“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Digested Read: 61 HOURS by Lee Child

I had a bit of fun messing about a couple of weeks ago with some drafts for a project called ‘The Digested Read’ - basically, you take a novel and condense it into 300 words. Given that I had a lot of fun reading Lee Child’s 61 HOURS, I thought I’d take a crack at it first. To wit:
The Digested Read: 61 HOURS by Lee Child

Hi, me again. Jack Reacher. Can’t say much more than that, we only have 61 hours.
  Just don’t make me angry. You wouldn’t like me when I’m angry. Or happy. Or sad.
  Don’t you find that emotions just confuse stuff?
  Anyway, there’s this snowstorm, and a snowed-in town, and a killer on the way. Well, two killers if you count me. But I’m a good killer. Hey, I’m ex-military. Killers don’t come much better than that.
  Where was I? Oh yeah - 55 hours to go. Jeez, the cops in this town are hicks. I don’t think they’ve even killed anyone before. Amateurs.
  God, it’s cold. And just look at all that snow. Can you imagine High Noon set in Fargo? No? Good. 47 hours to go.
  Did I mention the frail old lady who’s testifying about a hand-off she saw that could bring down an international drug-smuggling ring involving Mexicans and Hell’s Angels and Russians? She’s a librarian, but whoa - feisty! 39 hours to go.
  This Mexican drug lord - ay, caramba! He’s one tough guacamole. But enough about him, how about that snow? Hold up - is one of the hick cops a stooge for the bad guys? Say it ain’t so, Joe. 28 hours to go.
  Snow, snow, go away / Come back another day. 14 hours to go.
  Lemme see, that’s three corpses so far. Two bad guys, one good. Isn’t it time for me to start shooting yet? Note to self: get a gun from the frail old lady. 8 hours to go.
  Hmmmm. Dead cops all over. More snow. The librarian’s a book, she’s just been checked out. Time to get angry? 1 hour to go.
  Badges, Mexican drug lord? I don’t need no stinking badges! Bang. Bang-bang.
  The End. 0 hours to go.

  The Digested Read, Digested: Jack’s back. Bang-bang. The End.