Thursday, February 03, 2005

More Reviews on RED JUNGLE

First off here in Booklist's review.....

*STAR* Harrington, Kent. Red Jungle. 2005. 336p. Dennis McMillan, $30 (0-939767-50-3).“He’d wanted to give up his self, the great monolith of his personality; he’d wanted to smash it, to pulverize it and walk away somehow different, or dead.” Russell Cruz-Price achieves his goal and more in this utterly compelling blend of noir thriller and adventure novel. Shorn of that Indiana Jones can-do spirit, Harrington’s story sends a dissolute journalist—think Fowler in The Quiet American—straight into the heart of darkness. Cruz-Price is marking time as a foreign correspondent in Guatemala—his mother, daughter of one of the country’s coffee barons, was murdered there 30 years earlier—when two events change his life. He agrees to buy a coffee plantation, having been convinced by a fortune-hunting archaeologist that the mythical Red Jaguar, a giant Mayan sculpture made of jade, is buried on the grounds, and he falls hard for the wife of the head of Guatemala’s secret service. Imagine if Fred C. Dobbs in Treasure of the Sierra Madre had had a femme fatale to deal with in addition to his greedy partners, and you’ll have some idea how Cruz-Price gets “pulverized.” But there is much more happening here than a hapless hero caught in a vice. Harrington draws us into Cruz-Price’s passion completely—making us feel the irresistibility of both the woman and the jaguar—and he drenches us in the corruption of South American politics (the author’s mother was a member of one of Guatemala’s ruling families). The result is a thriller that twists its knife far deeper than most. An instant cult classic that just might vault into the mainstream. —Bill Ott

Then add to it the preview that will run in the Chicgo Sun-Times on Sunday from David Montgomery of The Crime Fiction Dossier.....

Kent Harrington's Red Jungle leads off my Chicago Sun-Times column this coming Sunday. Here's a sneak peek of what I wrote:
There are certain highly-talented authors who ply their trade in obscurity, regularly turning out quality books that amazingly going unheralded and largely unnoticed. If there were any justice in the publishing world, these would be the writers receiving the million-dollar advances and mammoth publicity budgets. Kent Harrington is just such an author.
It continues on from there in an unqualified rave. (I'll also be posting the full-length version of my review on Mystery Ink soon.) Red Jungle is a novel of uncommon beauty and grace and is destined to be one of the best books of 2005.The fact that Harrington was unable to convince any major New York publisher to take on this wonderful book is a clear sign that the lunatics are in charge of the asylum.

Sarah Weinman (see sidebar of blog) recommends this book too.....

All in all this is a book to read.


Blogger Richard said...

Just finished Red Jungle last week, gathered power and force til the end you are pulled along like a butterfly in a hurricane toward the end. And when it was over you know you have just finished a great book. Shame on the big publishing houses for not putting Mr. Harrington's books for sale before the general public. Kudos to Dennis McMillan for making it available to those who seek out great novels.

12:06 PM  

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