Novel Review – The Deputy by Victor Gischler
Last week you may have seen notable Marvel scribe Victor Gischler (X-Men) yelling from the top of the hills (ie: on Twitter) that his most recent novel The Deputy was available for a limited time for free (see: zero dollars) as a digital download for the Kindle. I didn’t download it. I actually bought it using money earlier this year and have been waiting for my school-related readings of such wonderful drollery like Melville’s Bartleby The Scrivener and various excerpts from the work of Cotton Mather for a time to sit down and read it. Truthfully, I could have done it a while ago because the damn thing is so good that I could have easily finished it in an afternoon and gone back to reading dusty old pre-twentieth century literature the next day.
As it stands I was able to finish it over the course of two sittings and was enthralled the whole way through. I make constant references to being a literature major in the university system but as a writer I don’t consider myself an author of “literature.” To me that has a tangible association with scholarly academia. I write fiction. More to the point, I write genre fiction. I began with urban fantasy, then went to sword and sorcery and my NaNoWriMo entry this year is a vampire action/noir. I’m not exactly Walt Whitman. But there is an art to writing genre fiction that some people possess and others don’t. Victor Gischler has that artform down. The Deputy is a dusty country-noir classic that feels like No Country For Old Men by way of Reservoir Dogs. There is a hard-boiled aggression to the prose that syncs up with the slow burn of the mystery behind what is going down in this dusty Oklahoma town and it makes for a fast-paced and compelling read.
I cannot recommend the book enough. It’s as strong an example of well written genre fiction as I’ve seen in a while. I even took it upon myself to grab a copy of one of Gischler’s earlier novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse which seems to be right up my alley.