Friday, September 21, 2007

The Big O -- Declan Burke

It's hard to describe the plot of The Big O. Let's just say it has to do with a secretary who's into armed robbery on the side, a retired kidnapper who's not really retired, a recently released convict, a discredited surgeon and his wife, a cop or two, and a dog. I think that about covers it.

How all these characters act and interact makes up the plot, which I have to admit involves a lot of coincidences, enough to fill a couple of Woolrich novels. My theory is that the coincidences are there to show that there's some kind of hidden order in what appears outwardly to be a chaotic world. But I could be wrong. And it doesn't matter anyway, because
The Big O is a very entertaining crime novel. It's fast-moving, it has snappy dialog, and it's and wickedly funny. It's told in short chapters that concentrate on the individual characters and their situations. The plot builds and builds, and the climactic scenes really pay off.

As for the title, well, you'll have to decide for yourself what it means. And, yes, Roy Orbison is mentioned.

The book's not yet available in the U. S., more's the pity, but I was lucky enough to snag a review copy. Check it out if you get the chance.


Cap'n Bob Napier said...

I thought The Big O was the theme of at least one article in every issue of Cosmopolitan for the last 35 years.

Bill Crider said...

True, and I wouldn't rule out that meaning.