Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Spademan's Waste Disposal

Shovel Ready by Adam Sternbergh

A delightful mix of pulp fiction and dystopia, Shovel Ready follows Spademan as he makes his way through New York. He used to be a garbageman New York City until a series of attacks left Times Square a radioactive zone and most of the people fled. Now he has switched jobs, taking out people instead of trash.  All he wants is payment and a name, until the name belongs to the pregnant daughter of a rich and powerful Evangelist. The job gets even more complex as Spademan crosses between the expensive, slick computer fantasy that occupies the rich and powerful and the gritty reality of the real world.

This is an interesting book stylistically. The sentences are short and choppy, the voice of a man that is not prone to brevity through habit. The entire structure of the book, paragraphs and chapters, are all equally brief. While the lack of quotations offsetting the various speakers takes some getting used to, the style lends itself very well to the pulp feel of the novel.

There are some depictions of blood and violence, but that is to be expected with this genre of book. Sternbergh treats with the same succinct style that works so well with the story. When the dust settles and the bodies disposed of, Spademan is an excellent mix of sci-fi, noir, and thriller. Also, there is supposedly a second Spademan novel in the works.


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