Thursday, March 17, 2011

Two Stars? Really?

Allen Barra beats the drum for the written work of Barry Gifford, over here. Barra begs readers not to associate Gifford too closely with the films of David Lynch (although the two clearly enjoy collaborating). Matt Dillon's City Of Ghosts (IMDB) is probably closer to Gifford's literary mark, if you'd rather see a movie than read a book.

Some years back I read Port Tropique (A), and loved it. I reached next for The Sinaloa Story (A), and when I finished that I figured I'd about finished with Gifford, too. Some of the "snapshots" within those pages failed to catch my interest; others beguiled, and begged for further exposure, which Gifford resolutely denied. I would call the first book "accomplished" and the second "experimental" -- a judgment Barra strains to refute. Barra is also keen on The Cavalry Charges, so I figured I'd give Gifford another chance.

My review of it is here. Two stars strikes me as a bit harsh, but the javascript prompt for three stars is "I liked it" while two indicates "It was okay," which is pretty much what I thought when I'd finished the book. If nothing else, The Cavalry Charges served to remind me that the real excitement in a writer's life, even one as internationally fĂȘted as Gifford, occurs on the page.

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