Review of Roger Simon's Director's Cut and some commiserating
See, Roger, like many others including yours truly, has crossed the border from the far left. I'm not saying Roger is part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, but - well, I'll let him tell you:
Some old friends of mine, not that many but a few, didn't show up at the Moses Wine Tasting Party in L.A… and I know why—politics. They think I have deserted la causa. I am not the radical-liberal I used to be. Perhaps they are right to some extent. I could make my explanations, but they are entitled to their opinion. Still, it hurts.
I've lost quite a few friends in most public fashion since I abandoned the cause of the left. Funny that, because I never was quite sure what the exact cause was. Were we trying to save the world or were we just a big old Let's Hate George Bush club?
Anyhow, Roger's newest book, Director's Cut, received a not-so-nice review in the San Francisco Chronicle. Who cares about the Chron? Who cares about anything from the city that brings you Mark Morford?
DC did get a rather nice write up at Weekly Standard, which would sooth anyone's feelings. But honestly, you have not made it in literature until you have received a rousing review from A Small Victory. Sure, I made that up, but you all know by now that I am prone to bouts of delusion.
I just happened to finish Director's Cut this weekend. Thus, a review.
Ok, I'm not really good at writing reviews, especially when I know the person whose book I'm reviewing will be reading it. So let me say this: Every time I thought I had the story figured out, it turned out I didn't, which is a testament to Roger's skills as a storyteller. Nothing was telegraphed. In fact, the turn of events left me quite suprised. So often, stories like this - with twists and turns and the unexpected - often go limp at some point because the twists and turns ring false. Not so in Director's Cut.
I can see where some of Roger's radical ex-friends got the idea that he abandoned their cause, whatever it was. Moses Wine, our detective hero, is a former radical hippie himself, now changed as much as the world has changed post 9/11. The novel manages to get in some decent swipes at the idealism of the far left and the cause celebre of that other radical sect out there, Hating America.
But Moses is a grounded kind of guy, just as Roger's writing is very grounded, and the swipes at both the left and beauracratic bungling of terrorist threats are made by someone who knows of what he speaks - I'll let you decide if is Roger Simon or Moses Wine doing the talking.
Besides all the politcs involved, we get a nice glimpse of what it's like to direct a film and like I said after reviewing Lost in La Mancha the other day, I have given up that dream because it just seems to damn hard and aggravating.
Director's Cut can be considered historical fiction, what with it's time frame of post 9/11 anxiety and fear, and its inclusion of everything from the Holocaust to the new wave of airport security.
Screw the Chron and the tree huggers. I loved the book. That's all that matters.
This wasn't really a very good book review. It was more of a go-buy-the-book-and-read-it-yourself review and also a go-to-Roger's-weblog urging.
Anyhow, all of us leftie expats should form a club. We can sit around and laugh out our naivete former selves.