Friday, March 30, 2012

Forgotten Books: Loan Shark by J.W. O'Dell

--------------------------LOAN SHARK

Ed here: By accident I ran across this blog called Olman's Fifty and it turned out to be one of the most fascinating review blogs I've ever read. He covers everything from pulp to literary novels. What made me a fan immediately was his review of the following novel. I've quoted Terry Southern before who always talked about all the great and sometimes memorable trash that could be found at the bottom of the literary totem. Belmont-Tower was certainly at or near the bottom but every once in awhile they did manage to publish a decent book---in fact so many it might surprise you. I read this when it first appeared and have a read it once or twice since. This is dark bleak pulp at its mordant agitated best. I don't know who O'Dell was (for a time I thought he might be Peter McCurtin who worked and published there and it still might be) but he gave a minor book bitter and truthful life.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

20. Loan Shark by J.W. O'Dell

Phew! Well this turned out to be an excellent antidote to that terrible Butcher novel I read before. Right from the beginning, I could tell we were in a different level of quality with Loan Shark. The writing is taut and the setting's grime, squalor and desperation of 1970s Times Square feels very real.

The story starts in medias res as deadbeat gambler and alcoholic Joey Casey loses all his bets in his last big play. He is in deep to a shylock and not just any shylock, but one of the meanest and least compromising, Macaluso. Worse, he drunkenly talked shit about Macaluso and even mocked his retarded daughter. So Macaluso's two top goons, old pros Fine and Demera, are after him and it's quite possible that this time they'll take his life.

for the rest go here: Olman Feelyus

1 comment:

Ben said...

That cover art is an object of savage beauty.