Friday, November 8, 2013

PURGATORY by Ken Bruen

In Ken Bruen's Purgatory, violence imposes itself on Jack Taylor.

A psychopathic killer murders child abusers and other street scum. The murderer invites Jack Taylor to play along, to join the killing. Taylor is, at present, off drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. He ignores the invitations.

Even when someone attacks Taylor's friend Ridge, leaving her in a coma on the edge of death, Taylor doesn't play the game.

Taylor's friend Stewart becomes involved.

Taylor begins to have an affair with a young woman, the executive assistant of a billionaire. He continues to refuse the anonymous invitations to become an avenger.

Then something so terrible happens that Taylor becomes involved.

The book ends with an unexpected, almost-random tragedy.

Purgatory is the place between--between heaven and hell, between being addicted and being sober, between violence and letting violence go.

Bruen writes Purgatory in his usual terse, allusion-filled style. Oscar Wilde plays a special part.

No one writes like Ken Bruen. I look forward to each of his Jack Taylor books. 


Life needs a touch of mystery and not everything requires an answer.
My life didn't imitate fiction; it mocked it.
…parties without Jameson are like Zen without the echoing yawn.
A recovering Catholic, mired in guilt, remorse—is there any other kind?...
And, oh horror, she'd told Jack, “I'm thinking of getting a Kindle.” See him explode. Like this, “Yah dumb bitch, you've read what? Six books, total? And what, you're going to have storage for thousands of books? Get fucking real, lady. You think I'll come round your house, ask, 'Hey, can I browse through your . . . Kindle?'”
Few more resentful than those you've helped.


Naomi Johnson said...

I can't believe I haven't read this yet. You know I need to get my life in order when I can't find time to read a new Bruen book!

Joe Barone said...

Naomi, One nice thing about books. They are there when we get the time to read them. I know this sounds like heresy, but sometimes other things are more important. But I still love reading.