Dark Night of My Quick Guns XVII, by Allie Ambit: A brief review

Jack Shackaway presents a review of a recent Mickey’s Muse product:

explosion hollywoodTHIS BOOK never fails to satisfy basic reader expectations, but I was disappointed that, in key ways, it never exceeds them.

Take the lead scene, for example. Mr. Ambit presents everything that Hollywood wants—a startling instance of random structural violence, with much smoke and flame and opportunity for the action hero to squint in the general direction of the shitstorm and wince in a way that suggests strong emotion. That’s good. And this scene employs another device that offers the comfort of familiar cinematic narrative convention, inasmuch as it relates in no obvious manner to the story that follows.

The problem is that the opening fails to exceed the degree of property damage and loss of life, plus attendant noise and smoke, that we’ve seen in so many earlier novels of this type. It’s hard to say what made the human partner-in-crime-fiction draw back at this critical juncture. Namby-pambyishness adds nothing to this sort of genre thriller — certainly not if you want to appeal to Hollywood and, after all, who wouldn’t?

Explosion 2A little later in the yarn, perhaps because of a similar failure of nerve, the mandatory innocent female victim of a psychopathic killer is despatched with all the flair of an abatoir worker despatching a cow.

Those who wish to inspire Mickey’s Muse to maximum effect may profitably observe Ellie’s Law:

“The quality of a movie is inversely related to the quantity of money available to make it.”

That is to say, the more money Hollywood filmmakers have, the more they spend on special effects, vying with one another to annihilate a world-historical number of vehicles, preferably expensive sports models, and blow more and larger buildings higher and higher into the air.

Bear that in mind, if you’re planning to produce a novel that clearly supplies the frame for a winning screenplay.

The question: Do the shortcomings of Dark Night of My Quick Guns XVII reflect a failure on the part of Mickey’s Muse, or are they merely the result of undue delicacy on the part of MM’s human collaborator?pulp-fiction 2

I’ll just say this: Mr. Ambit might be quicker to consult the Help menu.




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