Robert Chazz Chute's Blog

February 3, 2013

DrivenDriven by James Sallis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Loved this, with a few reservations. I wasn't that impressed with the movie based on the first book, Drive. After reading Driven, I'm curious to check it out. The writing in Driven is spare and sometimes poetic and wry. There were sentences where the turn of phrase delivered such punch I stopped to reread and savour. I love reading a neo-noir with a protagonist filled with existential angst. (That's my kind of writing, too.) Amid the action, the author pauses to ask what it's all about and is life essentially meaningless? It's never hopeless, though, and it's even funny in an understated way.

The writing is mostly superb. It's the plotting that falls down a bit later on. I suspect there's a longer, more understandable book in there. It seems the author's mission was to write as spare a book as possible, so it often feels more like a clever screenplay than a novel. While the text is constantly riveting, I felt confused as to what was going on in places.

The mission to write as little as possible, for me, made a few later chapters telegraphic and incomprehensible in the larger scheme of the plot. Driver so rarely seems at all uncertain, I think it would have been better if the protagonist was in a bit more peril. However, that's Mr. Sallis's prerogative and, overall, he's written a very good book. I gave it four stars because what's great far outweighs the not-as-great.



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Published on February 03, 2013 10:05 • 81 views • Tags: hardboiled, james-sallis, neo-noir, noir

December 13, 2012

Until Saturday December 15, you can get Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire for free. It's solid writing and publishing advice with a sense of humor.

The first book in this series is link: Crack the Indie Author Code (and it's getting excellent reviews.)
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Published on December 13, 2012 14:23 • 42 views • Tags: free-ebook, giveaway, publishing, self-publishing, writing

November 25, 2012

From Monday Nov. 26 to Friday Nov. 30, Crack the Indie Author Code is free on Amazon. It's packed with tips on editing, writing and publishing. Get your copy free. If you love it, please review it.

Thanks!
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Published on November 25, 2012 21:23 • 87 views • Tags: crack-the-indie-author-code, giveaway, how-to, writing-guide

November 19, 2012

From Nov. 19 to Nov. 23rd, Higher Than Jesus, my crime novel and the second in the Hit Man Series, is available as a no cost download on Amazon.

Expect addiction, sex and violence in a hardboiled fashion (plus jokes). My favorite scene is my hit man failing miserably in group therapy, but the scene where Jesus Diaz is forcing someone to make a phone call in a van full of explosives is also (and I've never used this term until now) a "hoot". Oh, god, I hate myself.

Get Higher Than Jesus for free here.

(Free kindle reading apps for any deviceL http://amzn.to/U8AfcG)

If you love it, please do review it.
Cheers!
Chazz Higher Than Jesus (#2 in the The Hit Man Series) by Robert Chazz Chute
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Published on November 19, 2012 06:39 • 66 views • Tags: amazon, ebook, free-reading-app, freebie, giveaway, higher-than-jesus, kindle

November 13, 2012

The Dangerous Kind & Other Stories is free on Amazon as an ebook from Nov. 14 to Nov. 18. It's a novella and a short story collection that follows the inhabitants of Poeticule Bay, Maine. Many want to escape, but it can cost everything to get away.

Grab the suspense at the link.

Thanks! Enjoy!
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Published on November 13, 2012 20:26 • 63 views • Tags: free-ebook, giveway, the-dangerous-kind-other-stories

August 29, 2012

The fun and funny foundation book of The Hit Man Series, Bigger Than Jesus, is free on Amazon as an ebook from Wednesday August 29 to Friday August 31. This the last free promotion, so best to grab it now. Enjoy.

If you love it, please review it. Thanks! Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute
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Published on August 29, 2012 05:48 • 77 views • Tags: action, bigger-than-jesus, free, giveaway, hit-man-series, humor, mystery, review, review-copy, robert-chazz-chute, suspense, thriller

August 1, 2012

As the entries to the Six Words of Less Contest rolled in, I was surprised how several tied in with religious themes. See all the details at the link. You can vote for your favorite entries by checking the comment thread and emailing your vote at:

expartepress AT gmail DOT com

Votes close August 10.
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Published on August 01, 2012 21:25 • 79 views • Tags: robert-chazz-chute, six-words-or-less, vote, writing-contest

June 27, 2012

On June 28, 2012 (tomorrow) my crime novel, Bigger Than Jesus, is free on Amazon all day. I would like to promote it more but need additional reviews first. If you like it, please review it.

Thanks!

Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute
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Published on June 27, 2012 17:28 • 54 views • Tags: amazon, bigger-than-jesus, chazz, free-ebook, giveaway, robert-chazz-chute

June 18, 2012

To whom will Bigger Than Jesus appeal? I have serious and much less than serious answers to this Author Blog Challenge writing prompt:

1. People who like a fast beach read of a crime thriller that's hard to put down. I got the idea for my pacing from Blake Crouch's Run. There's a cliffhanger or an aha moment, or several, in every chapter. The tension only cranks up.

2. People who like old caper movies, like To Catch a Thief, Sneakers or The Italian Job. My fondest childhood memories are getting lost in movies to shut out everything else.

3. People who like Coen brothers' movies where simple solutions lead to more and more complex problems and the hero is thwarted again and again. Rock? Meet hard place. And now a badger is chewing your jugular as you try to do your taxes.

4. People who like funny, punchy dialogue, including a debate between two hoods: Who shot first, Han Solo or Greedo? (Yes, that's one of the serious answers and the question does bear on the action at the time.)

5. People who like a lot of twists and surprises. I modelled my plot after screenwriter and author William Goldman's penchant for sucker punches where, just when you think you know what happens next, it goes a different way.

6. People who value clever more than gory. For a book about a hit man trying to escape the mob, there's a lot of word play and when the violence does occur, it's realistic yet somehow funny in the same way Pulp Fiction could be. The chapters skip along with logical complexity offset by humour.

7. People who like genre fiction that reaches up. Much of the novel has a lighthearted slant, but underneath, when you discover some of the main character's history, it's unexpectedly disturbing and heartbreaking. Are you worried I've just spoiled  something? Don't be. I like magic tricks in all of my fiction. I'm telling you up front that I'm going to deceive you and you're going to watch to catch me at my sleight of hand. The game is, I'm still going to fool you anyway. "Consider the gauntlet thrown," he said smiling. I know this will work because I often surprised myself while writing Bigger Than Jesus.

8. Movie buffs with an Elmore Leonard sensibility in their reading tastes. Jesus Diaz, the anti-hero of the novel, is a movie buff and, since movies were a large part of his education, he sees the world through a Hollywood lens. The action is definitely influenced by Elmore Leonard's take on shady characters having strange dialogue.

9. Readers who like a book that plays with them. The entire book is written in present tense, second-person. I loved Bright Lights, Big City for that and I decided that, after twenty-seven years, somebody should try that again. But it's not just my personal preference or a gimmick at work. There's a reason. Late in the novel, you get a strong hint as to why the narrative is told as it is.

10. Readers who enjoy a story that ends up in some unexpected places, like a discussion of Salvador Dali's life, for instance. Bigger Than Jesus is a fun game and a puzzle box of a crime thriller that packs serious emotions behind it.

Some of the less serious answers to this Author Blog Challenge writing prompt include:   Everyone with a Kindle or anyone who gets the free Kindle Reading app for any device, NMD (Not my dad), people who enjoy breathing, gorgeous and empowered Latinas, New York pizza joint owners who bought it thinking it was about Jesus Christ but will get sucked in anyway, criminals plotting to go straight, intelligent people (so if you don't get it...eh, you figure it out), Beatles fans who also love the SIG Sauer, and the authorities who put me on a watch list for my Google searches because of the research for this book.

The second part of the writing prompt asked: How do I connect with them to market to them?

Um. I'm not sure. Have I convinced you yet?


Click the book cover if yes.

Bigger Than Jesus by Robert Chazz Chute
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Published on June 18, 2012 20:14 • 48 views • Tags: allthatchazz-com, beach-read, bigger-than-jesus, crime-fiction, robert-chazz-chute, thriller

June 16, 2012