The Jolly Coroner

Quentin Canterel. Acorn Independent, $14.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-1-909122-81-9
At the center of this literary crime novel composed of vignette-like chapters is Billy Rubino, a persnickety and self-aggrandizing coroner working in the gritty Southern town of Hokum—who may be the devil. Canterel creates a hard-boiled fantasia, delving into the pathology of his characters with relish, including a Polish mathematician whose identity has been confused with that of a corpse, and a group of teenagers who kidnap their teacher, forcing her to drive them across the Mexican border (the teacher falls ludicrously in love with one of her captors). Canterel’s prose style swings between heights of hyperbole and verbosity and depths of existentialist despair. Canterel is at his best when making preposterous scenarios and describing the water-logged bayous and depraved establishments of Hokum. When Billy falls in love with a junkie whom he saved from an attempted suicide, the crackling energy at work in Canterel’s prose begins to lose its focus, yet his narrative consistently shows a polished command of language and a self-assured style. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 08/01/2016
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 366 pages - 978-1-909122-82-6
Open Ebook - 368 pages - 978-1-911079-13-2
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