Meet gun sucker Bleach Pastiche, burglar extraordinaire Billy Panacea, molecule thief Jesse Downtime, conman-cum-lawyer Harpoon Specter, and Brute Parker, owner of the all-night gun shop. The Delayed Reaction Bar, case-law as neurosis, world-class lethargy, Specter's early career, the glamour of surveillance, Blince's doughnut theory, Leon Wardial, quantifiable bad luck, gun fetishism, Stressworld, Auto-Rhino - all these glories of Beerlight's early years are laid out in The Crime Studio.
PRAISE FOR THE CRIME STUDIO
'Comicbook imagery mingles with a noiriste's worst nightmare in this distressingly brilliant debut.'
'Aylett writes like a man possessed of comic demons.'
'Hip, cool and eloquent'
'Aylett's prose is like poetry'
'The most original and most-consciousness altering living writer in the English language, not to mention one of the funniest'
'Aylett is one of the great eccentrics of British genre fiction'
'Very funny and eminently readable'
'Make no mistake, Aylett knows his stuff'
'Aylett hurls puns, allusions, and sarcastic asides with postmodern panache … He is warped and perversely funny'
Washington Post Book World
'With half a dozen others, hacking away at sacred trees, British accent and buckskin fringe blowing in the breeze, he's blazed a unique trail into the contemporary urban forest.'
'Hilarious and horrifying dismemberment of the urban hardboiled style. Beerlight is a scary suburb located at the exact mid-point between then and now, between Mare Street and Main Street, where no-goods, no-hopers and ne'er-do-wells do not hesitate to pump each other full of holes or drugs. Practitioners of street mime are subject to particularly gruesome atrocitites. Comic-book imagery – like Jim Steranko on steroids – mingles with a noiriste's worst nightmare in this distressingly brilliant debut'
'Steve Aylett's The Crime Studio is a clutch of spoof linked tales set in a post-apocalyptic, morally-inverted, gun-crazy, amyl nitrate-ventilated American city called Beerlight, where crime is the only going concern. The noirness of Beerlight owes something to Brecht's Mahagonny, but then Aylett seems to have rummaged through the works of many, including Damon Runyon, Mickey Spillane and Tank Girl, and stolen with abandon – although not without effect. Sometimes Aylett is as funn and as good with a pen ('a guy whose face resembled something glimpsed through the porthole of a bathysphere') as he thinks he is, while the cartoon criminal denizens get more and more stand-up. The book has cult status written all over it.'
'Beerlight is a city of the future. An urban streetscape peopled entirely by criminals, psucholtics and idiot savants; Brute Parker, owner of the all-nite gun shop, Billy Panacea, burglar extraordinaire, Sally the Gat who shoots someone “at such close range the cops drew a chalk body-outline on the ceiling” … An allegorical comic strip veined with mutant metaphors and amphetamine-crazed one-liners, Aylett's miniaturist polyglutted novel is immoral, indecent and wears its colours of Political Incorrectness like a bullet-riddled flag … Aylett is as smart as he thinks he is. Which is pretty scary.'