Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Review of "Die Laughing" by Louis K. Lowy

Buy it HERE!
I've read several debut novels over the past couple of years. Very few have struck a chord with me like Louis K. Lowy's Die Laughing. I had read the first few pages a while back, and knew it was going to be good. This past week, when I finally got the chance to read it in its entirety, I was simply blown away.

The story begins in 1950's Las Vegas. Stand-up comic Sam E. Lakeside's  main goal is to make it to NYC to his booking on the Steve Allen Show. His plans are derailed when a mobster puts a hit out on him for messing around with his girlfriend. The timely appearance of an alien spacecraft is the only thing that keeps him from being "offed".  Unfortunately, for Sam E., things only go from bad to worse as he's thrown into a situation of saving the earth from some oil-addicted extraterrestrials.

I have to admit, I wondered whether a story centered around 1950's TV and aliens would wind up being corny as all get-out. I'm happy to say, I was more than pleasantly surprised. Sam E.'s story unfolds in humorous and touching ways. I found his personal inner demons very poignant. Mr. Lowy did an incredible job with Sam. E's evolution from a shallow, self-serving comedian to a man with a real conscious who puts others first for a change. He cracks hilarious, and sometimes crude or corny, jokes throughout the whole book, which kept me laughing. The other characters in the story--sexy but tough Cricket, smart and skeptical Lee, and slimy villain Francis--really took on a life of their own. Mr. Lowy handled their subplots with seeming effortlessness. And let us not forget the aliens, who can take the form of anyone who's appeared on TV. This aspect alone added a rich complexity of plot development.

Besides the compelling characters, Mr. Lowy writes with a confidence, authority, and command of language that one would expect in a page-turner. The book doesn't suffer from the common problems of poor grammar, typos, or excessive wordiness. Instead, each word, paragraph, and chapter seemed perfectly honed to provide a smooth reading experience.

I had only one very minor quibble with the book, and that was the immense amount of time-period descriptions. No doubt the author did a fantastic job in research. Every item, from Pall Malls to Howdy Doody's wooden lips, gave the story undeniable authenticity. However, at one point, I felt like it was just a tad too much, as though the reader was being constantly reminded where and when the story was taking place. That's really the only thing that could have been toned down.

This book is suitable for adults of all ages, particularly American adults. I don't care if you're not a sci-fi or 50's era fan. You're going to love it. People who grew up during the 50's will appreciate it for the nostalgia of old TV and Sci-Fi movies. It's just a darn good book. Now, go buy it and see what all the fuss is about!

To read more about Louis K. Lowy, please visit www.louisklowy.com or The Writer From Haunted Cave!

To see my interview with Louis K. Lowy, please click HERE!

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