Monday, October 31, 2016

THE DAMP FEDORA




THE DAMP FEDORA
By Kate Pilarcik
Down & Out Books
114 pgs

Stream of consciousness writing is the process by which a writer jots down words faster than the output of a Thompson submachine gun. It is not easy to do, as often what ends up on the paper is a mish-mash of thoughts and disjointed ideas that simply don’t fit together at all. On the other hand, if you’re Kate Pilarcik, you end up with a book that is so energized with rapid-fire slang-slugs, it’s almost impossible to keep up with.  Honestly, if you aren’t an experienced reader who truly loves the written word, we are going to warn you away from this little gem. Why? Because to fully appreciate its nuances and word-games, one needs to love fiction. Pulp fiction to be exact. And of course we do, which in this case is a very happy happenstance.

Nelle Callahan is a gusty, tough-as-nail female P.I. who agrees to help a mysterious, handsome stranger locate his father’s lost will.  Seems like a simple enough, run-of-the-mill plot. Right. So she takes him to her favorite coffee shop down the street where they are assaulted by a mob thug. Then, after Nelle puts the mug’s lights out, with the owner’s help via a swinging fry pan, she finds herself chasing after a famous baseball player who just happened to be in the joint and witnessed the confrontation.  Apparently a talented player for the Phillies, this sportsman, it turns out, was at the shop looking for Nelle in the hope she can get him reinstated and back on the playing field.

All of which takes the story into the world of pre-World War II baseball and it is a ride as wacky and joyous as an extra innings pitchers’ duel.  Do recall my earlier warning; this is the kind of book that takes detours you never saw coming. Then, before you can sing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” we discover this troubled big leaguer is in possession of a priceless J.R. Reach bat made of white ash, of which only three were made.

Oh, and did we mention Nelle is also a secret agent for the O.S.S.?

“The Damp Fedora,” once we managed to cut our way through the first five pages, took off like a bucking bronco fresh out of the rodeo shute forcing us to hold on for dear life. With every wondrous phrase, evocative of times long gone, we experienced a thrill ride like none other found between the pages of such a slim book. Pilarcik is a bloody genius and you heard it here first.  Now, Lady, you owe me a cold one.


3 comments:

KATE PILARCIK said...

Do you remember when Sally Field stood semi-gush-speechless at the Academy Awards and with that shiny Oscar fella clutched close and comfortable . . . effused from the places where heart meets mind?

She said, "You like me, you truly like me!"
Me and Detective Nelle Callahan gush (with a cool class and distinction, mind you), "You get us, you truly, truly get us."

Grace of our thanks, Captain Ron Fortier for letting eager readerfolk with astute quicksilver minds know that PULP GOES YOUR FICTION REVIEWS!

~ Honoured we are, to have taken you on this debut ride.
Slim volume means that you're in for the whole noirvella serial of intrigue.

Next up ~ MAGIC SPY
{ cool one pouring . . . *clink* }

Tom Johnson said...

Sounds like a fun read. I'll have to check it out. Thanks, Ron.

KATE PILARCIK said...

Jeepers Mr Johnson --

"I can't wait for your peepers to rip through the pages suspense author Kate has written up as I told her my tales. But you'll see, yeah you'll see. That palooka Fortier knows his stuff like a shortstop covers playing turf. Pulp goes that Mr Ron fella."


Grace o' thanks from me and Kate,
~ Nelle, Nelle Callahan