Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Joe Gores: Interface

After reading for years praises for Joe Gores' 1974 novel Interface I decided finally to read it during the holidays. The book is a private eye classic, but not anything Chandler or Macdonald might've written. It's a tense novel in which the private eye is no hero. He works with the crooks, for the crooks, against the crooks. He's no tarnished knight.

The "he" of the novel is Neil Fargo, but he's not the main protagonist of the book. There's also one Docker, half-crazy and violent Vietnam veteran, who in the beginning kills two guys and steals an attache case full of drug money. This takes place already in the midst of events, as Gores doesn't give anything away for the reader. He also writes in a terse, behaviorist style that stays away from depicting what the characters are thinking at any given moment or what they are driving at with their actions. This made - at least for me - pretty difficult to get into the book. The rhythm started to feel easier in the middle of the book. There's a mesmerizing twist in the end, but even that's not very easily narrated.

I'd really like to read this in a good translation - it's never been translated in Finnish, I don't know why (some other books by Gores have been) -, but somehow I don't think that's gonna happen. Still, a very good book that comes highly recommended.

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