Chainsaw by John Bender
You want high brow literary excellence and nuanced narrative that weaves a web of mystery around your mind? You want heroes and role models who face incredible odds and come through to prove that the good always prosper? You want well considered commentary of our times delivered through a tapestry of rich metaphor? Then don’t, what ever you do, buy Chainsaw by John Bender.
Chainsaw is a high octane carnival of chaos that starts crazy, then goes off the rails, before snorting up a big hoof of crystal carnage and driving on to reach new levels of insanity. If John Bender made an aftershave, it wouldn’t be called subtlety; that’s for certain.
The book is a crime caper, but one that pushes all the right buttons. It has a chaotic nature that delivers a frenzied full-tilt assault on your imagination.
The story centres on two characters, Randy Lee Travis and James Taylor ‘Jiggle Tits’ Gunderson. Their dream is to rob a bank (with a chainsaw and a torch, as you do) and use the money to buy a Trans Am Firebird, just like the one driven by Burt in Smokey and the Bandit. What could go wrong?
Bender’s style is loose, dark and comedic. It’s like sitting in a bar talking to a wide-eyed lunatic. You can’t walk away, because he’s armed and has your balls in a vice. Chainsaw is a short read, but an intensely entertaining one. It’s made better by the addition of good rum.
There’s only one statement I can make about Chainsaw: it’s the best ‘cocked-up bank robbery to fund a Burt Reynolds-inspired dream’ book out there!