|Angel Colón reads.|
Photos by Peter Rozovsky
ood fun was had by all at Friday's launch of Angel Colón's
new novel at Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan. We also had at least as good a time afterward, the novel's title to the contrary. The book is called No Happy Endings
, a reference to the (planned) sperm-bank heist that drives the plot. Our evening, on the other hand, ended in good fellowship, crepes, and wine in the West Village.
|Look closely. That vessel next to|
the book is not a gift-set jam jar.
Wine was served at the launch in plastic specimen cups (Angel got them cheap), and the evening included its share of ejaculation jokes, but I was more impressed by the author's distinguishing the novel's very human protagonist from the other lead character he writes about, the ex-IRA hard man Blacky Jaguar. "Blacky's a cartoon," Colón said.
Fantine Park, on the other hand, the new book's protagonist, is an epigone: She's not nearly the safe cracker her mother was. And her relationship with her father (said Colón and some attendees who had read the book) is a thread running through the novel and one reason I'm looking forward to reading it. Farce and character is not always an easy combination to, er, pull off, and I'll be eager to see how Colón does it here.
|From left: Scott Adlerberg, Angel Colón, Dave White|
Later a gang that included Colón; his wife, Jeanette; Scott Adlerberg; Suzanne Solomon; Jen Conley; and me repaired to Shade Bar for dinner, drinks, and conversation that ranged over Shakespeare, politics, crime writing, the teaching of history, and (says Jen) Nine Inch Nails and Donald Trump. The most excellent bartender, Laurie, remembered my name, Todd Robinson showed up, and I realized that I dig hanging out with gregarious, intelligent, opinionated New Yorkers. I was feeling so expansive that I passed up the 10-year aged tawny port and bought myself a glass of the 20-year instead.
For me, though, the evening's most trenchant observation came from Scott as we rode the subway from the bookstore to the bar. True crime, said this crime writer, is depressing in its brutality, banality, and stupidity, if I recall his words correctly. Crime fiction, he said, avoids this because it is highly stylized. That is the most thought-provoking observation I've heard about crime fiction in quite some time, and I'll be thinking about it and quoting it. So thanks, Scott.
© Peter Rozovsky 2016
Labels: Angel Colon, Dave White, Jen Conley, Mysterious Bookshop, Scott Adlerberg, Suzanne Solomon, Todd Robinson