor at Writers Read: Wallace Stroby, author of Cold Shot to the Heart.

His entry begins:
In 1981, I picked Tom McGuane’s novel Ninety-Two in the Shade off a rack at a now-defunct bookstore in St. Augustine, Fla. I had no idea who McGuane was, or what the book was about. That it looked quirky, and that it was set in Florida – where I’d just arrived to attend college – was all I knew. Reading it was like a shot of adrenaline and blotter acid. It made my head spin. It was like nothing I’d ever read before. I’ve read almost everything he’s written since.

But it‘s been nine years since McGuane’s last novel, The Cadence of Grass, and I picked up his latest, Driving on the Rim, with a little trepidation. Had the master of the American comic novel lost his mojo somewhere down the pike? Turns out there was no reason to worry. Though it’s not quite up there with his masterpieces, such as Ninety-Two, Panama and Keep the Change, Driving on the Rim is indisputably a Tom McGuane novel, something no one else on the planet is capable of producing.

Driving is the odyssey of Irving Berlin “I.B.” Pickett, a small-town Montana doctor with a weakness for pursuing the wrong women, and an inexplicable blindness when it comes to choosing the right one. Told in first person, Driving is I.B.’s confession of sorts, beginning with...[read on]
Among the early praise for Cold Shot to the Heart:
“Another fast, taut winner from Stroby. As for Crissa, she may be crime fiction’s best bad girl ever.”
--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Just when you think that you can't be surprised anymore, a writer like Wallace Stroby ups the ante.”
--Laura Lippman, author of I'd Know You Anywhere

“Stroby pits a resourceful crook against a ruthless killer in this well-crafted crime novel… The action builds to the inevitable and exciting showdown.”
--Publishers Weekly

“Raw, hard-edged, noirish ... The scenes of preparation and execution are chilling. The clashes are cinematic. Stroby has been called a nascent Crumley or Pelecanos. He shares their sense that cynicism is the last pose left to the romantic.”
Learn more about the author and his novels at the official Wallace Stroby website and The Heartbreak Blog.

The Page 69 Test: Gone 'til November.

The Page 69 Test: Cold Shot to the Heart.

Writers Read: Wallace Stroby.

--Marshal Zeringue