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Friday, September 23, 2011

On Reading The Poet (Or "Damn You, James Elroy!")

So you're a newspaper reporter investigating your brother's murder. Lucky for you, you find out he was killed by a serial killer that is being tracked by the FBI and, even more luck, the FBI is allowing you to tag along and NOT telling you to go take a dive in the classified section of your newspaper.

Of course, there's going to be a totally hot agent on the investigation. Of course, you will be attracted to her. And since you're lucky, she happens to be attracted to you. Ooh boy.

Now if only the Feebs put you up in the same hotel. You can lube her up with drinks downstairs, then just naturally, because you're so lucky and so charming and the formula says so, you're going to totally bag her.

That is, if you're the luckiest man in the world...or the main character in a Michael Connelly novel.

I'm afraid I'm at the "this can't get any stupider" point with The Poet. I was willing to accept the main conceit of the novel, which for the sake of argument I will spoil now: The serial killer is revealed to be an FBI agent, specifically the Special Agent in Charge of the serial killer investigation. Get it? He's investigating himself!

Now understand this is played straight, not for laughs, and not even in some twisted Philip K. Dick mindfuck way. It's going to be the big shocking twist in the end, probably with the characters running down a tunnel or something. The SAC is going to turn around and say, "You see, Eddie, I am a Toon!"

(In case you didn't get it...that's a Roger Rabbit reference. Not saying it's cartoony...but it's fucking cartoony.)

And then we add this bad romance to the picture? Man, I don't know how much more of this I can take.

The whole thing has made me start thinking about this story I've been trying to write and how it's so infinitely superior. (It only half-exists, of course.) And then I remember why I read crap sometimes. It's inspirational.

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