Well, folks, we've reached the end. This is the end of the line for the ole Chronicler. What's more is we're going out like we should - with a Viking funeral, or a burnt offering. What is being offered up and sent off? A book, of course, but not just any book. It goes by the name of Pig Iron. The author is one near and dear to me, David James Keaton. This book? It'll set your mind ablaze.
Pig Iron is a western but it's a western like all of those trippy spaghetti western movies from the 60's and 70's, mixed with some alternative rock and born into a world post-Bizarro. The plot takes place in the town of Aqua Fria, a town straight out of Django Kill. The wells have run dry and there's a gunslinger named Red who has come to town. I don't know if there's any point in talking much more about this book. I loved it so damn much that I burned it. I liked watching it burn (fire figures prominently in the thing itself, after all) and I could hardly think of a more fitting tribute to the book or the man who wrote it.
Keaton is a man working and writing his ass off on the frontlines in the war against literary complacency. The Last Projector, also by Keaton, was my favorite read of last year. I don't know if Pig Iron will be my favorite this year - it's got Skullcrack City to contend with, after all - but it is a hell of a read. It's got a strange cinematic quality to it that will make you blaze (ha! blaze! get it?) through it and want to return to its pages again and again in the future.
The dialogue is crisp, the characters are rich, the prose is sharp, and the pages burn awful nice. Go and get you a copy. Keep yours on the shelf though.