Patrick O'Neil's Reviews > Stark: A Novel
Stark: A Novel
by Edward Bunker
by Edward Bunker
Patrick O'Neil's review
Apr 07, 10
It always seemed like Edward Bunker was writing the same novel, over and over again. No Beast So Fierce, Education of Felon, Dog Eat Dog, and Little Boy Blue were all thinly veiled autobiographies that held the same information: Bunker's criminal exploits, incarceration, and heroin use. His book The Animal Factory, was a slight departure as it wasn't first person narration – but it too had more of the same - facts and behaviors you could cross-reference from any of the above mentioned previous work. So it is strange that after his death his unpublished first novel would appear. In a lot of ways it is one of his better books. Not in that it deals with different subjects, or isn't autobiographical. No. More it's a stripped down noir-esque crime novel. And without Bunker putting "himself" into the story, he was able to pull it off without his usual bragging, bravado, and subsequent ego the other books are full of. Don't get me wrong. I think highly of Bunker. I've read everything he has ever written – some I have read twice – and although I don't think technically he was a great writer. I think he put in some work, tackled hard subject matter, overcame huge obstacles, and made a place for himself in the literary world. When I was just starting to write he was an inspiration – and he still is. It was great to read "new" work. And even greater to find he had done something a bit different.
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