ISBN 978 1 897959 12 1
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'Savage talked about his life as a re-offender. How could someone be offended by the same thing twice? Was nothing learnt?'
Beerlight, the city of all of our futures, is not a safe place. Weaponry, rather than fast cars or designer clothes, is the ultimate status symbol. The populace is dedicated to law-breaking, politically incorrect views and hurling abuse and hand grenades at each other.
Combining elements of surrealism, film noir and punk rock ethos, Aylett creates a darkly comic landscape that's a cross between a Tarantino film and a Bosch painting, where murder is the ultimate expression of art.
The cast of hoodlums includes burglar extraordinaire Billy Panacea, conman-cum-lawyer Harpoon Specter and other fun-loving felons who hang out at the Delayed Reaction Bar on Valentine Street reading the Parole Violators Bugle.
'Very funny and eminently readable'
'Make no mistake, Aylett knows his stuff'
'Hilarious and horrifying dismemberment of the urban hardboiled style. Beerlight is a scary suburb located at the exact mid-point between then and now, between Mare Street and Main Street, where no-goods, no-hopers and ne'er-do-wells do not hesitate to pump each other full of holes or drugs. Practitioners of street mime are subject to particularly gruesome atrocitites. Comic-book imagery – like Jim Steranko on steroids – mingles with a noiriste's worst nightmare in this distressingly brilliant debut'
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'Aylett hurls puns, allusions, and sarcastic asides with postmodern panache … He is warped and perversely funny'
Washington Post Book World
'With half a dozen others, hacking away at sacred trees, British accent and buckskin fringe blowing in the breeze, he's blazed a unique trail into the contemporary urban forest.'
'Steve Aylett's The Crime Studio is a clutch of spoof linked tales set in a post-apocalyptic, morally-inverted, gun-crazy, amyl nitrate-ventilated American city called Beerlight, where crime is the only going concern. The noirness of Beerlight owes something to Brecht's Mahagonny, but then Aylett seems to have rummaged through the works of many, including Damon Runyon, Mickey Spillane and Tank Girl, and stolen with abandon – although not without effect. Sometimes Aylett is as funny and as good with a pen ('a guy whose face resembled something glimpsed through the porthole of a bathysphere') as he thinks he is, while the cartoon criminal denizens get more and more stand-up. The book has cult status written all over it.'
'Beerlight is a city of the future. An urban streetscape peopled entirely by criminals, psychotics and idiot savants; Brute Parker, owner of the all-nite gun shop, Billy Panacea, burglar extraordinaire, Sally the Gat who shoots someone “at such close range the cops drew a chalk body-outline on the ceiling” … An allegorical comic strip veined with mutant metaphors and amphetamine-crazed one-liners, Aylett's miniaturist polyglutted novel is immoral, indecent and wears its colours of Political Incorrectness like a bullet-riddled flag … Aylett is as smart as he thinks he is. Which is pretty scary.'
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