Friday, December 17, 2010

Forgotten Books: GLITTERBURN -- Heywood Gould

Okay, so when I wrote about Double Bang for FFB a couple of weeks ago, I said I'd be reading another book by Heywood Gould soon. I wasn't kidding.

Glitterburn (from 1981) is narrated by Josh Krales, a reporter for a fictitious New York newspaper called the Event. Suddenly he appears to be a magnet for murder. Someone's murdering billionaires, and Krales is always right there on the scene. He files stories, and the paper kills them. His editor offers to send him to Hawaii on vacation because the stories will never be published. Krales doesn't believe anyone can cover up the events he's witnessed, but it happens. Krales being the kind of guy he is, he keeps pushing. And (you guessed it) winds up in Big Trouble.

I'm not sure whether this book will appeal to everyone. I found it very funny, hilarious in spots, and chock full of bitter over-the-top satire. The whole thing's so far over the top and outrageous, in fact, that some readers might be turned off. Not me, though.

Here's a tender scene that occurs just before Krales and femme fatale Athena Stuart go up to his apartment for steamy sex. If you like this kind of thing, there's plenty of it. If you don't, you'd be better off skipping the book:

A legless Korean accordion player serenaded us with "Moonlight Bay"; I tinkled a few coins at his feet. Up the block in front of the funeral home, a fat woman in black was lifting her veil to throw up on a car. Two ancient homosexuals were groping each other in the doorway of the bakery. Yes, it was definitely a night for love.

That's some of the milder stuff. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to Gould's new novel, The Serial Killer's Daughter, which comes out next spring.


George said...

I'm going to have to read some Heywood Gould after this review. Sounds like my kind of book!

pattinase (abbott) said...

There will come a day when either your book or George's or James will be one I have read.
A misspent life.

Evan Lewis said...

Wow. Now I've heard of Heywood Gould twice.

Todd Mason said...

Only if you weren't enjoying what you were reading, Patti. And certainly Gould ahead of "John Norman"...or the late, bad, W. C. Tuttle I've read (and James among others has encouraged us all to look up his early good work).

Wv: MisJudy ...hmm.