3 Down, 49 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)

Road to Perdition
(ISBN No: 0743442245) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

I read a truckload of comic tradepaperbacks and graphic novels — mostly borrowed from the nearby Central Lending Library — but I’ve just somehow missed out on reading Road to Perdition despite all the movie hype a few years ago. However, I was looking for something light last week, and just happened across this on the shelf.
I took quick enough to finish it, but to call this light reading would be a grave mistake.

Richly laced with themes of tragedy, betrayal and innocence lost, the book is heavily influenced by the classic manga Lone Wolf and Cub; a father and son on a long, bloody road of revenge, albeit with a strong bent of prohibition-era Americana and 40s crime noir. Author Max Allan Collins is the pioneer of historical crime fiction, deftly writing in encounters with Eliot Ness and Al Capone and weaving entirely plausible explanations for actual unsolved crimes.

Historical accuracy aside, I especially enjoyed the emotional ride, as father and son get to know each other better, ironically while leading a life of crime and violence – hardly a family-friendly environment. It’s an archetypal coming of age story, with inevitably tragic consequences.

I’m glad I read the book first before watching the movie, I’d hate to have Tom Hank’s face superimposed on Michael O’Sullivan’s stoic, craggy face. Maybe Gabriel Byrne. Rendered realistically in black and white, artist Richard Piers Rayner manages to convey an almost stark aspect to the art while penciling in an enormous amount of detail. Keep your eye peeled for the John Woo balletic violence in this, comes off really well when executed by Irish gangsters in 1940s Chicago.

Now I’m definitely going to get my hands on the movie.

Road to Perdition
(ISBN No: 0743442245) Check NLB Catalogue for item availability.

My next book will be Geek Love, many thanks to Don for yet another loan.

note: I’ve given up on using elibraryhub, not only does it not support Firefox, the database is always down! I hope its a temporary thing, but I’m going to link straight from the NLB Catalogue for now. Sorry, but registration is required for both.

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2 Responses to “3 Down, 49 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books)”


  1. 1 Ivan Chew January 28, 2006 at 0:27

    Good for you, Billy. But hey, read for the enjoyment, not the numbers 🙂
    Send your reviews to High Browse Online, why don’t you?

  2. 2 mbt shoes vs reebok easytone November 25, 2013 at 19:06

    mbt voi shoes 3 Down, 49 Left (52 Weeks, 52 Books) | zerotwohero


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