Monday, December 12, 2016

Kiss the Devil Good Night -- Jonathan Woods

Jonathan Woods writes wild and crazy books, and Kiss the Devil Good Night is no exception, except that it might be even wilder and crazier than his earlier work (see herehere, and here.)  

Bill Derringer is a veteran if the Iraq (he calls it I-rack) conflict who's spend some time in the mental wing of a VA hospital and who, while maybe not quite crazy, is close enough to do some strange things.  The novel opens as he and his wife, Edie, decide on the spur of the moment to drive to Florida with the kids to attend the trial of a woman who killed her child and (maybe) ate it.  They plan to stay with Edie's Aunt Ida.  They never attend the trial, but they do decide to rob a gun show, which results in a five-year prison sentence for Bill, while Edie and Aunt Ida run off to Mexico together.

And that's just for openers.  When Bill gets out of prison, burning for revenge against Edie and Aunt Ida, he winds up in a very odd halfway house where he meets Jane Ryker (who appears as a minor character in A Death in Mexico), and eventually they go to Mexico to find the fugitives.

This brief summary barely hints at the copious amounts of sex, violence, and dark humor in Kiss the Devil Good Night.  It's not safe for work, or for your own Aunt Ida, who, I'm positive, is nothing like Aunt Ida in the novel.  With a narrator like Bill, we're never quite sure what's real and what's not.  Even Bill's not sure.  But we know it's a strange and engrossing trip, which eventually involves a locked suitcase that once belonged to William Burroughs, who'd probably appreciate the weirdness of this novel, which is offbeat and wild and crazy (or did I say that already?).  Check it out.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

It's funny, but I don't really remember any of your previous reviews - well, maybe BAD JUJU - even though they sound great. I bought the first one and will check it out.