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Casual Rex [Hardcover]

Eric Garcia
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Mar 2001
In 1999, Eric Garcia made his mark with one of the most striking mystery debuts of the year, Anonymous Rex, hailed as a dino-mite detective yarn by People, inventive and imaginative by USA Today, and a fresh and antic comic thriller by The Seattle Times. Now, with Casual Rex, the sharpest dinosaur-detective in Los Angeles is back, funnier and grittier than ever, for the next tale in this acclaimed series.

Vincent Rubio is a private eye, working the angles in Los Angeles with his partner, Ernie. They've got the usual problems bills, bum cases, woman troubles. But being dinosaurs is not a problem, as long as their latex disguises fit properly.

Not all dinosaurs agree. Some have joined a mysterious back-to-basics movement led by a beautiful and beguiling Velociraptor to help dinosaurs find themselves, let their tails hang out, and roam about as they really are. When a member of this cult dies under suspicious circumstances, Vincent and Ernie must investigate, while simultaneously handling the case of the missing Mussolini the theft of a rare and priceless prosthetic penis treasured in the dinosaur community.

With Casual Rex, Eric Garcia takes readers even more deeply into this warped underworld and succeeds in making it all believable. The result is a novel that is as hilarious and entertaining as it is original.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Villard Books (Mar 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679463070
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679463078
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 15.7 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,519,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Praise for Casual Rex

‘Unquestionably original… Here's a series with dino-sized legs’ Publishers Weekly

‘A prequel that's as daringly, darkly loopy as Anonymous Rex… In between satirizing mind-control, herd behavior, mass stupidity, dumb fashions, bloodlust, sex, and noir conventions, Garcia will have you panting over the veggie and spice displays for intoxicating, mood-altering whiffs of basil, cilantro, and even fenugreek’ Kirkus Reviews

‘Hip, knowing, and often very funny look at cults in La-La Land… This book is recommended as great fun’ Library Journal

‘Garcia's first novel became something of a cult item in its own right. Fans will be happy to know that Casual Rex delivers the goods again; it's funny enough to render the sophomore jinx extinct’ Amazon.com

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

Vincent Rubio, the hard-boiled, basil-addicted PI of 'Anonymous Rex', is busy on the blocks of Los Angeles with his partner, Ernie Watson. They've got the usual worries – bills, two-bit cases, woman troubles, but being dinosaurs is 'not' a problem, as long as their latex disguises stay put.

Not all dinosaurs agree. Some have joined a mysterious back-to-basic movement – led by a beautiful and beguiling Velociraptor – to help dinosaurs 'find' themselves, let their tails hang out, and roam about au naturel. When a member of this cult dies under suspicious circumstances, Vincent and Ernie are called in to investigate, while simultaneously handling the case of the missing Mussolini – the theft of rare and priceless prosthetic penis treasured in the dinosaur community.

With 'Casual Rex', Eric Garcia takes readers even more deeply into this warped underworld and succeeds in making it all believable. The result is a novel that is as hilarious and entertaining as it is original.

'A prequel that's as daringly, darkly loopy as 'Anonymous Rex'… In between satirising mind-control, herd behaviour, mass stupidity, dumb fashions, bloodlust, sex, and noir conventions, Garcia will have you panting over the veggie and spice displays for intoxicating, mood-altering whiffs of basil, coriander, and even fenugreek.'
KIRKUS REVIEWS

'Unquestionable original… Here's a series with dino-sized legs.'
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Improvisation is the modus operandi when you work with Ernie Watson. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different beast to Anonymous Rex... 17 Sep 2001
Format:Hardcover
Set before Anonymous Rex, Casual takes us back to a time when Vincent and Ernie were bringing in the cases. If you've read Anonymous this can be slightly confusing - for anyone starting out, I would recommend starting with this one. Written in the style made familiar by Anonymous, Casual is a more light hearted read than it's predecessor (or is it sequel??), it's quite easy to get quite involved as the two P.I's get sucked into a religious cult intent on returning the dinosaurs to the top of the food chain...
Overall, a thouroughly enjoyable read, definitely to be read before Anonymous though.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ingeniously weird prequel to Anonymous Rex 5 Aug 2005
By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
This novel has gotten a fair amount of hype - and, I would argue, deservedly so because it really is unusual, memorable, and well-written. I must admit I didn't find the book as funny as I expected it to be, however. Certainly, there is a lot of humor in these pages, but this is a much deeper story than the quirky farce I expected it to be - and that is actually a good thing. There is one scene in the book, for example, that really captures the heartrending pain of a father who has lost his only son to suicide - and the comical bits surrounding it only make it that much more touching and poignant.
Casual Rex is, first and foremost, a mystery - told in the classic first person, film noir-ish, hard-boiled private eye perspective. The kicker, though, is the fact that Vincent Rubio is a dinosaur - a Velociraptor, to be exact. It seems that dinosaurs survived the great cataclysm 65 million years ago, after all; they witnessed the rise of homo sapiens and now dwell among them (in much smaller bodies than their ancestors), their true identities hidden by elaborate guises involving lots of straps, buckles, and epoxy. No human knows that dinosaurs live among them, but the dinosaurs themselves can easily identify one another by smell. They can be found in every profession, so whenever one of their kind kicks the bucket, needs some dental work, or goes out looking for entertainment, they're taken care of outside the prying eyes of humans.
Victor and his partner Ernie are your basic PI's - snooping on roving spouses, hunting down prostitutes with sticky hands (wait a minute there - I'm talking about stealing), etc. That humdrum state of existence changes when Ernie's ex-wife asks them to find her brother and bring him home (forcibly, if necessary).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars chinatown meets jurrasic park 26 July 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I didn't realise that Garcia had written a follow-up to the intriguing 'Anonymous Rex', so to stumble across 'Casual Rex' was a highlight of my day. A few clicks and 24hours later it was on the shelf waiting to be read, and when I picked it up I wasn't let down!
Like the first book the story unfolds through the eyes, ears and manly nose of loveable sarcastic Private eye Vincent Rubio. But this is the only link to the previous book, so don't be put off by its 'follow-on' tag. The only thing you need to worry about is that Vincent is a Dinosaur! A velociraptor to be precise. Except this and you find an interesting, primordial world under your very nose. The plot it's self is tried and tested detective stuff, two dino PI's investigate the local back to basics movement that's letting dinosaurs roam free from there human disguises. Average case really, but they always start that way! So the slippery slope starts and we find insights in to the world we live that you never knew existed. We get darker, deeper and funnier as the plot takes twist after turn in to the dinosaur mentality.
The best thing about this book is the writing style Garcia uses with constant humour, metaphor and sarcasm that allows a conceptual twist such as dinosaurs so plausible. The pages flow through a plot that would struggle without the dinos and the style of Garcia and Vincent.
Pleasure to read and a great conversation starter, "I'm reading a book where dinosaurs are still alive and living amongst us in latex suits!"...
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dino Noir - Part 2 2 Jun 2002
By Bruce Crocker - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Vincent Rubio is a velociraptor and private investigator working in Los Angeles. If that sentence doesn't sound a bit off to you, then you should read Casual Rex by Eric Garcia. Casual Rex is the second book about Vincent Rubio, P.I., but takes place before the story told in the first book, Anonymous Rex. Vincent and his partner Ernie take on the Progressives, a church/cult that sounds a lot like a religion based in Hollywood, California that attracts some very famous people crossed with the Church Universal and Triumphant. Figuring out this alternative world where dinosaurs didn't go extinct and disguise themselves as humans isn't difficult. Even though Casual Rex and Anonymous Rex have been marketed mainly as mysteries, I think SF fans and dino fans will find a lot to like Mr. Garcia's weird world. I enjoyed Casual Rex even more than Anonymous Rex and look forward to Hot And Sweaty Rex when it comes out. I read paperback copies of both books so that I could preserve my first printing hardbacks in mint condition. I'm betting that Mr. Garcia's early books in the Rex series will be highly collectible, not that my opinion is worth all that much. About my book collecting habit...don't ask, don't ask.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Prequel's Finally Better 3 Nov 2004
By Mr. Mischief - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
After just picking up Anonymous Rex because the cover caught my eye, I was surprised to find out how witty and well written it is, despite the fact that sci-fi novels really never seem to be good readin'. As you could imagine, I just had to pick up the next one (or in this case, the one before it). This book is truly the work of an articulate marvel. The innuendos and hardened, realistic characters make them seem like everyday joes (pfft, please), in an everyday world (I restate my previous comment). Follow your nose (more than one pun intended, catch them?) to your nearest bookstore to get this.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Garcia is the best dino-noir writer ever!! 17 April 2001
By Jelly Troll Morton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Casual Rex has as interesting a set of characters as The Maltese Pterodactyl, has a plot as intricately woven as the storyline of The Big Extinction, and is as gritty as I the Jurrasic. It's even a better read than Anonymous Rex, which I also rate at five stars.
My one problem with the book was that there were three places in the book where the author was inconsistent in his use of dinosaur species. It bothered me, but when I mention these sort of nits to most people they look at me funny. Oh, well, I guess that's my problem. Us Iguanadons are like that...
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars 25 July 2004
By David M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Garcia's 2nd dino novel out shines the pervious Anonymous Rex. His witty writing style is perfect and the plot is original.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Jurassic classic 24 Oct 2002
By R. Witte - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
In this prequel to Eric Garcia's ANONYMOUS REX, private investigator (and velociraptor) Vincent Rubio gets duped into helping his partner locate his ex-wife's brother who is part of a cult known as the Progressives.
Allow yourself to suspend your belief in the premise of a society of dinosaurs roaming the streets of L.A. disguised as humans, and you'll have a blast reading Eric Garcia's highly imaginative dino-noir classics.
CASUAL REX, like its predecessor, is witty, charming and lots of fun.
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