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Verdict Both funny and frantic, complex and crazy, Gordon’s work will appeal to readers of thrillers, cult film stories, and absurdist fiction.—Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Libs., Providence
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Posted August 30, 2013
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.