Dan and Kemper just might be reading geniuses. George Pelecanos notwithstanding. After all, even Albert Einstein didn’t get it right all the time. But Johnny Shaw is one beautiful bastard. He even has a great one liner when he was asked to describe PLASTER CITY: “Two dumb guys with a really bad plan.” I mean, shit, how much better could it possibly get. I’d buy that book. And when I was threatened within an inch of my life for previous sins committed against Saint George, I decided that it might be time to trickle out of the darkness and poke my head at the sun. So instead of a live grenade strapped to my waist and a bullwhip wrapped around my neck…well, I chose to live. Being strangled and blown to dust in the middle of California just doesn’t provide me with enough excitement in my world.
If you could take all the bad luck in the universe and hand it off to two ignorant bastards, you’d probably choose Jimmy Veeder and Bobby Maves, and these two fools would probably be stupid enough to thank you. But that’s what made them so cute and cuddly. Pure ignorance was coupled with a wave of bliss, and I was left tearing through pages like a gun was pointed at my head with the hammer cocked.
Seeing the fiery inferno headed my way, I chose to stand on the sidelines and watch the blaze roll on by. It tore through trees and tumbleweed and California sand before it passed out just short of the San Bernardino Mountains, and I found it hard not to look away. No, I stared directly into the flames, and I might have even had the slightest uptick of a smile.
The dialogue punched me in the gut and knocked me on my ass, and some man with steel cables for arms nearly took out my nose. I might have lost two lead pipes in the fight, but I was damn sure going to walk away with my pride. And maybe a stupid grin. In the end, I’d say it was all worth it, and I have no doubt Johnny Shaw and I are going to get along just fine.