Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Ken Bruen's Purgatory
The quotes and other mentions of crime fiction have always been a part of the Taylor novels, but they reach a crescendo here (and Taylor, in his first-person narration--though not all of the book is in his voice, even begins to refer to past events in terms of Bruen's book titles, a metafictional gesture totally in keeping with Bruen's method).
What's compelling is Bruen's voice (and Taylor's, when he's onstage). Though I really prefer the Brant books, as crime novels, thte Taylor books are the pinnacle of Bruen's offhand but bleakly poetic style. As I've said before, he reminds me a bit of the Anglo-American writer J.P. Donleavy (mostly forgotten now, I guess) in terms of the language and the pervading melancholy. But Bruen (and Taylor) are very much of this moment, in terms of popular culture, crime fiction, Irish history, and global politics.