Rake by Scott Phillips – review

July 19, 2013
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51frPjkxd3LRake, the latest novel from Nerd favorite Scott Phillips, follows an American daytime soap star’s escapades both sexual and violent in Paris.  Our hero’s name is never divulged but we know him by his moniker on the show: Dr. Crandall Taylor.  Taylor’s show is over in the States but it’s running every night in prime time in France, where he’s a true television celebrity.  In between doing publicity and fucking every pretty girl who crosses his path, Taylor decides to develop a film with a young novelist, something with a juicy leading man role for him.  While the writer puts together the script, Taylor goes about securing the funds, eventually catching the ear of an international arms dealer and club owner.  But when the money man catches Taylor fucking his wife, things take a bit of a turn…

Rake is full of vicarious pleasures for us to indulge in with Taylor.  I mean, he’s a handsome celebrity with damn near every woman at his disposal living it up in Paris, able to stroll the streets, eat at wonderful restaurants, and fuck women at his leisure.  But that is all just what’s on the surface of this character because, let the Nerd assure you, mere lifestyle/travelogue porn Rake sure as shit ain’t.  His chicness and charm is just a mask that hides the sociopath within, a side of him that he barely acknowledges himself, seeing how he’s our narrator.  Violence comes naturally to him, barely even raises his heart rate, and that violence got him discharged from the military decades ago.  He’s kept it under the surface since then but something about Paris seems to bring it out in him, leaving a few people dead as shit before the novel’s end.

But because this story is being told by Taylor it’s all related like it’s just a walk along the Seine.  Even when Taylor’s got a hostage locked up in a meat locker he manages to forget about the circumstance for hours at a time.  He’s a fascinating, funny and creepy creation from one of the most original practitioners of noir working today, Scott Phillips, and his Rake is a hilarious Hollywood satire, the fuck-journal of a mad man and an ingeniously twisty old-school noir along the lines of James M. Cain.  To make it plain, dear reader, this shit should be sitting at the tippy-fucking-top of your To-Be-Read pile.

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Nerd of Noir

I love crime/noir fiction, comics and movies. I think my opinions are web-worthy. Then again, what asshole doesn't think that their opinions deserve a blog?

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One Response to Rake by Scott Phillips – review

  1. Jedidiah Ayres on July 19, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    The more I think about it, the more I’d like to see Jon Hamm in a movie version.