Realini's Reviews > Layer Cake

Layer Cake by J.J. Connolly
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really liked it
bookshelves: delightful

Layer Cake, written by J.J. Connolly based on his novel

A different version of this note and thoughts on other books are available at:

- and

Layer Cake is an interesting thriller.
Its Metascore is: 73

This means that critics have appreciated it.
And it is not bad.

But this no Goodfellas either.
Some of the lines in the dialogue are clever, others are humorous, but a good number could be taken as somewhat silly:

- “You’re born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you’re up in the rarefied atmosphere and you’ve forgotten what shit even looks like.
- Welcome to the Layer Cake son…”

This was a line that explains the title, the world, everything and it belongs to Eddie Temple, one of the bosses of the underworld, that can be considered as wise, given this “simple philosophy „or just dumb.
He has yet more wisdom or humor to share and the personage benefits from the immense talent of Michael Gambon.

- “England. Typical. Even drug dealers don’t work on weekends

The main character is played by Daniel Craig, who is before the age of James bond here, in a film from 2004.
His name in the movie?

- “My name? If you knew that you’d be as clever as me”…

This is unique.
I don’t know of any other moving picture where we do not know the name of the hero, and he is listed as XXXX.

The audience tends to like this XXXX, I guess.
Even if –or because? - He is on the wrong side of the law.

Granted, he is surrounded by much more despicable characters, like the aforementioned author of the Layer Cake wise crack, or is it a philosophy?
There is a Serb monster, portrayed by an actor from here- Marcel Iures- but even if I understand the angle, I think he exaggerates.

The Serbian mobster had been involved in genocide, he is an absolute devil that cuts enemies’ heads off.
But our very own star takes it over the top, in manner that is off-putting, even if he could have nailed it, since that is the point- I didn’t like his performance- this is all I am saying.

XXXX is not a flowery figure either, he says from the start with coolness:

- I’m not a gangster, just a businessman. And my commodity happens to be cocaine.

Maybe it is an issue of what kind of a spectator you are, a fault finder or a merit finder- the latter is the better choice, in positive psychology terms.
Another line like:
- “The art of the good business is being a good middleman. Putting people together”

That could be taken as the blandest of platitudes or as a clever simple definition taken from The Art of The Deal say, by the king of deception, the orange Donald.
Further on, the writer may be on to something, analyzing the drug business and saying that one day “the drug monkey business will be legal”

That could be true- it is happening in countries in the world- but the take of Layer Cake is wrong, for this could be the solution.
Make the business legal and have it controlled and supervised, eliminating Mexican, Columbian, American and other cartels and gangs, the many deaths that are associated with the illegal trade and treat those addicted.

I would say the film is seven out of ten in my book


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Reading Progress

June 17, 2017 – Started Reading
June 17, 2017 – Shelved
June 17, 2017 – Shelved as: delightful
June 17, 2017 – Finished Reading

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