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Lunch » Tags » Untagged » Mystery Girl: A Novel » User review

Very odd book

  • Aug 8, 2013
It's rather difficult to catagorize this book. At times it's a murder mystery, at times it's a comedy, at times it's a tragedy, and at times it's a series of almost unending paragraphs about all kinds of things! It can be difficult to read through this book without wondering what the heck was the author's point of the whole ting?

The plot involves a failed writer whose wife has left him, and who takes a job as an assistant to an extremely corpulent "detective" to help track down a mysterious woman. The writer gets into all kinds of trouble, and the woman apparently commits suicide as he watches.

There are a number of really strange characters: the worker at a failing video store, the owner of the store who is on oxygen but whose knowledge of arcane movie lore is prodigious, assorted Mexicans, more mysterious women, and two strange directors, one of whom was supposed to have killed himself years before, and one who is the toast of the movie industry.

The plot does move along, and the various sections of the book have titles taken (and changed in odd ways) from famous books. It is a pretty bloody book, and the ending is quite revealing and somewhat interesting. It's not that I disliked the book, it's just that I couldn't get a good feeling when reading it. Perhaps, if you read it, you may come away with a completely different attitude about it. That's the good part of reading a book for your own pleasure.

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August 09, 2013
About the reviewer
Frank J. Konopka ()
Ranked #93
I'm a small town general practice attorney in the hard coal region of Pennsylvania. Books are my passion, andI read as many of them asI can. Being the President of the local library board for over … more
About this product


"Some things are inexplicable. The human heart is one. Los Angeles is another. In his latest whodunit, Gordon ('The Serialist') takes on both with an LA noir reminiscent of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy [in which] a failed experimental novelist, Sam Kornberg must track a mystery woman through LaLa land psych wards and late-night jaunts to Mexico."New York Post, Required Reading

"David Gordon has written a passionate love story disguised as a mystery, a brainy tragicomedy, a bildungsroman wherein ‘the gumshoe learns the shocking secret of himself.’ His prose is by turns salacious, uproarious, and happily unhinged. A total delight.”—Karen Russell, author ofSwamplandia!

"I'm a Lebowski, you're a Lebowski, and fans of the famous Coen Brothers film may find many of their favorite aspects mirrored in this dark comedy…An unpredictable farce."—Kirkus 

"[Raymond] Chandler's shadow hangs over [Mystery Girl], as do the literary shades of Proust, Beckett, and Pynchon, and the equally strong cinematic influences of the Hitchcock ofVertigoand the Welles ofTouch of Evil. The book is filled with literary and cinematic references… Gordon's appealing wit and obvious intellect propel this gripping tale to a finely wrought and mostly unexpected conclusion."—Booklist

"Both funny and frantic, complex and crazy, Gordon includes characters from every genre (underground and dark Coen Brothers films figure in the plot). [Mystery Girl] will ...
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"Very odd book"
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