Aug 30, 11
Read in August, 2011
What do you get when you cross a 1950’s sci-fi satire with a gangster flick and throw in some emotional subplots for good measure? One heck of a good book, that’s what. Die Laughing by Louis K. Lowy is an impressive and terrific novel.
On the surface, Die Laughing is both a satire and homage to the culture of the 1950’s, rifting through such icons as comedians, gangsters, science fiction movies, comic books and television. The author knows the era and recreates 1950’s America -from Las Vegas to New York- perfectly. There are subtle touches masterfully done and as a sci-fi geek, I loved the references to the old movies and comic books. It even has a good dose of jokes, sprinkled in 1950’s cheese.
But Die Laughing also has a subtle and well crafted emotional depth that lifts it above light entertainment and gives the reader strong, flawed characters. There is also a multi-layered plot undercurrent that moves the pace and tension of the book to keep the reader hooked. This novel steers you in familiar directions, but still manages to keep you guessing until the finish with ambiguous possibilities and outcomes. Even the end itself was left a little up in the air, while still concluding the storyline. Die Laughing is complex, fun and highly enjoyable.