Literary Saloon
Site of Review.

Trying to meet all your book preview and review needs.

the Best
the Rest
Review Index


to e-mail us:

In Association with Amazon.com

In association with Amazon.com - UK


the Complete Review
the complete review - fiction

The Crime Studio

Steve Aylett

general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author

To purchase The Crime Studio

Title: The Crime Studio
Author: Steve Aylett
Genre: Novel
Written: 1994
Length: 156 pages
Availability: The Crime Studio - US
The Crime Studio - UK
The Crime Studio - Canada

- Return to top of the page -

Our Assessment:

A- : a remarkable, fast-paced, and immensely clever set of cautionary tales.

See our review for fuller assessment.

Review Summaries
Source Rating Date Reviewer
Fantasy & Science Fiction . 5/2002 James Sallis
Rev. of Contemp. Fiction . Summer/2002 Tim Feeney

  From the Reviews:
  • "Think of Don Westlake's crime capers on caffeine overdrive, the Marx Brothers filming Crime and Punishment in a single, drunken weekend." - James Sallis, Fantasy & Science Fiction

  • "The Crime Studio is a comic-noir tour-de-force in which otherwise trite hardboiler elements are the raw materials for Aylett’s cockeyed take on genre fiction. (...) The Crime Studio manages to subvert genre fiction without descending into sniggling postmodern ridicule, which may be the last brave thing left in contemporary literature." - Tim Feeney, Review of Contemporary Fiction

Please note that these ratings solely represent the complete review's biased interpretation and subjective opinion of the actual reviews and do not claim to accurately reflect or represent the views of the reviewers. Similarly the illustrative quotes chosen here are merely those the complete review subjectively believes represent the tenor and judgment of the review as a whole. We acknowledge (and remind and warn you) that they may, in fact, be entirely unrepresentative of the actual reviews by any other measure.

- Return to top of the page -

The complete review's Review:

       Steve Aylett's first novel consists of loosely connected episodes from a place where criminal activity seems to be pretty much the only activity. The dystopian Beerlight is a place of all your worst nightmares. Crime has become everything -- even an art -- and Aylett takes the idea to some imaginative extremes. Aylett's warped vision works because it is one big joke -- and a damn well-told one.
       The episodes are all brief, a few pages each, but Aylett writes in a dense, compact style and makes a neat story out of each. His sequence of dead pan one-liners would make Raymond Chandler proud. And he even manages to string them together into actual stories.
       The characters are a fun lot. There's the conman (and lawyer) Harpoon Specter, "so adept at manipulating reality he could fall out a window and land on the roof -- if he could make a few smackers that way." There's Leon Wardial, who, as a student "had almost become English through bad illumination and lack of exercise." And any number of other sad sacks, successful (or less so) at committing crime.
       Very few of these episodes don't work. All of them are worth a few laughs, at least, and most are damn sharp.
       Recommended, for those who can stand some humour to their mysteries. And keep an eye out for Aylett, a talent to watch.

- Return to top of the page -


The Crime Studio: Reviews: Steve Aylett: Other books by Steve Aylett under review: Other books of interest under review:

- Return to top of the page -

About the Author:

       British author Steve Aylett was born in 1967. He has written several novels.

- Return to top of the page -

© 1999-2010 the complete review

Main | the New | the Best | the Rest | Review Index | Links