Shakespeare’s Quote Writ Large

“Life is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” So says William Shakespeare. And since then a number of novels have been written by authors who have chosen to tell their tales through the mouths of individuals who would be considered something less than normal. Of course, just who is and who isn’t normal is getting harder and harder to quantify these days, but that’s another story.

William Faulkner’s The Sound And The Fury is probably the most famous novel that uses a “mentally challenged” narrator. And more recently, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time became a national bestseller by spinning a compelling narrative through the mind and voice of a child savant.

But the purpose of this post is not to bring your attention to either of those worthy tomes. Rather, it is to make you aware of The Getaway Man penned by Andrew Vachss and published in 2003. The narrator and protagonist is Eddie. To be sure, he is what the title implies, a wheel jockey who deals in burning rubber, escape and evasion. But he’s also what we used to call (in pre politically correct times) a little “slow.” Or is he? Near the end you think you know the answer. Then all of a sudden, you don’t.

Andrew Vachss is one of the premier crime fiction writers working today. His gut-crunching, eye-bleeding prose slaps you in the face and makes you like it. It slices you so deftly you don’t even know you’ve been cut, until the blood starts to trickle and air hits the wound like an incoming round. While the native New Yorker is best known for his Burke series, some of his other novels like Shella, The Getaway Man and Two Trains Running (where he tells the entire 450 page story in chronological running-time) are just as tight, tough and menacing as any hard-edged police procedural you’re likely to find.

If, like The Fiction Fortune Hunter, you like your noir with dirty double crosses, hard charging plots, hairpin turns, and hot pages you hate to put down, then pick up The Getaway Man by Andrew Vachss. And you can decide for yourself if it’s the storyteller who’s the dim wit, or the reader.

2 Responses to “Shakespeare’s Quote Writ Large”

  1. I seriously enjoy your posts. Thanks

  2. Haha so true.

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