What makes the novel so remarkable–remarkable enough for me to put it
on my Edgar short list along with Terrill Lankford’s Blonde
Lightning–is the way, like the best of the Rockford episodes, Goldberg
is able to parody his standard SoCal moments while telling a
convincing, even moving tale about the real nature of SoCal streets and
the real nature of heroism.
The novel owes more to literary pieces than to genre ones because here
the narrator’s voice is more important than plot, something you find in
novels such as Richard Price’s Ladies Man (modern) and J.D. Salinger’s
Catcher in The Rye (classic). And as in both of those novels, Goldberg
creates an Everyman, a man who just doesn’t fit anywhere, a man who is
driven to find some small justice in a world where justice is just
another commodity to buy and sell. You can almost hear Holden Caulfield
hectoring you, telling you that you’re a sap to believe all that
hi-faultin’ nonsense about the hallowed justice system working for one
and all. He knows better and you should know better, too.
I may be blushing all weekend. To be compared on any level besides "this book is also written on paper" with Richard Price and J.D. Salinger just floors me. Thank you, Ed. Now how the hell am I supposed to get back to writing MONK #2 after that?