BROWSE BOOK REVIEWS:

"Rocky Mountain Noir" by Peter Learn

Posted by Matt McAvoy on Monday, July 15, 2019 Under: Book Reviews


A very dialogue driven and bizarre comedy, with that instantly recognizable quirky, dry Canadian humour, a lot of which is so deadpan it may go over the heads of some Stateside.  “Rocky Mountain Noir” pays heart on sleeve homage to the detective pulp of Mickey Spillane, but does so with its tongue so deep in its cheek it borders on spoof.

Fast-paced and talky, this book is a fusion of pulp, action and outright slapstick, laced with a few moments so laugh out loud funny they had me cracking up thinking back on them, later.  All that said, however, many of the themes are particularly adult ones, and it is at times actually rather unpleasant.  Whilst investigating the kidnapping of a family, from a notorious haunted hotel in a small mountain town, Jack Hammer – the dwarf, anti-hero detective – follows avenues to an abusive crime family, helpful ghosts, genetic experiments and machine-gun mercenaries, whilst veering off on increasingly absurd tangents with less-than-intelligent local characters.  Approaching the midway point, as the story begins to unfold, it takes an absolutely bizarre (and not just a little disturbing) turn.  From then on, “Rocky Mountain Noir” revels in its wackiness and, in the last third, starts to go all-out action.  It’s a strange book to read, because although I did so, for the most part, with a smile, I found it a little silly for my tastes – not my cup of tea particularly, though having said that, I still enjoyed it.  I wasn’t a big fan of the multiple first-person format Peter Learn chose – just as you’re getting into the prose in the words of one character, another viewpoint takes over, which I found a touch frustrating, particularly as dialogue comprises the vast majority of this book’s content; it is quick-fire and formed almost of a montage of witty ripostes between the characters, so I do like to attach to at least one of them, and was indeed doing so, in Hammer’s case.  Of course, that is just my personal opinion and one which may not be shared by others. 

Overall, this book is enjoyable, a little bit bizarre and may not be for all tastes.  That said, whether I like it or not, I can’t deny I enjoyed reading it.


In : Book Reviews 


Tags: peter-learm  pulp-fiction  drama  comedy  bizarre 
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