The Perfect Defective

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Published 5 years ago -

Clark Casey

Clark Casey’s The Perfect Defective is a hilarious short novella, an enjoyable beach read if your sense of humor includes ribald parody of the LA private detective genre. Aside from the Spade or Marlowe associations, some readers may feel they’re in territory similar to The Big Lebowski or Inherent Vice, but The Perfect Defective is more like the Airplane! of the PI parody genre. It’s a shameless laugh machine, and it usually works.

Jack Hannigan is the hard-drinking, womanizing, Philip Marlowe type PI, but with ogling eye of a Henry Miller. He is hired by a novelist, Professor Durgen, who claims to have “lost his talent” and asks Hannigan to track it down. Durgen is writing a book called 10,000 Perfect Sentences, and he has written all but the last sentence before getting writer’s block.

Hannigan has a familiar back story. His no-good wife has left him years before. And he had a difficult childhood:

My pops scrammed when I was 10. He left a note saying: ‘went out for smokes and to start another family, be back in 30 years.’ Still waiting to hear from him.

Hannigan is soon enmeshed in a web of intrigue including the novelist, his agent, his teaching assistant who appears to be dead but is still on the prowl in LA, the best stripper in town, a woman’s volleyball coach, a sexy young woman who wants to study “vegetarianism” at Stanford University, among many others.

Hannigan is a drunken, leering opportunist, and his cynicism is infectious. The Perfect Defective is crude, rife with sex jokes, drinking jokes, and unabashed cynicism. It’s very loose. It’s parodying the genre, so it’s more about the gags than the story of characters.

I found it laugh-out-loud-funny. It’s rare to laugh so much in so few pages.

Get the book! The Satirist - America's Most Critical Book (Volume 1)

Online Ads


2 recommended
comments icon 0 comments
0 notes
bookmark icon

Write a comment...

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to toolbar