Thursday, October 06, 2011

Scott Phillips: The Adjustment

Scott Phillips's The Ice Harvest has been one of my favourite books for a long time and I saw to it that it was translated in Finnish. Everyone who's read it (not that many people, gotta admit) has liked it. I was thrilled to read Phillips's latest, The Adjustment that's just out from . And it's a great book. It's probably not as catchy as The Ice Harvest, as it's not as plot-driven as the previous book, but it's still just as gripping.

Wayne Ogden, famous from The Ice Harvest's very peculiar prequel-cum-sequel, The Walkaway (a book I liked very much, but it was pretty tough for me to get into, I don't know why), is the very dubious hero of the new novel, an asshole who hates almost everyone and is very lovable for that. You cannot but share his cynic world view, since everyone else in the book is an asshole too, but they are also stupid or boring. Wayne works for a small-town big boss, an alcoholic old man whose only joy in life is fuck young women in a brothel. At the same time Wayne hates his good-looking wife who's pregnant (the fact that Wayne very much hates) and fucks other women. And at the same time he gets hassled by an unknown dude who seems to know something about his past in the war-time Europe when he was a supply surge (I happen to know that "Supply Sarge" was Phillips's original title for the book) pimping and smuggling and selling army stuff.

This is wonderful stuff, you know. Very curtly told, the dialogue is snappy and funny without being overtly so, the downward spiral with occasional bursts of random violence grabs you in a chilling way - all this makes The Adjustment very, very entertaining. Highly recommended.

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