Thursday, April 24, 2014

Sally's In The Alley by Norbert Davis - Pulp Fiction Review

             This is the kind of novel that Carl Hiaasen fans would love is the best way to begin this review. I wouldn’t be surprised if Carl Hiaasen said that he was influenced by Norbert Davis after reading this book. 
Amazon reviews said that this is a screwball comedy. I think that that is the case here except that you have to have a wry sense of humor to enjoy this book. On one hand, I like Carl Hiassen but I’m not so sure that fans would like this book as much as a Carl Hiaasen book. 
             You could start with the characters. The book is taking place during World War II. Donwashi is supposed to be a Japanese spy even though he is an American. His job is to look for a character named Dustmouth because he knows a field where uranium is planted. He has help from his large dog named Carstairs. 
             One scene where you can say that the reader needs to have a wry sense of humor to enjoy this book. Donwashi is being arrested by the sheriff and during that scene, they run into a little boy. The sheriff asks him whats wrong and he said that no one wants to play with him. So the sheriff suggests that he pick up a rock and throw it through the window of a hardware store and all the kids will like him. The kid says okay and goes to get the rock. 
             As the sheriff takes Donwashi to jail, Donwashi asked him why he would tell the boy to do that. The sheriff responds that this is the way we can stay in business. The kid throws a rock threw the window and hopefully he’ll commit other crimes. After all, if no one goes to prison anymore, then there would be any sheriffs and deputies and what will we do for jobs after that. So in order for us to have jobs, we have to encourage crime. 
             Probably the other scene is when one of the characters said that Herman Goring has been trying to kill him for six straight days and he had to call Adolf Hitler to ask him to stop. This character had his paintings and was trying to sell them. He also said that Herman Goring was really stupid for trying to kill him. 
            Another scene was when Dustmouth would ask Donwashi what would happen once the Japanese won the war. Also, was there anyone crazy that lived in Japan. Donwashi said only the Emperor. He thought he was God. He said that the people weren’t listening to him anyway. 
            My biggest reaction while I was reading the book was what the heck was happening here and why were all these people getting killed. I have to admit that Davis was able to bring use this in the end to explain why this was all a mystery in the first place. He did a great job on that. If you read the book though, you have to wonder why the book is named Sally Is In the Alley though. 
             Many pulp fiction books contain racial slurs and in this case, this book had some relating to Japanese people. You could make the argument that this took place during World War II but I don’t like that in any case. 
            It’s available on Kindle for .99. If you think you like this kind of humor, then you would probably enjoy the book. My feeling is that if you’re asking me for a rating of 1-5 stars, I’m gonna be tough on Norbert Davis and give this 2-1/2 starts but I would still want to read the other books that are part of the series. 

Ron Hummer

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