Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review : Tom Piccirilli - Fuckin' Lie Down Already (2003)


Country: USA

Genre: Noir

Pages: 73/194 kb

Order FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY here

Other Tom Piccirilli Books Reviewed:

Every Shallow Cut (2011)
Clown in the Moonlight (2012)
The Last Kind Words (2012)


Coincidences only carries so far, and then you've just got to figure the universe wants to fuck you up as much as possible.

Few established authors embraces the eBook revolution the way Tom Piccirilli did. The Kindle store is overflowing his stories of him that aren't available in paperback anymore or never even were. I'm not sure what's the story behind FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY's hardcover edition, but thanks to Amazon, I know it exists. The sheer boldness of its title is bound to attract attention and believe me that the content of its pages is every bit as bold. That and Tom Piccirilli's seal of quality were more than enough to pick it up. Also, now is the best time to buy a Piccirilli book. If you've lived the last month under a rock, you may not know he's very ill and underwent surgery for a brain tumor. He's a tremendous writer, with a pen capable of going deeper into the human soul that most and deserving of every bits of your readership. FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY is short, but sturdy and lives up to Piccirilli's legacy in every possible way.

FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY reads like the last pages of a dark and twisted cop novel that was never written. Clay has been mortally wounded by a criminal who trespassed in his house and killed both his wife and son. Holding his guts in, he dragged them into his car and left for the last trip of his life, on the road to vengeance. Clay knows exactly who hit him. The trespasser is a junkie named Rocco Tucci, who works for a mafia capo Clay's been after for some time. He's a NYPD detective, a very good one, who's been causing the local wiseguys a lot of headaches. It was supposed to be simple, but Clay didn't die Therefore, Rocco and his boss Chuckie Fariente have to face something they barely ever did in their criminal lives. Accountability.

There is a gazillion mafia novels out there. In most of those, a hit is a hit and when a character is being gunned down, he dies and its up to another one to take retribution. It's somewhat a non-written narrative rule to this particular sub-genre. By correcting the aim about one variable, Piccirilli cleared the field for hundreds of new possibilities. Clay isn't the virtuous-avenger genre, he's a guy supposed to be dead, who dies little by little, over the pages and looks to get even with his killers. He's a decent guy, he's got some serious chops and yet he's not heroic. Plus, he's dying. Another convention wants that when a character dies, he falls off the page. Not here. FUCKIN' LIE DOWN ALREADY is a study in the process of dying. Piccirilli explores the many stages, from anger to denial, to the relationship to the dead and even the process of rotting away. It's as fearless and stark as I've read about death.

He could picture how it happened, all right, that'd always been the easy part, walking through the crime scene, adding one fact on top of the other. The angle of blood spatter, heaving arc of the knife, His father had been the same way. The man would wander in and glance at your face, and he'd know everything you'd been doing, everything you might be trying to hide.

Author Matthew McBride told me recently that he compared the feeling of reading Tom Piccirilli to "a knife in the guts." I like that image, for it is very accurate. There is something beyond the brutal storylines and the vivid characters, that makes Piccirilli so appealing. There is an emotional, visceral quality to his writing. He understands (and I think visits quite frequently) the dark corners of the human soul. He's gained expert insight on it. Reading his stories, you will recognize places you've been and things you've felt so strong, you will grow fond of his characters and root for his lost soul. I've always advocated reading as a visceral experience and reading Tom Piccirilli is a strong argument for it.

FOUR STARS

3 comments:

  1. The book is pretty awesome too, Mike. Short AND awesome.

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  2. Awesome novella. Pic has been one of my heroes for a long time. Not only is he an amazing writer, but an amazing guy.

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