Thursday, September 28, 2006

Anonymous Rex, by Eric Garcia

(hb; 2000)

From the inside flap:

“Vincent Rubio, a Los Angeles private investigator, is down on his luck: He's out of work. His car's been repossessed. His partner has died under mysterious circumstances. And his tail just won't stay put. Vincent is a dinosaur – a Veliciraptor, to be precise. It seems the dinosaurs faked their extinction 65 million years ago and still roam the earth, disguised in convincing latex costumes that help them blend perfectly into human society. A heightened sense of smell allows the dinos to detect one another – Vincent's got an odor like a tasty Cuban cigar.

“When Vincent is called to investigate a two-bit case of arson at a hip dino nightclub, he discovers something much more sinister, which lures him back to New York City – the scene of his partner's death and a dangerous nexus of dinosaur and human intermingling.

“Will Vincent solve the mystery of his partner's death? Will a gorgeous blond chanteuse discover his true identity, jeopardizing both of their lives? Will Vincent be able to conquer his dangerous addiction to basil, or will he wind up in Herbaholics Anonymous? Will he find true love, or resort to crumpled issues of Stegolicious?”


This is a rolling-on-the-floor-funny novel, exhibiting one of the more originative neo-noir plots I've read. Vincent Rubio, the laid-back narrator, is familiar enough that I instantly warmed to him, and different enough that he's memorable. The wack-like-life wacky situations that Rubio and the other characters encounter further their -- and the storyline's -- rib-tickling memorability.

Fresh blast of a book.

In 2004, a film bearing the same name was aired. It's actually based on the second/follow-up Vincent Rubio novel, Casual Rex, according to

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