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10 thoughts on “Viva La Madness

  1. RandomAnthony RandomAnthony says:

    I picked up Viva La Madness over Christmas break because its English pedigree reminded me of Snatch and maybe a cousin of the Scottish Trainspotting I never readsaw the movie of the preuel Layer Cake and neither the library nor used bookstore had it so I went with the seuel I wasn’t disappointed Well not much Viva La Madness is a lively rollicking read that reuires full reality dismissal for optimal enjoyment Viva La Madness is a seedy underworld comedy with well drawn characters a prodigious body count and a jump drive jammed up a dead Venezuelan’s ass The novel moves best as a series of near uproarious scenes Connolly writes snappy dialogue both interior and exterior and keeps the storyline clear and moving until maybe the novel’s last third where I grew a little confused with complicated financial sleight of hand Be ready to embrace a couple huge deus ex machinas though with mistaken identities and characters tripping a moment before a bullet passes their headspace I thought Viva La Madness was a formality before the film version until I read the last twenty pages Connolly wraps up with a chapter too jarring and horrific for a PG 13 crime thriller He’s either got balls of steel or he’s flipping the movie industry the bird Also I didn't understand all the English slang but uh I think I got the gist Still I had fun with Viva La Madness and I wouldn’t mind tracking down Layer Cake I dig a good rollick


  2. Ian Mapp Ian Mapp says:

    I had no idea there was a seuel to Layer CakeI'd rate the film in my top 50 It's cool sleek fast paced and has some killer set pieces and one liners If I catch it on TV its one of those I'll just wait up until such and such scene A bit like Get CarterI read the book after the film and found it as enjoyable As you would expect with the author being the screenwriter it was an accurate representationSo I stumbled across this in the library Its bigger on scale than Layer Cake but still has several of the same characters The unnamed narrator obviously and Morty make a welcome return Throw in some ultra twitchy london lowlifes who uickly get out of their depth and South American drugs cartels and you have a fine storyFirst half of the book is superb Fast paced almost believable for an over the top crime caper The black humour remains Especially what they get Roy to do to return the key missing part of the story a memory stick which is rather obviously signposted earlier in the bookAs the 2nd half continues things get out of control The body count increases massively things get too frantic and control of the story is lost a little At 448 pages its overlong for this type of caperThat said its a worthy successor and a decent read I doubt we'll get a cinematic seuel which is a real shameAnd it would have got an extra half mark if the memory stick hadn't been 128MB With all those photos?


  3. Awesome Welles Awesome Welles says:

    Wow what a terrible bookThe unnamed protagonist has very little agency for the first two thirds of the book The plot relies on peripheral characters to push the plot forward whilst the protagonist largely sits on the sidelinesThe plot is derailed further by an abundance of expositional flashback chapters devoted to the deranged gangster Jesus Zambrano We are lazily “told” everything by the narrator with Connolly rarely bothering to write full scenes where the characters actually interactBut nothing I mean NOTHING compares to the ending that is so breathtakingly bad and in such spectacularly poor taste I’d almost recommend reading it for that alone Almost At 445 pages the book is overlong for something that aspires to be little than a throwaway gangster romp I kept wishing I was reading something by Ted Lewis instead


  4. Bernadette Steele Bernadette Steele says:

    What a riot I finally found an author who might be the eual of El Leonard at whose feet I worship JJ knows how to spin a plot writes richly developed characters who are at times the victims of their own hilarious foibles and dialogue that absolutely delights in it's inventiveness and smacks of authenticity Forget the dictionary just enjoy the wonderful phrases and jargon and the uniue narrative voice I'll be tracking down his first book Layer Cake to read ASAP


  5. Alex Rogers Alex Rogers says:

    I enjoyed layer Cake way back when but this time around I found it pointless It really is pitched at the pure entertainment level and I probably wasn't in the mood but I just found the whole geezer crim thing boring repetitive and didn't want to go there again


  6. Thomas Appleby Thomas Appleby says:

    Better than Layer Cake so many twists and turns Read it


  7. Paul Paul says:

    much preferred this to Layer Cakeseems the author has matured as a writer


  8. Bill Bill says:

    Not a particularly enticing follow up to Layer Cake and somewhat of a repetition of what went before I still read it though Here I felt Connolly ran out of plot and the characters broke down a little I felt rather like I was re reading Layer Cake with some changes I happened to stumble across some discussions in a forum that suggest a great deal of authenticity in Connolly's writing Put another way he knows his characters and knows 'the scene' he is writing aboutIt is a bit of a tome and continuing with the pace and plot for 445 pages took some doing Perhaps if it was cut by about 13rdHowever at the end of the day Connolly is one of the few British writers accomplished in this genre and able to blend in large doses of peculiar and idiosyncratic humor and his work is always worth reading for that alone but there is to itDamn now I'm talking myself into liking this book and had to up the rating by one star It must be alright


  9. Matthew Hockey Matthew Hockey says:

    35 stars This would have scored higher for me but for the fact the POV protagonist doesn't actually do anything for the whole book He goes where he's told Does what he's told Says and even wears what he's told He has no agency He exists purely to be a witness to and report back on other characters snappy dialogue and shenanigansAlso the 911 ending seemed entirely unnecessary


  10. Kormak Kormak says:

    A bit too long and unnecessary complicated


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Viva La Madness Now Connolly is back with a seuel that sees him on the same stunning form with his trademark razor sharp dialogue and uick fire violence but also finding dark humor and pathos in the lives of violent men From the London underworld Viva la Madness moves to international crime with trans Atlantic drug deals money laundering and high tech electronic fraud portrayed with the same uncanny believability The anonymous hero of Layer Cake is pulled back into the drug game before he can escape to a sunny retirement In a dazzling combination of London low life Caribbean high life and Venezuelan drug cartels toting machine guns in Mayfair our hero's voice and mission are authentic thrilling and whiplash inducing in eual shares

  • Hardcover
  • 448 pages
  • Viva La Madness
  • J.J. Connolly
  • English
  • 12 October 2014
  • 9781590208595

About the Author: J.J. Connolly

J J Connolly was born in London United Kingdom in 1964 He is the author of two crime novels Layer Cake and its seuel Viva La Madness He also wrote the screenplay of the film based on his novelHis first novel Layer Cake was first published in 2000 by Duckworth Press The book takes place in nineties London and is narrated by an unnamed 29 year old drug dealer If you knew my name yo