Sunday, October 15, 2006

Pelecanos Brings the "Drama"

Talk about a novel staying with you.

Although I finished George Pelecanos' "Drama City" a few months back, I have found myself drawn back to the novel again and again-- it's truly his best work to date. It looks like the author's work on "The Wire" has carried over to his first stand-alone novel, as the sensibilities and the slow-boil pacing are very similar to the show; also, certain characters here evoke memories of some of the key players in the series' two recent seasons.

An urban portrait of redemption, it follows Lorenzo Brown, back on the streets after a prison term and trying to live a sober, straight life as "dog police". But after a number of senseless killings, he is drawn back into the fold of his former life, in order to try to do the right thing. It has shades of Richard Price's "Clockers", albeit capturing a narrower view of urban life.

Really, try it out. It's a rough, magnificent work by a more mature Pelecanos and I hope his next works continue along this track.

Related thought: Am I the only one who buys certain authors in a certain format? All of my James Ellroy novels are hardcover, all of my Pelecanos are softcover...and a certain Robert Wilson book taunts me from my bookshelf every morning, as it is the only non-trade paperback of all of his books I have. Damn you, "A Small Death in Lisbon".

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