Review-type-thing: Yellow Medicine by Anthony Neil Smith (@DocNoir)

Okay, even if you already read the hardcover, go back and get yourself the Kindle or Nook version of Yellow Medicine just so you’ll have it next time you’re at the beach or on a plane (because otherwise you’re just going to be tempted to download something from the James Patterson farm and spend much of the trip wondering if you should have brought your box cutters for wrist splitting. (<rant>At this point, I don’t care if he ever wrote anything decent because he’s on my damn TV hocking some new book where his name’s so big they didn’t bother designing a proper cover.</rant>)

Where was I? Oh, right, go buy Yellow Medicine. Why? Oh, you were expecting an actual review? How ’bout bullets? (Because Yellow Medicine has a few bullets in it. Also a few beheaded co-eds, but WordPress doesn’t offer those for free.)

  • It’s damn entertaining. It just is. I hate reading on my computer. (And if I’m going to buy a stupid portable gadget I might not need, I’m getting a new laptop (one with a battery life longer than my attention span that doesn’t weigh as much as a full-grown gorilla) before I go investing in an e-reader since I have a stack of paper books that might weigh more than the gorilla.) Yet, Yet!, I read the whole book on my laptop in a weekend. That means I sat in my uncomfortable desk chair not tweeting or writing or lifting weights and actually read the whole book.
  • I talked my co-worker into buying it. Now, talking her into reading it might be another matter, but that’s not the book’s fault. That’s because her finish-rate for books is maybe two a year. Though, she’s been nearing the end of a Robert Crais book for about a month so anything’s possible. The point is, I — the girl who’s much quicker to talk about how much I hate something and wish it deceased or to glower noncommittally in the corner like an anti-social stale muffin — liked something enough to talk someone else into liking it (and the “it” in question wasn’t curried seitan or buckwheat noodles or tofu cheesecake).
  • At least three people liked it so much they offered to buy copies for others.
  • The characters are believable, but not always good. They all have their personal moral codes and their own motivations and faults. It follows a lot of classic formulas as far as forcing characters out of their comfort zones, making them make hard choices and seeing how they deal with defeat and change. It does not, however, read like an outline or “story example.” It reads like an action movie.
  • It can be yours for 99 cents. At the moment you’re probably chewing on a burrito that, while technically may have been cheaper at the drive-thru, but when you account for the half-bottle of Tums you’re going to eat later, the burnt roof of your mouth, and the fact that your coworkers are going to refuse to talk to you tomorrow…spend your 99 cents on Yellow Medicine instead.

I may have been given a copy of this ahead of time. I may also have bought it once it was released anyway because I wanted to and because I make my own burritos.