At last! I edited this forever. The title is:
Published on Twitter. Enjoy!
Environmental legislation becomes deadly business indeed in Jay Martin’s latest nanonovel: but instead of focusing on the subtle intricacies of congressional-corporate tug-of-wars, Green Tape cuts to the chase and offers readers a roller coaster ride of high-level political assassination, conspiracy, revenge, and—most notably—relentless action. Following the overlapping quests of pursuit and revenge of intelligence operative Diaz on the one hand and the first victim’s spouse on the other, we are thrown into a netherworld of postmodern frontier justice where it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between covering up and uncovering, between knitting and unraveling, between seeking the truth and plotting truths.
What fascinates me about the thriller genre, when at its best, is not so much the thrill but how well-written characters navigate through a deadly maze of meticulously plotted events and predicaments where nothing can be taken for granted, where everything is causally related yet utterly unpredictable. Conspiracy thrillers, especially, are driven by what you could call “causality overkill,” a narrative ruse that is completely unrealistic and intellectually rewarding at the same time. But of course: the more you stretch, in reach and intensity, the causal relationship of events, the more irrational the world becomes, suffused with paranoia. In my necessarily brief nanonovel Green Tape I could barely touch upon this, but what I tried over and above was to compound the thriller genre with motifs from film noir, or neo-noir, where confusion and paranoia often serve as a major plot device as well. In noir, though, these are often corollaries of a basic character flaw on the side of the protagonist, like hubris, for example, or ineptitude—flaws that lead, as in Greek tragedy, as in Shakespeare, inevitably to catastrophe. So, no wonder confusion reigns supreme in Green Tape. But readers shouldn’t despair. Whatever possible interpretation of the events one might want to entertain, the scaffolding is rather basic, coming down to three simple truths: professionals are predictable; the world is full of amateurs; and however good your intentions are and the work you do, as long as you appear to be working for the wrong people, you’re having an appointment with the wrong bullet.
Green Tape (2009)
Fabia Maxima, Consul & General (2008)
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Just in Case-Note: Everything about the form is less than serious—from the novels’ 140-characters format to their ridiculously long “blurbs” and “author’s notes,” respectively, it’s all postmodern flippancy. But the content, and the effort behind it, is serious indeed.
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