Thursday, July 08, 2010
Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, by Will Viharo
(pb; 1993: first book in the Vic Valentine series)
From the back cover:
"Meet Vic Valentine, a San Francisco private eye whose romance is on the rocks, with a twist. An abusive, alcoholic baseball player has hired him to find his missing wife. Trouble is, it turns out she's also Vic's long lost lover. Coincidence? Fate? A setup? Join a hopeless romantic on his quest for the answer in this twisted tale of old-fashioned romance gone awry in a shadowy, postmodern world of lovelorn losers, vengeful vice, dangerous deceit and swingin' Sinatra songs."
Nostalgic, quotable-quippy, humorous and sharp writing highlights this neo-pulp work, with its nods to classic noir films (as well as Eighties music and San Francisco). Its characters are interesting and relatable, the action never lags, and the character-based twists are often unexpected and always worthwhile: this is one of the best neo-pulp works I've read in long time.
Worth owning, this. You can purchase it at Lulu.com or Amazon.
Actor Christian Slater has bought (and repeatedly renewed) the film options for this dyed-in-the-gray noir-classic novel. The film is currently "in development" as of this updated writing (April 7, 2014).
Love Stories has several sequels. The first two, Fate Is My Pimp and Romance Takes a Raincheck, have been published as one book. My review for them is here.