Jimmy Veeder, the hapless hero of Johnny Shaw’s Dove Season, returns in Plaster City, another hugely hilarious, equisitely profane and wonderfully human entry in a series I hope we get to keep reading until Jimmy’s well into his nineties. This time out Jimmy is trying to save his wild card best friend Bobby Maves’ daughter from the seedy world of underground (and underage) girl fighting, but for Jimmy Veeder, a farmer living in the Imperial Valley of California with his girlfriend and his late father’s bastard son, no such adventure is gonna go down without some truly heavy hiccups.
It’s a helluva tale, filled with coked up porn producers, dumb-ass teenage cholos and baby-faced bikers, but Shaw is all about the journey not the destination. There is no great mystery to be solved or clock to be raced, just a golden opportunity to be told a funny story filled with beautiful losers (people you’d actually *want* as your drinking buddies), the tale being related by the most charismatic dude at the bar. And for a comic novel to have such deeply earned emotional content as well? That shit’s more than just gravy- it’s a fucking miracle.
I’m sure I’m not the first to have said that Johnny Shaw is as close to an heir to the throne of Joe R. Lansdale as we have in modern crime fiction, but if I am you better believe I want credit for it. Plaster City is such a good read that the Nerd *almost* recommends you read it straight through instead of meeting up with the boys Friday night at your local. Almost.