You know those crime movies you stumble upon late at night? The ones that were made (you assume) somewhere in the late 1990s? There's lots of action, backstabbing, double crossing, and sex? It's the movies that usually star some B actors you see everywhere but can't name. You know the type. The ones that aren't art films or heavy-handed attempts at making a "serious" film but rather fun crime romps through the desert, through Mexico, in and out of dangerous situations? Sexy women, strong men, strong women and action. Lots of action. Well... this is what LAST BURN IN HELL is like.. except the plot is warped with a keen sense of weirdness.
The feel of the novel reminds me of those films (which I love). Like a cross between TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M., RED ROCK WEST, ... and other such neo-noir films.. except LAST BURN IN HELL (director's cut!) has a sense of humor.. and a sense of the bizarre that'll satisfy fans of the odd, the surreal, and the strange.
I won't go into the director's cut angle. Actually, okay, I will. It's a gimmick but a good one. Deleted scenes, alternate ending, and even a soundtrack (well, no, you can't really LISTEN to it but still..).
I'm fairly sure that this is John Edward Lawson's first novel. If it is, well, then pat yourself on the back for even considering reading this. It's exciting, funny, weird, and fast-paced. All good ingredients for an entertaining read.
Humor. It's funny.. but not really absurd funny (well, not too much). It takes a lot of shots at pop culture and that makes for some good laughs.
Organization. There are little chapters and blurbs here and there (like a top 10 US singles chart.. which ties in later with the story). They're clever and funny.
Plot. The story moves along and the reader encounters many different characters in many places. If this was a movie, it'd be one where you wouldn't be bored for a minute.
Confusion. Especially towards the end. I'm guessing that because the author writes a lot of poetry, he may be use to setting the stage using obscure imagery. That works in poetry but in fiction, it can sometimes make it difficult for the reader to figure out just what is really going on. I don't consider myself an unintelligent person but by the end, I wasn't too sure what exactly happened. I get the gist of it.. but there are just some details and events that confused me. Again, some people may not feel this way. Regardless, it shouldn't stop you from buying and reading this book.
You should read this book. It's fun and entertaining as hell. The fact that it says "Director's Cut" should clue you in to the fact that it flows like a movie albeit one with some weird twists and turns. The set-up is original; the characters are original and/or humorously based on real-type people.
This is a "bizarro" book that you shouldn't miss.