Thursday, August 13, 2009

Read Lately: Casino Moon by Peter Blauner

  • I think some books are too long. I don't mean those authors that fall in love with their words and forget to edit themselves. I'm referring to this requirement to put out a three hundred page novel even with a story that would be better paced at two hundred. Casino Moon is one of those books.

  • The main character, Anthony Russo, is the son of New Jersey mafioso. Vincent, his adoptive father, wants Anthony to get into the family business, but Anthony would do anything to get away from that life. His ticket out comes in the form of a retired boxer who it looking to make a comeback. But his mafia ties and his family problems keep getting in Anthony's way.

  • It's obvious to me that Peter Blauner can write. My problem is that, even though the final fifty pages really picked up some steam, it is not enough to redeem the novel. Cutting about a hundred pages could have turned it into a lean, tightly paced story. As it was, I had trouble staying interested until the end. That said, I finally got into it once I hit the last few chapters. In fact, I read the last two pages twice because they were so well written.

  • My assumption here is that, since this is only his second book and the only one I've read, Blauner has grown as a writer in the intervening years. This is not a book I would recommend to a casual reader. However there is a promise in these pages that he's got better books out there if you look.

© 2009 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.
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  1. It drives me crazy when I read something that makes me feel like the author has wasted my time. If your story is a novella, write a novella. If it's a trilogy, write a trilogy not ten rambling novels with 100 plot threads most of which we barely care about. The most egregious example I can think of is the Wheel of Time series.

  2. @ Yeebo - You shouldn't get me started on the Wheel of Time. Those books are so infuriating! I don't know how I got six books into that series in the first place.