This vastly entertaining debut novel, with a colorful cast of game-playing slackers and stressed-out mobsters, reads like an homage to Elmore Leonard.
Scattered body parts, a masturbation coach, the Los Angeles Mexican mafia and the work of Frida Kahlo are spun into a frenetic froth in this gritty, entertaining black comedy.
Mark Haskell Smith’s energetic thriller is an ode to the hard-boiled Los Angeles of Raymond Chandler and James Ellroy spun out in brighter-than-life Starburst colors…. Like its bold palette, Moist is aggressively over the top, yet each bizarre turn is as stubbornly logical as it is wonderfully impossible.
There’s a new writer cruising the hot, hard streets of LA, and he ain’t here to play girlie games. Smith kicks out of the gate like a doped up thoroughbred in the fifth at Hollywood Park. Blending fresh characters, snappy patter, sex, a mind bender of a plot, and a little more sex, Smith has mixed up a killer cocktail of a first novel and given the LA crime scene a new paint job in the process.
Dark and mordantly funny, Mark Haskell Smith’s first novel is a real machine-gun narrative the man can tell a story, oh, yes, indeed.
Be in no doubt–this hilarious and fast-moving crime novel is politically incorrect in just about every possible way, but that doesn’t mean to say you shouldn’t read it. Lie back, place your tongue firmly in your cheek, crack open a beer and lose yourself for an hour or two in the shady world of Los Angeles’ Mexican mafia.
Baked by Mark Haskell Smith is now officially on our must read shelf.
Smith doesn’t so much twist reality to give it a more comic edge as realize ordinary people can be pretty fucking mental all on their own. And with its lovingly ordinary absurdity, Baked starts to approach the gimlet-eyed barbed satire of Terry Southern.