Adam's Reviews > Arkansas

Arkansas by John Brandon
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's review
Jul 20, 08

bookshelves: recent-enthusiasms
Recommended for: smart tough guys (and gals)

The story of 3 aimless young men and the bizarre, darkly-comic paths each takes to becoming a career criminal, Arkansas will satisfy that craving you didn't even know you had for a book that reads like a Tarantino/Elmore Leonard/Samuel Beckett joint production. John Brandon serves up a masterly blend of intersecting stories, sparkling dialogue and--maybe best of all--his detailed and constantly-expanding character histories which lull us into a false sense of security even while we know that inevitable explosions of violence loom close at hand.

Bonus feature to this review: This conversation between 2 of the main characters--Swin and Kyle--is just a brief example of Brandon's excellent dialogue:

“I’ve never wanted a tattoo,” [Kyle:] said. “I’ve never seen one that didn’t look stupid.”
“You’re not a sexy dude. If you’re already sexy, a tattoo can enhance it.”
“Don’t tell me you’re one of those witty people.”
“I’ve been told that I am.”
“You remind me of a game-show host.”
“That’s another way to say I’m brimming with charisma.”
“No,” Kyle said. “It’s not.”
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