Dirty White Boys - Stephen Hunter
What can I say other than this book was a waste of my time? I will give you a few reasons.
1. This book had one of the most predictable plot line I have ever read. No surprises. I hate that.
2. The characters were not believable to me. They all had flaws that didn't seem to fit my image of who they were.
3. Odell, a cousin of the antagonist and fellow criminal, was retarded. He reminded me of Benjy from The Sound and the Fury. He could not speak or think for himself in almost every situation...yet he was in a maximum security federal prison in the general population. He was even the room mate with his cousin, his criminal accomplice. Right! A man this retarded would not be in that prison. It was ridiculous.
4. These types of books are supposed to get you hating the bad guys, loving the good guys despite their being the underdogs due to the situation, etc. This book never did it for me.
Yes, the bad guys were bad. I did not like them all that much. I also felt like they could have been a lot badder. This guy Lamar was supposed to be the baddest dude in the prison. He tried to act like it, but it fell short for me.
Then there were the good guys. The protagonist was a State Trooper named Bud. He had a wife and two sons and was an all around super guy that everyone loved. This is the dude that is supposed to get us rooting for him. He is also the guy who was having an affair with the wife of a rookie officer he had trained. That rookie happened to be assigned as his partner. Still knocking boots with his wife. That rookie then got killed by the bad guys and Bud had these recurring nightmares and visions about it forever...but still banged the guys wife as often as he could lie to his family and slip away or meet her in some far away town.
Sorry, but this is not the guy I see as a hero. He is just some sneaky piece of shit who happens to be lucky a LOT in this book.
5. The coincidences are ridiculous. Nobody can find Lamar and his gang for months. So, how does Bud Pewtie repeatedly stumble upon him and keep getting into gun fights? Bud and Lamar must have some kind of attraction or something that wills them to being in the same place at the same time. It was stupid.
6. The first line of the book set up the tone. I knew immediately I was in for some writing that was supposed to act tough but actually be crappy. The opening paragraph is as follows:
"Three men at McAlester State penitentiary had larger penises than Lamar Pye, but all were black and therefore, by Lamar's own figuring, hardly human at all. His was the largest penis ever seen on a white man in that prison or any of the others in which Lamar had spent so much of his adult life. It was a monster, a snake, a ropey, veiny thing that hardly looked at all like what it was but rather like some form of rubber tubing."
It went down hill from there.