Rum Punch and Jeremy Robert Johnson

Elmore Leanord's Rum Punch is kind of a slog. It feels strange typing that, because he's such a strong writer, but I get the impression that this was just a practice novel. The characters are wooden and flat. The plot is a bit tired. The pacing is slow.

It's not at all like a usual Leanord romp.

That said, I think each writer probably has a ratio. For Elmore, it's about 6-1. He writes six great ones for every one average novel.

Stephen King: 8-1 (yes, I'm talking to you, From a Buick 8).

Tim Dorsey: 4-1.

Carl Hiaasen: 5-1.

You know who always delivers? Joe Lansdale. The champion mojo storyteller is just about the most bankable talent I can think of.

Speaking of which, I compiled a holiday wish list yesterday of some much-admired books. At the top of the list was High Cotton (to go with collections and novels by Bradbury, King and Paluhniak). Also, I've been looking to grab something by this talented writer.

Jeremy Robert Johnson's story "A Flood of Harriers" was featured in Cemetery Dance #56. They also ran a nice interview with Johnson. The man's a talented writer and an Oregonian to boot. If you get a chance, grab some of his stuff. Very strong.

And finally, I'm pissed off at the Baltimore Orioles. That's my squad and for years, I've been a fan of Brian Roberts. Now I hear he's been jamming his ass full of steroids. I hope the birds get rid of all of the cheaters on this team (and believe me, the Orioles are what the officials are calling a "steroid pocket") and get back to playing baseball the Oriole Way. You have betrayed my trust, Major League Baseball, and I'm not sure how long it will take to win it back.

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