Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Sam Hawken: Juaréz Dance

It's been a long time since I read a book I really wanted to devour. There have been some I've liked, but they haven't been books I didn't want to leave alone. I didn't want to leave Sam Hawken's Juaréz Dance alone. I wanted to get back to it as soon as I possibly could. And for some reason or another, it was possible this last weekend.

The protagonist of Juaréz Dance is an American hired assassin working for a Mexican drug lord. The guy, named Cooper, is a very skilled in what he does, but everything seems to go a bit wrong when the drug lord asks Cooper to bodyguard him. Cooper's still effective, but there's something nagging him all the time.

Hawken writes mean, minimalist, behaviorist prose that doesn't much give away what the people - mainly it's about Cooper all the time - think or feel. I really love this kind of writing. There are wonderful passages of time just passing, of a boredom that comes from waiting by a pool in an empty backyard of a luxurious villa. I could see this being directed by Jim Jarmusch, and I kept comparing it to one of the best books I've read, Kevin Wignall's Who Is Conrad Hirst? 

The last pages of the book are not as good as the previous 240 ones (this is something Hawken says bothered his agent, so the book wound up being self-published), but I'm not really complaining. If I were still picking up books to be translated in Finnish, I'd pick this up.

Purchase the book here. I mean, seriously, do it. This guy means business. (Sorry, the book seems to be available only as an e-book. I didn't mind.)

Hawken has also two other novels, Tequila Sunset and Dead Women of Juaréz. I mean to read them as well.

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