Friday, June 19, 2009

Katka by Stephen Meier

A Novella
3.5 stars
Language (lots of it)

This is a raw, harsh tale of greed. It's gritty and hard to read-- nothing pretty about it.

And it's really well done.

Don't get me wrong, NONE of the characters are very likable people, and it's risque and the language is really really strong. But that all contributed to how raw it was. And it's meant to be.

I don't understand the lives the characters lead, but it was interesting reading it right after reading Chemical Cowboys (review will be up next week). Both deal with a party culture that I just don't get.

This is a Virtual Book Tours book and I really can't improve on the summary they give, so here it is:
A gritty, edgy novel of greed, love, and swindles gone very wrong. When Gavin and his girlfriend team with her best friend Simona to pull a phony mail order bride scam in the Czech Republic, Gavin gets in way over his head in the high-stakes and dangerous business of selling wives. When Gavin talks Katka, his girlfriend, into becoming part of the merchandise, planning to bait-n-switch the client in the end, things go awry and Katka disappears with the client. Partnering with the jealous and volatile Simona, Gavin begins to lament this risky life he has chosen, but finds the money is something he can’t walk away from. Gavin’s doubts grow; the con begins to consume him, and he finds himself thinking of Katka, the fate he dealt her, and whether he can undo the biggest mistake of his life. Written with staccato grit and streetwise savvy, Katka reads like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

One thing that kind of drove me nuts (and was probably totally meant to)-- it absolutely leaves you hanging. You get to the end and you still don't really know what Gavin's trouble in the states was and there's no resolution.

The style is a mix of quick scenes and flashbacks that is sometimes hard to follow, though overall it really works for the story.

Not really my style, but I can respect a book as well-written whether I'm interested or not!


  1. After reading Katka the first thing i thought has been that S.Meier is a terrific storyteller, his excited style can create increasing expectations and suspence, the characters are wicked but that's why I really liked this novella. Love, greed, sensual tension and wrong decisions make this book very intriguing,while reading you think and guess about what is happening.Involving.

  2. Wow, thanks so much for the good review and taking the time to read it. I really appreciate it! Especially since you mentioned that it's not your cup of tea, but still respected the writing. That means a lot.

  3. I agreed, Larissa. Involving is a good word for it.

    Stephen, I just call it like I see it. :D It's really well done.