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Mystery Girl: A Novel

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Mys­tery Girl by David Gor­don is a noir novel set in Cal­i­for­

    Mys­tery Girl by David Gor­don is a noir novel set in Cal­i­for­nia. Mr Gordon's first novel, The Seri­al­ist, won the VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a final­ist for an Edgar Award.

    Sam Korn­berg lives in L.A., his mar­riage is falling apart and it looks like he'll never be the nov­el­ist he dreamed of being. Look­ing for any job he might be qual­ify for , Sam gets a job as an assis­tant (he spe­cial­izes in being an "assis­tant") detec­tive to Solar Lonsky.

    Sam's first assign­ment is to track a mys­te­ri­ous woman who trig­gers the adven­ture his about to take involv­ing shootouts, mis­taken iden­ti­ties, insane asy­lums and lots of movie talk in a video store.

    Mys­tery Girl by David Gor­don is def­i­nitely a men’s novel full of self doubt, awk­ward­ness, porn, manly movie talk and Jackie Chan. The book is both funny and sad, easy to read but cer­tainly not fluff. The novel is much like real life, when things which are insignif­i­cant to oth­ers seem to be insur­mount­able objects in your life, and sub­jects which are impor­tant to you are mean­ing­less to most.

    The style of the book took me a lit­tle time to get used to, it’s frank but with a lot of sim­i­les to make sure you know you’re read­ing a noir novel. How­ever, I did enjoy the humor, the char­ac­ters as well as the story. The author pays homage to the movie indus­try; the nar­ra­tor is a nov­el­ist so it was nice to read how movies influ­ence writ­ers and not nec­es­sar­ily the other way around. The char­ac­ters were inter­est­ing, self-deprecating and hon­est. I found the idea of a failed writer who thinks he’s right (his sto­ries have no plot) while every­one else is wrong to be funny and amusing.

    There is no doubt that Mr. Gor­don is a very tal­ented writer, while the book has a few ups and downs, over­all I really liked the writ­ing and the story.

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