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Friday, December 4, 2009

Only Milo, by Barry Smith (trade, $14.95)

I love a quirky story. I love a quirky story written in a quirky manner. That's why I picked the quirky Beat the Reaper as one of my year's best. And then along came Milo.

I don't think I'm giving too much away when I tell you that Milo is a killer. And I don't mean of ants or a hot pastrami sandwich or a nightclub comedy act. Milo is a frustrated novelist. He cannot beg, borrow or buy his way into the big time. So he tries every other way to get published. His first success is as a translator, despite his rudimentary Spanish, for José, a Mexican author. Judging the material he is to translate as second-rate, Milo substitutes one of his novels. When José accidentally almost unmasks the deception, Milo kills José. It is all uphill and downhill and back uphill from there.

The book speeds by because there's a lot of white space. The book looks like a typewritten (or computer written) manuscript or journal.

Short sentences.

One per paragraph.

Lots of punchlines.


Unashamedly bloodthirsty.

All Milo wants to be is a published author. Is that too much to ask?

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