Katja from the Punk Band Paperback – 30 Mar 2010
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Top customer reviews
It's difficult to describe Katja without resorting to visuals - this is a book that reads like a movie. Think RUN LOLA RUN, shot by Tarantino and scripted by William Gibson and you're halfway there. Only, Katja is better than that. Seriously.
Basic story has a rag-tag bunch of interlinked characters trying to hoodwink each other over a vial of narcotics that seemingly buys a ticket off an island somewhere close to Eastern Europe. It's not clear when the book is set, whether in the recent past or near future; Logan's economic narrative and short, sharp use of chapters leaves little room for anything short of the essentials for this caper. Each chapter is written from the perspective of a different, fecked-up character, rinsing out their drug-fuelled paranoia and OCD quirks in a unique and fresh style. And you're always left hanging, always wanting more - Logan's infernal use of cliffhangers making his writing as addictive as the perceived contents of the story's main plot device.
In summary, for a neat slice of punk lit, Logan won't see you wrong. Katja speaks to the disenfranchised; Logan populating her pages with a wonderful menagerie of characters from start to finish. This is a page-turner like none other, a merry-go-round of bizarro that will have your eyes bleed with tiredness rather than put this bad girl down.
there's been a lot of talk about the Lisbeth Salander of Larsson's trilogy - much as i loved her, i think i'm going to save myself for Katja and make sure i buy a suit of armour if we ever get a first date.
The narrative flows through each chapter, seamlessly drifting between different characters as the story unfolds. This is a testament to the skill of writer Simon Logan, that he never lets the plot spiral out of control, letting the story and characters tell the tale and revealing information effortlessly. Logan quite plainly knew how he wanted to tell this story.
The characters are well drawn and almost cinematic in nature. The descriptions of them, especially Katja, are incredibly well written and imaginative. The way in which more aspects of their personalities are revealed, in particular, is extraordinary in the way Logan blends these in with plot and story revelations.
The setting is quite spectacular as well. A 'Work Island', it sits perfectly as the backdrop to this story. With its gaming arcades and dark alleys, my only gripe with the book is that it is not explored in more depth. But this is more to do with me loving these type of creations and would probably have slowed down the pace of the novel.
All in all, I'd recommend anyone looking for something a little different than the norm, in the crime fiction genre, to read this book. In fact, go read it anyway, as Logan is a terrific writer. Excellent prose and pacing make 'Katja...' one of those books you'll endlessly recommend.
Logan moves around amongst and between the characters who inhabit this desperate place and shows all of their darkest moments and weaknesses as they all search for their own illusive desires.
There is no trust, no loyalty and it's every dog scrabbling for supremacy as the clock ticks down to the final showdown with the mysterious man in red on the ferry who is waiting for the vial.
Very worthwhile read from an intelligent writer who can make you feel the dirt, grime and blood on your hands. Logan manages to induce a sense of disorientation through his use of multiple viewpoints, often recounting the same scene from a different characters point of view.
If you are looking for something different from the usual P.I. novel, then this is certainly for you and I look forward to reading more of Logan's writing in the future.
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