I know this is Fuller s last book and it s great that Hard Case Crime published it but it has to be said the whole thing is a bit weird.More here review includes spoilers I know this is Fuller s last book and it s great that Hard Case Crime published it but it has to be said the whole thing is a bit weird.More here review includes spoilers Who would have thought that noted film director Samuel Fuller was also an outstanding writer in the noir genre Brainquake is a superb novel that almost never got published in English The manuscript was found by the author s widow after his death in 1997 Paul Page is a bagman who delivers obscenely large amounts of money, mostly illegally derived, to a company called Pegasus For over ten years, Paul is the perfect anonymous bagman, escaping pirates who are after the funds he transports All Who would have thought that noted film director Samuel Fuller was also an outstanding writer in the noir genre Brainquake is a superb novel that almost never got published in English The manuscript was found by the author s widow after his death in 1997 Paul Page is a bagman who delivers obscenely large amounts of money, mostly illegally derived, to a company called Pegasus For over ten years, Paul is the perfect anonymous bagman, escaping pirates who are after the funds he transports All would have gone on like this except that Paul falls in love with a young widow whom he calls Ivory Face And, in thinking he is saving her life, he walks away with her, her infant, and a bag containing ten million dollars When this happens, he is pursued by the New York Police Department s tall statuesque black lieutenant named Helen Zara and by a mob assassin called only Father Flanagan, because his favorite disguise is as a priest.It all comes to a head in Paris in a furious exchange of gunshots as Paul is suffering from one of his brainquakes, severe migraine headaches that often involve visions The bagmen who transport money for organized crime live by a set of rules no personal relationships, no ties, no women and never, ever look inside the bag you re carrying Paul Page was the perfect bagman, despite suffering from a rare brain disorder But that ended the day he saw a beautiful Mob wife become a Mob widow Now Paul is going to break every rule he s lived by even if it means he might be left holding the bag I ve fallen into the rabbit hole that is HARD CASE CRIME BOOKS and it s stories like this that have trapped me An absolute page turner where anything can happen and does to your classic noir mob and dame types Totally unpredictable Maybe only 2 1 2 stars A crackerjack opening to this odd novel which is, in the end, wildly uneven The prose is supple in places, purple in others And the plot, the driving mechanism that kept me turning the pages, becameandpreposterous,andjerry rigged, though, to be fair, I read right to the end. Halfway through This one is worth noof my time. If you want screwball pulp entertainment, look no further Reads like Sam Fuller took a bunch of his past film scripts and dropped them into a blender, with writing that s like Goodis on caffeine Unfortunately it s not entirely cohesive and goes into some weird directions in terms of plot, but if you re a die hard Fuller fan you know to sometimes expect that from his storytelling On the other hand if you don t know the man s movies or aren t a fan, I d drop this book s rating down to 3 out of If you want screwball pulp entertainment, look no further Reads like Sam Fuller took a bunch of his past film scripts and dropped them into a blender, with writing that s like Goodis on caffeine Unfortunately it s not entirely cohesive and goes into some weird directions in terms of plot, but if you re a die hard Fuller fan you know to sometimes expect that from his storytelling On the other hand if you don t know the man s movies or aren t a fan, I d drop this book s rating down to 3 out of 5 rather than my 4 star rating.Of note This edition unfortunately has some weird typos with regards to character names At least in one scene in particular a character is being interrogated about their dead partner and the book accidentally shifts gears and begins referring to the guy being interrogated by the dead guys name Maybe that s how it was in the manuscript and they decided to keep it, but if so it s a weird decision.Also of note If you ve heard Fuller speak in movies or interviews, it s hella fun to imagine Fuller reading each line in this book to you At least it was for me I want to say I love this, but it is a very I kind of like it I want to love it because it s Samuel Fuller, but reading the book, I thought wow this is a bit long if the book was shorter, leaner, and just focused on three or four of its main characters, I would love it But parts of it, in a narrative sense, drags, and overall the book could have been great, if it was edited narrative way and length , but alas, it is what it is Not all the characters are equal in weight to me I like Pau I want to say I love this, but it is a very I kind of like it I want to love it because it s Samuel Fuller, but reading the book, I thought wow this is a bit long if the book was shorter, leaner, and just focused on three or four of its main characters, I would love it But parts of it, in a narrative sense, drags, and overall the book could have been great, if it was edited narrative way and length , but alas, it is what it is Not all the characters are equal in weight to me I like Paul, and I like the father and if the book just focused on those two, I think this would have been a fantastic noir work of fiction Nevertheless, I am grateful for Hard Case Crime in putting this book out I just wished it was a tad better There is a lot to like about BRAINQUAKE it s a mob book that goes beyond the stereotypical hit murder mayhem gun mole type tales traditional to this genre, instead focusing on a formally mute bagman and his violent hallucinations aka brainquakes.Paul was born into the life of organised crime his father worked in it and died in it As a favor to Paul s father following his death, the Boss took Paul under her wing and proceeded to turn this blank faced man into an exceptionally gifted bagman, There is a lot to like about BRAINQUAKE it s a mob book that goes beyond the stereotypical hit murder mayhem gun mole type tales traditional to this genre, instead focusing on a formally mute bagman and his violent hallucinations aka brainquakes.Paul was born into the life of organised crime his father worked in it and died in it As a favor to Paul s father following his death, the Boss took Paul under her wing and proceeded to turn this blank faced man into an exceptionally gifted bagman, one with a penchant for stopping pirates and a fierce sense of loyalty The key to being a successful bagman is to be an anonymous face in the crowd, have no attachment to friends family or partners beyond the occasional romp in the sack Paul is fine with this, until he s not When a chance encounter, one born of violence and death, unites single mother and former wife to a recently deceased underworld figure Michelle with Paul, he quickly succumbs to a feeling he hasn t felt before shortly thereafter he s got a bag full of cash and a ticket out of the country Written from multiple character perspectives, BRAINQUAKE kept me guessing the whole way through It s one of those rare crime books where you know who the key players are but don t know who ll survive or where the next bullet will come from.One of the best books Hardcase Crime has published without a doubt Review first appeared on my blog An insane bag man gets involved with an unscrupulous gun moll I had not, as of reading this, seen anything by legendary director Samuel Fuller, but whatever his cinematic merits he was not much of a novelist The kind of hyper stylized crime novel whichclosely resembles a superhero or sci fi story, a setting basically unrecognizable not in a good way , and characters that are equally loosely drawn It also relies upon characters coincidentally running into one another in a way thatAn insane bag man gets involved with an unscrupulous gun moll I had not, as of reading this, seen anything by legendary director Samuel Fuller, but whatever his cinematic merits he was not much of a novelist The kind of hyper stylized crime novel whichclosely resembles a superhero or sci fi story, a setting basically unrecognizable not in a good way , and characters that are equally loosely drawn It also relies upon characters coincidentally running into one another in a way thatshatters than stretches credulity Not good