Monday, March 26, 2018

THE LISTENER by Robert McCammon

McCammon is one of our most naturally gifted storytellers. There's a folksy quality to his work that is charming and enchanting and I can't help but love it. When it's paired with a strong story he's among the best of the best. His new novel is one of the better standalone books he's written in a while and a great showcase for his style and the qualities that make him stand out. It's a 1930's Depression period piece that begins as an awesome pulpy sleaze noir about a morally shifty grifter, the cutthroat harpy he gets tangled with and the kidnapping scheme they concoct, but then the story morphs into a magical adventure thriller about the telepathic New Orleans redcap that gets in their way, and somehow it all works!
He didn’t doubt that Hell wouldn’t claim Ginger LaFrance before the count got to a mere three. For the moment, though, he had first dibs on her. And boy, did he mean to get his Satan’s share of payback.
Also, even though I've got a thing for dark and gloomy crime stories with morally flawed characters, I also really do appreciate characters that are undeniably likable and that's also something McCammon excels at, this time giving us the character of Curtis Mayhew, a genuinely nice guy you can't help but care for and root for immediately.

Even though his Matthew Corbett series is top-notch, this sports some of McCammon's best prose in a long time, stirring and touching writing that feels like it's told around a campfire or at bedtime. And although I feel like he still can be long-winded and the some of the third act overstays it's welcome a little, it's all brought to a close with a really moving conclusion.
They stood in the beautiful room, neither speaking, each uncomfortable in their unaccustomed freedom, both waiting on the other like shadows soon to pass.
Read this. Now.


1 comment:

  1. I thought Curtis was heartbreaking. What really got me, with him, weirdly, was the amount of pride he took in his job; just a simple baggage conductor, but he didn't look at it that way, he looked at it like he was helping people get where they were going all day long. Sad that he wasn't in a position to ask for and expect more out of life, but very lovely that he took pride in what he did.

    And that helped make it believable that he would, later on, put his literal life on the line for people who were mostly strangers to him.

    Great novel!


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