Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Death and Life of Bobby Z by Don Winslow

Because I enjoyed his book Power of the Dog, I figured I’d try another Winslow product. Turns out, Bobby Z is a bit of a stinker. The tale is good enough I suppose: a self-proclaimed three-time loser gets offered the chance to impersonate the famous SoCal criminal dobe dealer and surfer, Bobby Z. He does, and gets pulled into a world of Mexican drug lords and double crosses. Luckily, he was a trained marine badass before becoming a petty criminal loser. Eventually, he gets the kid, the girl, the money, and sails off (literally) into the sunset.

No, it wasn’t the clichéd plot of Bobby Z that bothered me. It was, like, the language, man. When the narrator is like, hip as a motherfuck to the SoCal scene, man, it’s like, hard to, you know, take the prose seriously. If it were like restrained to like the goddamn dialog or some shit like that it would be, like, a bit easier to take, man. But since the prose itself is supposed to sound like it was like narrated by like some Hells Angel reject acid casualty, man, it was just a little, like tres fucking ridiculous, you dig?

When Lebowski talks like this, he’s a parody of the Southern California burnout scene. When the prose itself is written in this fashion it’s just tedious and obscures the cool.

Luckily, Winslow got a lot better by Power of the Dog. So if you’re going to read something by him, I’d recommend that instead of Bobby Z.

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