Sep 3, 2013

Book Review: Mystery Girl by David Gordon

Publisher synopsis: Sam Kornberg is a failed novelist living in L.A. with a collapsing marriage. Desperate for work, he becomes the assistant to a portly, housebound detective named Solar Lonsky. His assignment to track a mysterious woman is the trigger for a story involving sexy doppelgangers, insane asylums, south-of-the-border shootouts, mistaken identities, video-store-geekery, and the death of the novel.

My comments: The mystery story surrounds an "art" film by an experimental filmmaker whose trilogy of films appeals to "cinephiles, Satanists, metal heads, stoners, and several deviants of all stripes." Since as a reader I don't really fit into any of these categories, the novel went over my head or below my head, unfortunately.

One of the themes of the novel is the "death of the novel," and the novel as an art form. Unfortunately, the attempts didn't work for me, and I saw it as a mishmash of story, author's thoughts, and the main character's philosophizing that didn't fit together well.

 I saw this book as an experimental novel with lots of stream of consciousness, and detailed description of dress, scenery, background, and people as in a script for a film. As for the story, it got drowned in distractions, such as the subplot of the life of a novelist and the "noir film as art" sections. Perhaps a bit too avant garde for me?

Title: Mystery Girl by David Gordon
Published July 16; New Harvest
Genre: mystery, experimental novel

David Gordon holds an MA in English and Comparative Literature and an MFA in Writing, both from Columbia University, and has worked in film, fashion, publishing, and pornography. His first novel, The Serialist, won the VCU/Cabell First Novel Award and was a finalist for an Edgar Award. His work has also appeared in The Paris Review, Purple, and Fence among other publications. Visit David at his website.

For more reviews and possibly very different views of the book, visit the book tour schedule hosted by TLC Book Tours.


  1. That's too bad. It looks like an interesting one. Thanks for the honest review!

  2. Thanks for this giveaway which interests me. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. A fascinating book which sounds unique. Thanks. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  4. I've never liked anything when the author/director is trying to hard to be clever, which is how this book felt to me.

  5. I'm sorry to hear that you didn't enjoy the book. I'm hoping that I'll like it better. Thanks for the giveaway. carlscott(at)prodigy(dot)net(dot)mx

  6. It sounds as if there's a lot going on in this one. Thank you for your honest review, Harvee. Please enter me in the giveaway: suko95(at)gmail(dot)com

  7. This sounds intriguing ...maybe I'm deviant enough? HA! Thanks for a great review, I'll think about this one if I need to get out of a reading rut!

  8. Too bad that the book really sees like it did not work. It almost sounds as if too many ideas were packed in here.

    I must bow out of the giveaway as I am so buried and behind in my reading.

  9. It sounds like a really fun and interesting book. I think I would really enjoy it. Thanks for having this giveaway.

  10. Sounds too too for me. I don't fit into any of those categories either!

  11. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.


I appreciate your comments and thoughts...

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