Price: £ 7.99
People, it is finished!!! VLM introduced me to possibly the greatest phrase ever 'mad as cheese!' WOOOOOOO!
The whole thing is in the first person of the unnamed councillor, salesman, posh crim, gangster.....I could go on. It works. It is great to see his reasoning, doubts, madness etc etc. He is a fantastic point of view for a gangster novel to have as he doesn't seem like your average London thug. He's educated, has wit, skill, knowledge and just doesn't seem to fir the stereotype. The London gangsta dialect that swoops in on many occasions is also hugely enjoyable.
I will admit that I have never read a novel that falls in to the gangster realm of crime writing, but I think this fitted in to a tee from the start. VLM falls in to the same category as Lock Stock and Snatch. As you read it, you know that in the end everything will tie up in some crazy, off the wall but satisfying little package! YAY!
When it comes to the characters there are some fantastic caricatures, mainly Sonny and Roy. Brilliantly written, developed and constructed and so totally believable but larger than life at the same time. Mummy Geek would so fancy Morty in real life...totally her type.
Sadly the book wasn't as quick to read as I was expecting or would have liked. The chapters were short but I found the first half(ish) a bit slow moving. This could however be that I was in the wrong frame of mind to read it. I was looking for a quick read so I could move on pretty sharpish to part two of Dance with Dragons. Just past the 1/2 way mark the whole thing did pick up though, this could be because I was in to it more then or the plot thickened, I'm not sure. I just don't think I was totally in the correct frame of mind to read and appreciate VLM all the way through.
I am not sure that I would have got more out of the book if I had read Layer Cake previously or not. I did watch the film many many moons ago but all I can remember is the pitiful performance by Sienna Miller. I would now like to read Layer Cake to see if it sheds a light on anything in VLM.
The ending totally blows your mind, well the end portion! Totally fantastic and totally unexpected. However, the VERY VERY end does make the novel feel a tad self consious. Well, for me it made the novel feel like that, don't know if it would be the same for everyone.
The above may be a tad mixed, but I think it is just me and if I had read VLM at another time I would have enjoyed it from the offing and enjoyed it even more. Defo one for the gangster fans and defo worth a read as it's fun, funny, dark and unexpected.