Tuesday, February 15, 2011

You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin + Contest!

Published February 2011.

You Killed Wesley Payne is a truly original and darkly hilarious update of classic pulp noir, in which hard-boiled seventeen-year-old Dalton Rev transfers to the mean hallways of Salt River High to take on the toughest case of his life. The question isn't whether Dalton's going to get paid. He always gets paid. Or whether he's gonna get the girl. He always sometimes gets the girl. The real question is whether Dalton Rev can outwit crooked cops and power-hungry cliques in time to solve the mystery of "The Body" before it solves him. (book back blurb)

Before you even begin the thought of reading this book, check your normal meter at the door and rev your suspension of disbelief as far up as it can go. If you go into this one thinking a semi-normal who-dunnit story is going to ensue, you're grossly mistaken. This is Sean Beaudoin remember. He eats mind fucks for breakfast. Hello? Fade to Blue anyone?

Once you get over that, expect nothing and anticipate everything, you'll begin to settle into the story nicely. Of course, you need to get over that slapped-in-the-face-by-a-fish feeling that hits the second you start reading it because everything is just so absurd. But that's the beauty of it. Just go grab a brain condom and hop on for the ride.

Beaudoin has this ability to write the psychotic that makes it come out almost believable. Everything is so absolutely insane and so over the top that no one could make this kind of thing up, right? Not really. But that's how it works. It's like pulp noir and crack had a baby but instead of being this huge ol' mess, it's so well put together that you're almost afraid to touch it. Is it real? Is it delicate? Will it all come crumbling down at the end under the weight of its own insanity?

No, it won't. The story isn't sitting on toothpicks. It's sitting on granite columns. Beaudoin has woven a crazy storyline together so intricately that it actually ends normally. For everything that happened, all the rush rush rush running of the plot, you actually get to walk it off at the end. Take a breather. Let it all sink in. And you're not left disappointed. Nothing's hanging by a thread, any perceived plotholes are firmly closed up and you're left with the greatest happy ending ever. The skeevy "massage parlor" type of happy ending anyway. You might feel a little dirty, maybe a little used and thrown away, but you're done. You're completed and while you can ask questions about the future of the story, there's nothing left to ask about the present. It's finished.

I'm amazed at the writing that Beaudoin does. Despite its insanity, he creates characters that are relatable. You can feel Dalton's frustration at every turn and his ultimate surprise when it creeps up out of nowhere. Every character is a caricature but they're grounded at the same time. They're crazy mirror images of their own selves but you believe them. Everything they say and do, it all makes perfect sense within the context of the story. Just don't walk outside that context. Your head might explode.

If you liked Fade to Blue, you'll certainly like You Killed Wesley Payne. If you haven't read either yet, then what the hell are you waiting for? But like I said, remember to check your common sense at the door. It'll only hinder your reading ability with Beaudoin's work. You need to go into it with a truly open mind. Only then can you enjoy it.

Contest Time!!!

Want my ARC of You Killed Wesley Payne? Then just fill out the form below for your chance to win. Open to US residents 13 years of age and older only. One entry per person per email address. Duplicate entries will be deleted. Contest ends March 8th at midnight, EST.


ladystorm said...

Sounds great! I just got this book today in the mail to review and now I can't wait to give it a try!

Kristen said...

Lol to "brain condom" nice. I think you perfectly capture how I'm feeling about this novel right now. Unlike anything I've ever read. I love this author and can't wait to finish the book and see who really killed Wesley Payne.

Anonymous said...

"He eats mind fucks for breakfast?" I LOVE that! I had my eye on this but was on the fence. Now I think I will give it a try. Thanks for the review.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an amazing read. And I'm glad you're still blogging.

Keep up the good work.

Chel said...

You Killed Wesley Payne sounds super amazing and hilarious. The author is very cool too. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the review.

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