Wednesday, 16 April 2014

From Belfast to LA; a Ride for the Reader

A YEAR AND A HALF on and we're looking back at some of the reviews from Lost Angeles...and maybe even convince you to buy yourself a copy. Yup, that's right I'm that much of a whore.

Doug, the protagonist and narrator of Dave Louden's debut novel, Lost Angeles, may find himself lost as he navigates between memories of his native Belfast and the L.A. to which he's run; but the reader is never lost in the sure hands of this storyteller.

From the opening chapter which catapults Doug into Los Angeles, straight off the plane from Belfast and into a near-fight in a fast food box, the reader is taken for a ride. Louden owes a debt to Bukowski, but he has nevertheless his own original voice: wry, sharp and sarcastic, confident. He has an amazing facility with words which may be a tribute to the Irish gift for story-telling, but is surely his own gift, too.

Lost Angeles partakes of the picaresque genre, except that Doug does grow as a character, coming to grips with what has hurt him so by the end of the novel. The story earns its ending, in which Doug, having exorcised his ghosts, or at least come to grips with them by staring them straight on, finds his calling. This reader, for one, hopes that the author of Lost Angeles has, too. The novel's final sentence is perfection.