April 30, 2010
From this extremely enthusiastic blog post on Barry Gifford’s Sailor & Lula novels at Glyphjockey:
Life is short and my reading list long (currently on my third Mary Roach in a row – currently thinking up pot puns for that review, which will be shortly) and so I don’t actively seek out amazing anymore. The wheel of karma brings it to me. My sister bought me Sailor’s Holiday (the 3rd book in the series) as a Christmas request from me. It opens up with child sacrifice, migrates to pimps harvested for their organs and encounters with conjectured afterlife. Amplified from the original Wild at Heart, (the first book) and yet with the Gifford flavor all along; life’s mundane moments inherently contain enough reflectivity for him to provide insights. This especially evident in his Memories from a Sinking Ship which collects the absences in his childhood and turns them into a series of vignettes told by a dark Jean Shepherd (no you’ll shoot your eye out!) here on the streets of Chicago, in the wet snow and broiling sun, managing to imply his father’s underworld connections intriguingly.
Wild at Heart, in contrast to Sailor’s Holiday, was a disappointment… At the time for me, it was all in the other book (the third really). But that’s what’s good; it was the third book. I had no idea that there was a second (Perdita Durango) or for that matter four more after Sailor’s Holiday. I got those books before the internet. Book stores knew nothing. Special orders had to be placed, even if the slack-jawed attendant found the listing. We weren’t swimming in a sea of cool. But now I’ve got ‘em all. In Lula and Sailor’s world I now have more. More death, voodoo, crime, humping, gun-play, humidity, tobacco, bourbon, love and satori. Frankly, I’m figuratively shitting myself waiting to read it.