It Isn't Easy Being Johnny Style
Patrick Jassoy
book reviews:
· general fiction
· chick lit/romance
· sci-fi/fantasy
· graphic novels
· nonfiction
· audio books

Click here for the RSS Feed

· author interviews
· children's books @
· DVD reviews @

win books
buy online


for authors
& publishers

for reviewers

click here to learn more

Buy *It Isn't Easy Being Johnny Style* online

It Isn't Easy Being Johnny Style

Patrick Jassoy
176 pages
July 2002
rated 2 of 5 possible stars

previous reviewnext review

Not only is It's Not Easy Being Johnny Style not a "pulp fiction revival" as the back cover liner copy purports, it is barely fiction in any recognizable form. The attempt here was in fusing film noirish elements - the glib detective with the fast mouth and his way with fast women - with a quasi-contemporary high school adolescent coming of age drama. The book falls apart on both sides.

Curled Up With a Good BookJohnny Style, main character, is so quick-mouthed as to be ridiculous. His retorts include, "I give size ten enemas," "I only go off fully cocked," and the bewildering moniker of "Snelgrove" with whom he adorns every distasteful person within hearing distance. There is no subtlety here, no Raymond Chandler gleam of character development, no believable emotions for the reader to feel. He's far too cool, far too good looking, and far too invincible to be of this world.

This is Jassoy's maiden voyage and like other new writers who need several books under their belts before really making a statement, the author is not even close to finding his frame of reference. There is a mini-prologue where Style receives a curious letter at his detective agency and it's based on such an obvious device - the mysterious sheet of paper revealing that his nemesis did not die in a hand grenade blast but is indeed still alive - that a marginal book is turned into something laughable.

But the author has sewn the seeds for a sophomore followup, and maybe here he'll begin to present the essentials like carefully crafted characters, enigmatic plot themes, and authentic and probing dialogue.

Tarentino took the genre of the absurd - cold-hearted killers, the pleasures of excess - and with his startling movie, Pulp Fiction, breathed new life into the category. Patrick Jassoy tried to latch on to what Quentin had birthed but alas, his baby was stillborn.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2004

buy *It Isn't Easy Being Johnny Style* online
click here for more info
Click here to learn more about this month's sponsor!

fiction · sf/f · comic books · nonfiction · audio
newsletter · free book contest · buy books online
review index · links · · authors & publishers

site by ELBO Computing Resources, Inc.