Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Review: "Galveston" by Nic Pizzolatto

Read this book. Seriously.

You know how when you watch a horror movie or a thriller, and you know something bad is going to happen, so you watch with your hands almost over your eyes? It was the same way when I read this book—I had this amazingly pervasive feeling of dread because I knew something bad was going to happen, I just didn't know what form it would take or when it would occur.

Roy Cady has had a hard life. Orphaned and raised in foster and group homes, drifting into a life of crime seemed like a natural path for him. A hitman and thug in late 1980s New Orleans, he just found out he has terminal lung cancer. But despite being handed a death sentence, when he gets set up to be killed, he fights back—and takes a witness, an 18-year-old runaway and sometime-prostitute, along with him. Roy and Rocky flee Louisiana for Galveston, Texas. But Rocky has some secrets she's not quite ready to divulge, and Roy is torn between staying and leaving her for a more secure life.

I heard about this book through a recommendation from Dennis Lehane, one of my all-time favorite authors. It is absolutely terrific. It reminds me a little of No Country for Old Men in its sparse yet beautifully written language and the tremendous sense of foreboding I had through the entire book. Roy is unapologetic about the choices he has made in his life yet with every choice he wishes he could choose something else. Nic Pizzolatto really knocked me out with this, his first novel, and I can't wait to see what is next. This will make a great movie, but it's one hell of a book.

1 comment:

  1. Do I ever agree with this reviewer. The descriptive language with which this young man writes is astonishing. The horror, suspense, feelings of extreme regret are balanced in the end by the redemption of the protagonist's soul. I too await other novels by this talented young man.