The Lincoln Lawyer
Just a couple of quick bites at two very different books I came across this week – one I flew through and the other I didn’t even attempt to finish.
First, though, a Public Service warning: if you have an early start in the morning then under no circumstances should you attempt to read the final hundred-odd pages of Michael Connelly’s 2005 novel The Lincoln Lawyer. In my case I had the alarm set for six a.m.; but as four and then five in the morning approached, I knew that I wouldn’t be getting any sleep that night.
On the surface this is a courtroom drama that introduces Los Angles defense attorney Mickey Haller, who operates out of the back of his Lincoln. In a way, Mickey is an ‘unreliable narrator’. He seems to see himself as worse than he is. I rather liked him. Or maybe that’s because I could relate to the guy a little bit. He tries to do the right thing but the pressure of bills doesn’t always allow that, leading him to have a very guilty conscience; he has a couple of exes that he still gets on with, and who clearly care for him; and he’s been known to overindulge in booze when things get on top of him – although I would have to admit that the jury would be out for me on a mixture of Guinness and Vodka as one’s numbing agents of choice. Yes, and the jury pun is intended.
This is unputdownable, with more twists than you could shake a judge’s mallet at. (Groan.) And like I say, clear the docket for the next day.
The other novel this week is one that I found very easy to put down; and I won’t be picking it back up again any time soon, either. Also from 2005, Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk is a series of 24 short stories loosely linked by a background in which a group of people have answered an ad to attend an Artist’s Retreat.
The opening story – Guts – is without a doubt the most repulsive, vomit-inducing, horrifically repellent gross-out ten pages that I’ve ever read. I won’t give you nightmares, except to say that there is more appalling imagery in these ten pages than you would find in full-length outings. And here’s another Public Service announcement, proving that this blog has some use after all: If you want to ever have healthy thoughts about sex, use a swimming pool or eat calamari again, then stay the hell away from Haunted.