If you eagerly anticipated the arrival of every week’s episode of HBO’s True Detective this year like some sort of sleep deprived solvent abuser, you will get your roman noir fix with Nic Pizzolatto’s (Creator of True Detective) Galveston.
Violence shadowed Roy Cady’s childhood in East Texas. His alcoholic father fell to his death; his mother killed herself. She had worked for a bar owner and racketeer, and at 17 Roy started working for him too. Eventually he moved to New Orleans and became the muscle for another racketeer, Stan Ptitko. Now it’s 1987, and 40-year-old Roy is reeling from a lung-cancer diagnosis; he’s convinced it’s terminal. Stan sends him to intimidate a corrupt union official, but it’s a setup; Stan wants him dead.
Roy survives a furious shootout and flees, taking along blond 18-year-old Rocky, another Texan. She’s a runaway who’s just started turning tricks. she is too young, too strong, too sexy—and far too much difficulty. Roy, Rocky, and her sister hide in the battered seascape of Galveston’s country-western bars and fleabag hotels, a world of treacherous drifters, pickup trucks, and desperate hopelessness. It’s a tale that gets your hands dirty with these characters, and no amount soap, bleach or Palmolive can ever get them clean.
If you liked the character of Rusty Cohle in True Detective , and all the sassy southern skank’s who couldn’t go a day without riding that cock chariot into the evening dusk, then these characters will feel familiar. With Roy Cady though we get less in the way of the haunting philosophical gems like “mankind should walk hand-in-hand to extinction, one last midnight” that Rust Cohle so poetically graced us with.
Make no mistake however, Roy Cady like Rusty Cohle is just as dark, anti-social and as poetic with his insights and musings about life and his situation in Galveston; minus all the occult undertones and symbolism as witnessed in True Detective. Pizzolatto is a genius when it comes to writing and the book is top-notch in that category. Pizzolatto’s prose is poetically masculine, yet manages to balance some of its lighter tones within the seedy languishing setting of the south as it effortlessly jumps from past to present tense.
What Would Roy Drink?
Third Shift Amber Lager would pair effortlessly with this book while reading it. It’s a cheap yet surprising lager that captures the mood in which you will find yourself in while reading Galveston. Third Shift Amber Lager is brewed by Coors Brewing Company so you will all ready feel like Roy Cady; an earthy pedestrian Americana drowning in his own life mistakes. This brew pours out a dark amber color with a small white head. Third Shift has an abv of 5.3. The smell is rich and sweet.
There is nothing bad about the smell of this brew. The taste is rich with hints of sweetness, but bitterness at the end, just like Roy. There is also a sort of toasted layering to the aroma that works nicely, along with some grassy notes. It has the grainy sweetness some adjuncts do, but to less of an extent. It isn’t strong, by any means, but could easily be weaker. About the same could be said for the flavour. It isn’t heinously thin but leans that way as the sweetness and grains start it off.
The toast, including breads crusts, and the grassy notes do carry through. A bit of caramel and some leaf add something to a generally pedestrian offering. Sweet up front, it goes drier into the middle and ends up with a grainy finish that falls away from clean.