The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny
by Simon R. Green
-Simon is an intelligent, eloquent and well read writer able to casually throw in references to Dante’s Inferno, Macbeth and the Bible without sounding pretentious. I’m almost certain there are other references in there I overlooked.
-The Good, The Bad, and the Uncanny is the tenth book in the Nightside series. I picked it up without reading any of the previous novels, so keep that in mind when reading this review.
In a tucked away part of London where nightmares run wild and things are rarely what they seem, John Taylor is a PI with a sordid past. Bored because life is too perfect, John goes looking for trouble and finds it, mirroring the sentiment that we all feel, “[some days] you just shouldn’t get out of bed.”
*Please note, the rest of this review contains mature material.
This is not a book for the weak stomached. The scenes are graphic and disturbingly creative. Anyone who manages not to shudder when John stops his pursuers by using a vanishing spell to remove all of their fillings and crowns has never had dental work. The way Simon describes them slinking off when John threatens to do the same to their testicles is just one of the many cinema worthy passages. Think Gone in Sixty Seconds had a good chase scene? This book puts that chase scene to shame.
The characters are witty with dark sarcasm and dry humor. A cross dressing super hero ominously named Ms. Fate and an exceptionally snobby elf start the story on the right track as they race through the parts of town that everyone who knows better avoids in a bright pink “Fatemobile” that screams “look at me, look at me.” Even on their “best” behavior, they are unable to keep their fists to themselves or their words friendly.
Without giving answers, the book stirs up many questions. What is a society if not a group of people trying to live together? Are certain people more valuable than others? Do some people have more right to life than others? Does power corrupt or is it the personality of people who seek power that makes them susceptible to being corrupted by it? What is valuable to us? What is worth dying for?
Love, love, love, loved it. Some people will tell authors not to use large words where short ones will do, but I don’t appreciate being talked down to, in writing especially. Humbug. I enjoy authors who challenge my vocabulary and reference other works. If you want something to breeze through in an afternoon, pick up something else, but for everyone else, this is a quality read and I will most definitely be picking up other Nightside books by Simon R. Green so look for them in upcoming reviews.
5 out of 5 stars