What Happens In Reno, by Mike Monson — Gets a great review!!!!

12 Oct


I know I haven’t been posting here very much and the site is all out of date probably. Sorry, jeez. I spend enough time and energy working on the All Due Respect Books website so I can bring ya’ll kick-ass noir books, okay?

Anyway, I managed to get my favorite book of mine back from it’s original publisher and we just put it out with ADR. It’s doing, okay, I guess, but there are millions of people out there, right? At least 100,000 or so of them would love this book if they knew about it and had a chance to read it.

Oh, and the handsome and wiry Michael Pool (ADR author) published his review of Reno today and I really liked it and wanted to share.

The review is on Michael’s website here and it says stuff like this:


Oh dear. Oh good god. Oh my-my. That Mike Monson is one sick puppy, and I mean that in the best possible way. I’ve had the privilege to read several other of Mike Monson’s books, including his novella The Scent of New Death, his novel Tussinland, and his short fiction collection, Criminal Love and Other Stories. Though I really enjoyed the others, What Happens in Renobecame my favorite of Monson’s books almost from the first page.

This book is pulp noir at its absolute darkest, lowest, and most hilarious point. One of the things Mike Monson does better than almost any other pulp noir author I’ve ever read is to write books that have absolutely no redeemable characters, yet compel you to keep reading anyway. In graduate school, they tell you that’s supposed to be impossible, but clearly they haven’t met Mike Monson, because with Monson manning the keyboard, it works just fine.

In What Happens in Reno, Monson’s protagonist Matt Hodges is no exception. I mean, the book opens with him puking up his Grand Slam Breakfast all over the side of his car, before sleeping it off in the Denny’s parking lot. Hodges is a man whose closest thing to an ally is a cheating wife that hates his guts, though perhaps not as bad as he hates himself. Those are his redeemable qualities, if you can believe that.

What follows Matt Hodges’ puke sesh is a dark tale of adultery, betrayal, gambling addiction, and murder, that is as funny as it is disturbing. Seriously, there is not a single character in this book with so much as an ounce of integrity, and yet I found myself rooting for Matt Hodges throughout the book even as I suspected that things weren’t going to work out, could never work out.  I damn near had tears of laughter streaming down my face at certain points in this book, and had to put it down to get the laughs out more than once before I could continue reading.

Throughout the narrative Monson doesn’t ever, even once, provide the reader with so much as an ounce of hope, and yet he arranges words in a way so as to put on a spectacle that is nearly impossible to look away from.


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