|Book review: Pedestrian Wolves
||[Jan. 26th, 2005|12:25 am]
Title: Pedestrian Wolves
Author: James L. Grant (flemco)
Synopsis: Hedonist goes to New Orleans and discovers what Hedonism is really about.
In other hands, Pedestrian Wolves could be summed up as "I went to NOLA and got drunk and laid." Under Grant's guidance, this novel becomes far more than the sum of its parts.
The protagonist, David Livingstone, is a self-styled Predator (yes, capitalised). He thinks he's seen and done pretty much everything in his twenty-some years. When he has a chance to visit New Orleans one Hallowe'en weekend, he leaps at the chance. If this was as far as it goes, it would be your average semi-autobiographical masturbation fantasy, but true to form, Grant takes the genre and turns it upside-down, then slams it headfirst into NOLA's shattered concrete.
Livingstone forges a mental/emotional connection with the city, which gives him advice and far more. It speaks to him as an ancient goddess, demanding its due in the form of Bacchanalian worship. Livingstone does his damnedest to live up to the city's expectations (or at least, his interpretation thereof), nearly killing himself in the process.
Technically, the writing is damned good. Grant has a rare gift for description, observation, and character development. There are a couple of minor errors; for example, at one point, Livingstone refers to his roommate, Marcus, as David, but nothing extremely jarring. His descriptions of the NOLA scene are sharp and accurate.
Usually, when I finish reading a new book, I close the cover and move on to another. In this case, I closed the cover and sat for a while, pondering what I'd just read. This book stays with the reader. It's affecting and disturbing, but in a good way. aeire, Creator Lady of Queen of Wands, describes it as "...a good car wreck in which no one gets hurt and there's free drugs and ice cream for everyone afterward." That's about the most perfect summation I can imagine.
Rating: 5 out of 5. For a first novel, Pedestrian Wolves is a remarkable achievement.
Available from Prime Books and Amazon.