The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death
Not being used to violence happening around me until recently, I didn't have a chance to move. But that didn't make Harris any more reluctant about planting the barrel of his revolver under my chin.
The barrel of a gun, it's cold to the touch.
-Do you know why you're alive?
-Man, I do not. I really don't.
He chucked my chin with the barrel.
-You are alive to clean up the mess after I kill these two.
Former teacher Webster Goodhue is sleeping his life away in an attempt to forget one hor ...more
"The thing about getting beat up twice, spending big chunks of time cleaning up other people's blood, seeing your dad for the first time in two years, getting in a fight with your best friend, and having sex with someone you think you might really like a lot and then going totally psycho on her, all in a twenty-four hour period, is that it's likely to affect your judgment."--Webb Fillmore Goodhue
I wa ...more
And it is freakin' awesome.
Yeah, the author doesn't know how to use quotation marks. But unlike the pretentiousness of Cormac McCartney and Jose Saramargo, Huston's usage of dashes to connote dialogue moves the plot at neck break speed and the occasional ...more
The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death by Charlie Huston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Ranked #9 on my Top 10 Reads in 2012
Blurb: With his teaching career derailed by tragedy and his slacker days numbered, Webster Fillmore Goodhue makes an unlikely move and joins Clean Team, charged with tidying up L.A.'s grisly crime scenes. For Web, it's a steady gig, and he soon finds himself sponging a Malibu suicide's brains from a bathroom mirror and flirting with the man's bereaved and beautiful daughte ...more
This is not the kind of novel a 15-year-old girl should admit to reading, especially to her parents. (And no, I don't fit into that category.) It is also not the kind of novel one would expect a fifty-somet ...more
AWFUL. SIMPLY HORRIBLE. WHAT A WASTE OF PAPER.
Quit after 90 pages.
Unlikeable characters, who all have the emotional and intellectual depth of Beavis & Butthead. Dialog written sounds like the reader is watching the idiotic twosome. Every other word is the "f" word or something similar. I think I lost about 100 brain cells due to dumbing down while reading this book for one hour.
The crime scene cleaning company's work is described in sickening and disrespectful way ...more
My Synopsis: Webster Goodhue used to be an elementary-school teacher, until a traumatic event catapulted him into a depression that has left him bumming around behind his tattoo artist friend Chev. However, when Chev tells him the free ride is over and that Web had better take the job that their friend Po Sin has just offered (cleaning up stuff - a rather vague description), Web finds himself in a most unexpected field of w ...more
Webster Goodhue was an elementary school teacher until his career was detailed by a horrific incident on a field trip. Webster is an obnoxious smartass, but I thought the writer wrote the character well enough so the sarcasm wasn't overly done or drawn out. We ...more
With his teaching career derailed by tragedy and his slacker days numbered, Webster Fillmore Goodhue makes an unlikely move and joins Clean Team, charged with tidying up L.A.'s grisly crime scenes. For Web, it's a steady gig, and he soon finds himself sponging a Malibu suicide's brains from a bathroom mirror and flirting with the man's bereaved and beautiful daughter.
Then things get weird: The dead man's daughter asks a favor. Every cell in Web's brain tells him to turn her do ...more
"I'd like to apologize to you on behalf of whomever it was who dogeared this book. It's a *new* book! I'm opposed to dog-earing *any* booj--but a *library* book? So, (And here the writer of the note has helpfully drawn an arrow to said "dog ear") sorry about that. Interestingly, a book gets dogeared in *this* book--see page 82."
I had a few thoughts about this note...
1. So, while it is deeply offensive to fold a ...more
Eating and reading often go well together. An entertaining book and a good meal can make for a thoroughly enjoyable experience. Unless the book happens to be Charlie Huston’s gruesome thriller The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death.
When his roommate tires of his freeloading, Webster “Web” Fillmore Goodhue gets a job in the cutthroat world of trauma-scene cleanup and soon finds himself knee-deep in blood and guts. The detached, sarcastic former teacher discovers that he is not only good at...more
There is something dreadful in this very literate characters past that has some way caused a ...more
The author also has a very distinct narrative style, both on the page and in the ear that is itself a major force in the huge entertainment level. This despite the inclusion of four-letter language and deeply specific descrip ...more
At first glance, Web Goodline appears to be the quintessential slacker. He's been sponging off his friend, Chev, who runs a tattoo parlor. Web contributes to the arrangement by doing domestic duties. However, Chev's patience is running out; and Web needs to find a job. At one time, he was an elementary school teacher; due to a traumatic incident, he cannot return to that life. The reality is that Web is suffering from Post Traumati ...more
Mystic arts focuses on Webster, ...more
I so wanted to read The Mystic Arts of Erasing All Signs of Death after reading the summary. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed with this book. I didn’t even finish the book. In fact I started it and after ...more
Wasn't sure I'd even try to finish, but since it was nominated for an Edgar kept thinking it might get better. I watch all of CSI shows, so the descriptions of most of the blood & gore didn't bother me; the roaches on the other hand! but that was only one part. The constant use of "f@#!" got to me and unlike other reviewers I didn't see the humor in using foul language. Mostly it just seemed like sophomoric filler.
I'd characterize this as a psychological study of someone recovering from PTS...more
Soon, we learn that Web's Dad killed Chev's parents in a drunk driving accident and they are both fucked up. We meet Web's father, a disintegrating alcoholic intellectual and can't help but like him. This is just the back drop of a truly twisted plot.
Web gets a job cleaning u ...more