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The Crime Studio (Beerlight #1)

4.13  ·  Rating Details ·  145 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
The gleeful noir mayhem continues in slacker satirist Steve Aylett's collection The Crime Studio (actually his first book, but released in America after Slaughtermatic, Toxicology, and Atom). The writing in The Crime Studio is slightly less fevered than we're used to from Aylett, and the hyper-Chandlerian metaphors aren't pushed so far that they're humorous for the wrong r ...more
Published September 1st 2001 by Four Walls Eight Windows (first published June 1st 1994)
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Dan Schwent
The Crime Studio is a collection of absurd and hilarious crime stories set in the city of Beerlight.

How does one go about reviewing a collection of short stories, most of which are four pages long or less? Should I talk about Brute Parker, the owner of an all night gun shop? Or Billy Panacea, ace burglar? Or Tony Endless, the pet thief? Or the mayor, Charlie Hiatus? Or the rotund police chief, Henry Blince? Or sleazy lawyer, Harpoon Spector? Eh, I'll just compare it to P.G. Wodehouse and be on m
I'm not sure what I can say about this book -- it's weird and funny, with quotable lines on every page, and I wanted to read it again the second I finished it. In fact, I might just do that . . .

This is a collection of interrelated stories about the citizens of Beerlight, where apparently everyone is a criminal -- although criminal aptitude varies, of course. There is a running theme of . . . I want to say joy . . . in these stories. As often as not, these burglars and con artists have become wh
Jul 28, 2007 Adam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-comedy
Aylett in his more accessible debut before absurd plots, non sequiturs, and psychedelic rants took over for better or for worse(better in my opinion) Kind of O’Henry stories set in Beerland (a cartoonish, ultra violent Bertolt Brecht meets Damyon Runyan vision of America) and shredded by his satirical and anarchic wit. Sallis describes it as “The Marx Brothers filming Crime and Punishment in a single drunken afternoon”, at its best it matches that wonderful description. Fans of surrealism, Boris ...more
Jun 29, 2008 Nicholas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably closer to four and a half stars than five, but closer to five stars than four, if you follow me. This book affects my brain every time I read it. Great crime weirdness.

"And when the pen priest told them the walls of hell were four thousand miles thick, they began at once to formulate a plan for breaking in."
Amy Westgarth
Dec 09, 2014 Amy Westgarth rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
After a less than positive experience with Nine Hundred Grandmothers, I got on better with this, the second Sci-Fi book that was lent to me by a colleague.

Set in America but not as we know it, this was kind of cool with its focus on crime and sprinkling of pop-culture references. It's split into short (very short, like 2-5 pages) stories, but each have recurring characters.

I think I mostly enjoyed this because it was such a breath of fresh air after Nine Hundred Grandmothers. It's more recent
Ben Hathaway
Feb 17, 2016 Ben Hathaway rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, 2016
Quirky, wacky, absurdist, definitely. Brief, certainly.

Its always good to read something different, something from miles out of left field, and this slipsides away into this category, a left field absurdity set in the confines of Beerlight. Aylett is undoubtedly a wordsmith, and a decent one, delving into the realms of surrealist humour and satire and delivering an oddity.

Yet this feels like a personal homage, a love story to his own imagination, written for an audience of one, that he isn't t
Feb 16, 2013 Skip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-detective
Lea and Dan recommended this. A strange collection of very short stories about an imaginary town called Beerlight and its colorful characters. Great character names, and the police chief is hilarious because he keeps eating the evidence: donuts, pizza, etc. My favorite story was Like Hell You Are, where the main character John Stoop was so unremarkable that nobody could remember who he is. My biggest question is how did Steve Aylett know when this book was finished. 3.75 stars.
Apr 30, 2016 Patrick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: weird-fiction
Funny and deeply strange.
Ed Mitchell
Oct 07, 2014 Ed Mitchell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Silly, clever, funny
Dec 30, 2007 Bradley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aylett's most accessible book.
Jun 18, 2015 Mickey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
To me this was book was like a sci fi version of the Fargo TV series I watched last year. I will have to check out more books from this author.
Donald Armfield
A Great book, enjoyed every page.

Laugh out loud, bank robbing, gang affiliations, or being locked in the slammer... Aylett hits it on the head with his surrealism in a Tarantino way.
Dan Becker
Aug 21, 2015 Dan Becker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Dang this fella writes some snapping noir prose! If it's not incredibly original, I want to know who's his inspiration.
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Steve Aylett (b. 1967) is a satirical science fiction and slipstream author of several bizarro books. He is renowned for his colorful satire attacking the manipulations of authority, and for having reams of amusing epigrams and non-sequiturs only tangentially related to what little plot the books possess.

Aylett left school at age 17 and worked in a book warehouse, and later in law publishing.

More about Steve Aylett...

Other Books in the Series

Beerlight (4 books)
  • Slaughtermatic
  • Atom
  • Novahead

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“The best way of getting into something is to think of it as mischief.” 6 likes
“Dreams always end before you kill the last person.” 6 likes
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