Just stumbled upon Stuart Beaton‘s podcast featuring my old buddy Preston Lang. The conversation between the two is thoughtful and funny, a mirror of Lang’s writing. If you like noir, pick up The Blind Rooster; if you like crime fiction, it’s The Carrier, both released last year.
As for this podcast: Do we really need a 90,000-word book about Lionel Ritchie? Mr. Lang, what have you got up your sleeve?
Reading Preston Lang’s The Blind Rooster (Crime Wave Press) feels a lot like people-watching at the laundromat. The major figures resemble coin-op types, people resigned to the vague indignity of paying to have their underwear tumble around in a public washer. And don’t take your eyes off them for a moment—they’d just as soon pinch a quarter from your pocket as take your favorite pair of jeans from a hot dryer. (Full review)
Preston Lang’s discreetly funny debut crime novel The Carrier (280 Steps) is an amoral story about semi-decent, semi-depraved, mostly-human people who eat and argue and screw genuinely enough as they pursue their proverbial pot of gold in parts unknown of the U.S.A. Some get what they got coming, some get less, others more, but always around the corner is another day and another twist of the knot and who knows if it’s money, drugs, gold, or death that awaits (Full review).
What strikes me most in Lang’s work is the casualness of his narrative voice, an understated tenor, a manner of delivery that allows him to present the utterly random alongside the marginally droll alongside the plainly silly alongside the brazenly vile, all without ever changing pitch. There’s no shrill emotion or overbearing melodrama or manic activity. His narratives move fluidly from one moment to the next, and between the minds of his characters, each of them vying for first place as the least remarkable person in all of crime fiction.