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➻ [Download] ➸ A Fistful of Nothing (The Hollywoodholes Sonata, #1) By Dan Glaser ➺ –

A love letter to the classic detective story with equal parts film noir and dieselpunk flair this is brash, take no prisoners prose and dialogue with enough bon mots and banter to conjure images of Bogart and Cagney on every page One hell of a read.Glaser constructs a postmodern noir paradise to set his story against, the Hollywoodholes, that just begs to have its every corner explored His cast of broad characters constantly scheme circles around each other in an endless web of conspiracy that keeps the final few revelations impossible to predict The entire novel prose, dialogue and description is injected with a heady noir sentiment and not a page goes by without smirk worthy wordplay.Hand in hand with that noir sentiment, though, Glaser clearly chooses style over clarity It s an acceptable risk, one the author willingly takes, but frequently the liberal use of language and especially metaphor become a roadblock to understanding Often, I became so tangled in both period slang and gaudy description that I wished I could have zoomed the scene out and understood what was happening from a colder, clinical perspective.Very eager to read the author s next work Recommended. The Great Depression Never Ate The Country Alive WWII Refuses To Put Out Its Raging Fires Every Major City Across Fifty States Has Been Blown Sky High By Blitzing This Is , America The Only Choice The Denizens Of A War Torn Los Angeles Have Left Is To Plunge Into The Deep Dark Of The Metro Tunnels And Make A New Life In The Ruins Of The Subway Rails Below With Elbow Grease, Neon, And Blood In The Crumbling Catacombs Beneath Hollywood, An Ex Private Eye Named Jim Jimbo Maynard Scours The Dead, Dark Underworld For Payoff On A Gamble Gone Wrong, But Stumbles Instead On A Subterranean Metropolis Divided By Vice, Vendettas, Mysteries, And Murder Plots In Order To Hunt Down The Butchers Of Two Seemingly Unrelated Corpses, Jim Will Come Up Against Warring Mob Bosses, Backstabbing Bookies, Mad Inventors, Tin Titans, Bootleg Rum Running, Corrupted Coppers, And Electromagnetic Revolvers Welcome To The Hollywoodholes Welcome To Your Chrome Coffin Fistful of Nohtings is set in an incredibly noir, dieselpunk place An alternative Los Angeles of 1950s, where WWII never ended, and actually came to the US and wrecked havoc on the city Part of it sank into the ground and people found shelter in there, a maze of tunnels and cave like places Outdoors Los Angeles, constantly bombarded and at war, is no place for human beings Even if, someone could argue, the Hollywoodholes aren t either In this place of darkness, the underworld has mostly taken over, and people live a half life sometimes literary, since many have parts of their body replaced with mechanisms I ll be honest, the setting is extremely interesting So it s a shame the story falls somewhat short of expectations It is, at its core, a mystery and it rests in the hands of a disillusioned sleuth to solve it as in good noir tradition But the mystery is convoluted, cryptic in many places and I could never follow it clearly Things seem to happen to Jim the main character by mere chance all the time, it was hard for me to see a progression in the way they were presented Some repeated themselves a bit too often Jim is repeatedly beaten up and loses conscience, for example I think that focus on Jim s actions and especially his reasons would have strengthened the structure of the story, which on the other hand doesn t lack action It s a fast paced read Era lingo is very heavy, so although it does help creating the setting, sometimes it is too distracting Jim s relationship with the Betty, the female main character, is very nice, instead It never turns into a romance, but there is always a lot of tension between them, both sexual and emotional And I liked this. This is definitely an amazing debut novel The story is solid and once you start reading it, you will most likely have a hard time putting it down I don t feel a need to write a description of the book in this review because, that is what the description that the author wrote is for If you re a fan of noir films or detective novels, or even the video games bioshock any of them, take your pick and or L.A Noire, this book is definitely for you Very steampunk While looking for Dieselpunk books I ve stumbled across a fistful of nothing Now my expectations, being the first dieselpunk book and thought about something along the mad max line, have not been satisfied However due to the interesting use of language I will push the rating from 3 to 4 starts, my recommendation to anyone non native english is to buy an ebook version to look up words with comfort.Without spoiling anything the book was missing atmosphere, I would have wished for surroundings after all it feels like there are only 10 people living in the area.Looking forward for other books from Dan Glaser, no private eye plots for now please One of the things that gets noticed about Steampunk or of which it is at times accused is a tendency for slightly though deliberately stilted prose, convoluted sentencry, and an almost but not genuinely authentic lexicon featuring words that, for all their satisfying flavour, probably never existed in fact quite as though it is each author s duty nay, pleasure to imbue a sense of pseudo Victoriana upon the text itself, and not merely the narrative therein.A bit like that opening sentence, in fact.Partly for this very reason, I approached Dan Glaser s d but novel A Fistful of Nothing with something approaching an expectational blank slate True, also I had never heard of the man a week before but in particular because it was the first time I d read something that explicitly embraced the label Dieselpunk I knew what steam power had in store for me, stylistically speaking, but not this.That s not to say I had zero expectations, of course As a fan of William Gibson and the suffix originating Cyberpunk genre, I knew I d be getting a period styled tale with an urban edge of some sort Like equally catchy sounding and, some occasionally claim, imaginary subgenres such as Decopunk interbellum scifi and Atompunk n clear, perhaps , Dieselpunk is retro futurism this time broadly of the 1950s, and I d come across interesting mash ups in the past.But is there to the other punks than setting And where will it all end, with Flowerpunk Discopunk Punkpu well, that one s probably not going to happen Anyway, let s concentrate on the matter at hand The year is 1952, war never cooled and the battered population of Los Angeles hides from the ceaseless bombardment of America s west coast in the sewers and tunnels beneath the city Welcome to the Hollywoodholes a subterranean warren of patched up dives, diners, clubs and casinos either reclaimed from the surface or blasted down from it, populated by varying degrees of human trash willing to do almost anything to survive, be it scavenging, empire building, or good old fashioned violence Enter Jim Jimbo Maynard, a once lucky former Private Investigator with a face for punching, who in classic noir style stumbles into the path of bad news and follows it right to the bitter end He treads on the toes of power, kicks over rocks that would have been better left unkicked, and most of those missteps are returned to him with interest but Jimbo came down town on a mission and beatings won t stop him from getting to B However, he is also a man with a code, dirty and selfish though it may be, and when fallout from his petty quest lands on a relative innocent he takes one last self imposed case To mete out justice for the dead Before he probably joins them Well now Give me film noir and watch me sit pretty Pass me genre fiction and I ll show you a smile Even so, for a handful of pages, A Fistful of Nothing had me somewhat worried The problem came down to the style.I don t have a knee jerk problem with self published fiction to me, good is good regardless of the source, just like bad is bad but there are hard facts to face about this literary tsunami In the vast majority of what I ve read, quality of prose represents a lethal undertow ever ready to drown the unfortunate in its purpled depths No sentence goes unflourished, no thesaurus page unturned.Well, this is a self published book though judging by that cover you might be forgiven for assuming otherwise and, when it comes to the prose, merely saying purple doesn t even come close Here, the sentences are saturated with it.Except after a while, you find it works.In the same way that Steampunk encourages a certain formality of authorial tone, Glaser infuses his Dieselpunk with the jazzy cadence of the Beatniks I made the leap from tolerance to enjoyment when I recognised my mental reference point had shifted from self publishing s laboured majority to Nick Mamatas Move Under Ground , a unique, pitch perfect blending of Lovecraft s Cthulhu Mythos with Kerouac s On The Road Maybe it s the difference between using the purple and only having one crayon and from this book there s no way to know how many other colours are Glaser s to command , but at the very least you have to admit he wields it well Coupled to all this finger clicking prose is, when you get down to it, a straight forward investigation yarn in a dark, classic vein, and another highly stylised comparison leaps to mind in Frank Miller s Sin City but let s be honest, there s an excess of flattery going on here now A Fistful of Nothing works, but it s also a first novel A pretty good one, and rising from self published waters it s something rather special, but not without flaws Jimbo doesn t quite have the brute charisma of Sin City s Marv big ask there, of course , nor are the supporting characters as vivid, and long before I d reached the end the cycle of beatings delivered and received had become a little over familiar So too much of the vocabulary The book boasts some genuinely great lines, but I have to admit that Kerouac was never really my thing, and even after I was on board with this I found the basic style heavy going There s only so many alternatives to the label gumshoe, only so many shades of purpleThis being my first taste of Dieselpunk, I can t say if this is one man s stylistic choice or representative of the genre as a whole If this is a common quirk, I suspect steam will edge out diesel in the long run because to me Formality as a dominant style offers, ironically, greater flexibility of expression to a writer, while Beat easily risks clich unless it just plain is one Nevertheless, reading A Fistful of Nothing I underwent quite the sea change from my early impressions This is a book that rewards necessary patience with exaggerated fun, but I ll need a break before I pick up a sequel Glaser served up rich food, and like good is good and bad is bad too much too soon would be too much.But I will get hungry again Cue the Beatnik Applause.Click click click, click click, click click DIESELPUNK post steam, and pre cyber punk, characterizes A Fistful of Nothing, quite well, as this is the 1950s set in a distorted underground Hollywoodholes The atmosphere and time period run together with cinema like quality, and if you re going to embark with Jim on his investigation to solve two brutal murders, then you d better brush up on your 1950s lingo For a habitual pantywaist, the hopped up shitkicker threw a nasty right hook into Jim s side, and the alarming jab stung like salt and sweat as it slapped his gut Chapter 1 Names like The Mad Dog, and The Kid abound Jim Jimbo Maynard s a classic hard boiled noir detective, maybe the ancestor of Harry Dresden Dresden Files by Jim Butcher What begins as a gambling dispute ends up with two dead bodies on Jim s lap To find the culprit, he ll have to out talk and sift through a whole assortment of untrustworthy, nutso characters from L.A s underworld.The prose is over the top purple at times, but toward the end of Part I, I found that I d settled into a comfortable rhythm with it The plot also picks up then before you never felt like Jim was in much danger, but going into Part II, the stakes are raised The murder mystery is fully enhanced by the wonderful bizarre underworld usually I like to race along to find out who dun it and how, but in A Fistful of Nothing, I found myself lingering over details and enjoying how the case unraveled However, I wasn t quite sold on Jim s motivations for getting so involved in the case in the first place and why the first death struck him so hard for me, his character didn t veer too much from the brooding detective model obsessed with Fortuna to really stand on his own I really liked Betty, though, she was funny You got bourbon I wanna get wet, sister So go find a puddle or something Chapter 3 Haha.The Hollywoodholes Series promises gritty violence, murder, and one liners to come I enjoyed the sneak peak at the end into Book II A Lungful of Glass, and the destination it takes place Disclaimer I received a free copy of this ebook in exchange for a review, which does not affect my opinion in any way.