Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Review: Genuinely Dangerous, by Mike McCrary

By Chris Rhatigan

Mike McCrary says he has two goals when writing: 1) Entertain the reader and 2) never, ever be boring.

He succeeds on both accounts in Genuinely Dangerous.

From reading his work, I assumed one of his other goals would be "to be balls-out all the time." 

This book is one blazing motherfucking ride.

As soon as I finished reading it on my Kindle I looked up how many pages it was. Turns out it clocks in at a few over 300. I thought it was more like 500. Not because it felt long, but because there's so much action and insanity packed into those pages.

Here's the jist: Jasper is a movie producer. Or was a movie producer until his second feature flopped big time. Now he's drowning himself in KFC, anonymous sex, and free-flowing booze. Until he sees that childhood "friend" and trendy Hollywood all-star Wilson Gaines is making a fucking documentary about his failure. 

His solution is simple: He's going to make his own documentary in which he's embedded with a group of bank robbers. It's bound to be a hit. Can't miss. 

But instead of a "crew" of bank robbers, he falls in with an inbred tribe of psychopaths. 

McCrary's first book, Remo Went Rogue, is in my opinion a modern crime classic and one of the funniest, darkest trips around. I was delighted to see that Remo makes a brief (but memorable and perfect) cameo here.

Genuinely Dangerous somehow has more action than Remo--and McCrary does this stuff better than anyone. It's intense, brutal, and funny at the same time. 

Yet that's not why the book is great (though it certainly doesn't hurt). The book is great because Jasper is a fascinating character. A self-obsessed fuckstick who goes on this bizarre, substance-fueled quest to impress a girl. He's weirdly self-aware while being delusional and ego-maniacal. His desperation to make this movie will take him down some paths that can only be described as, well, genuinely dangerous.

The bottom line is that those boring Patterson and Lee Child books should on the airport shelves should be replaced by books like this one. Buy it, read it, love it.