This book is going to actually be a combination of 2 books - well, one is actually a novella. If you ask me, they were a very strange combination to have read over the past couple of days.
The Outrider #3: Blood Highway by Richard Harding
Blood Highway picks up the story of Bonner, the post-apocalyptic adventurer. This time he discovers that his friends in the idyllic town of Almost Normal have been captured by Slavers and are to be sold to Leatherman, his nemesis. En route to try to rescue them, he hooks up with the Lashmen, a crazed biker gang of midgets. They must all band together to try to effect a rescue at the Slavers compound.
This Outrider was the weakest so far but still had some pretty fun set pieces and ultaviolence. We'll see how the series progresses. Next up: Bay City Burnout
Shopgirl by Steve Martin
Steve Martin appears to be on track towards an aspiration of becoming a legitimate artiste. He has transitioned from the wacky actor of The Jerk to the bland, put-upon father figure of Parenthood and Cheaper By The Dozen. And now a writer. He has sold his short novella, Shopgirl, and written the screenplay and been cast in the lead along with Claire Danes and Jason Schwartzman.
Mirabelle is the shopgirl who sells gloves in a large department store in LA. She is attractive, artistic, bored, depressive and medicated. Her life is hermetically sealed from outside influences. She dates Jeremy, a slacker, only so she can obtain a potential post-coital cuddle. One day Ray Porter comes into her life. He is wealthy, older, sophisticated and distant. They connect. Ultimately, Mirabelle must figure out what she wants from her life.
I don't know about this book. I guess that it might be classed as what they're calling chick-lit these days. The story is written in the third person which adds to the whole feeling of detachment. I found it hard to empathise with any of these characters wan LA problems. What I had hoped for was some of Martin's acerbic wit that I have seen used in his magazine essays and so forth. The film is being released as a comedy so perhaps more of that will come through.