praise for marry, bang, kill
“Andrew Battershill is a genius with small moments and glib lines that make you laugh out loud, or squirm and frown as you try to figure out what exactly he means when a character is smiling like he smiles at clean babies…
I was expecting a light summer mystery but what I got was a novel where nothing good happens and no one is likeable, but which somehow remains hopeful and fun. Marry Bang Kill is a strange and beautiful read with some of the most vibrant writing about drug use and murders that I have read. You should read it too.”
"Battershill’s excellent second novel (after Pillow) follows Tommy Marlo, who is neither the brightest nor the luckiest thief around. The young girl Tommy robs of her laptop turns out to be the daughter of a vengeful biker; the laptop is actually her dad’s and contains details of where the bikers are hiding the stash of drugs from their latest score. Tommy steals the drugs too, because he figures he’s already a dead man. From there, the novel spirals into quaint bucolic mayhem as Tommy hides out on a small British Columbia island populated by lovable losers. He’s chased by a tired assassin who’s realized “the things people get contract-murdered over were usually on the sadder end of cheap and the cheaper end of sad,” and befriended by a drug-addicted retired corrupt cop who decides he needs to do one small bit of good in his life by saving Tommy. Throw in a local meth dealer who trades drugs for shellfish because his clients are broke and a mopey rookie cop who thinks busting Tommy will get him out of the boonies, and it adds up to a surprisingly heartfelt story tucked inside a superbly oddball crime thriller."
-Publishers' Weekly Review
"Tommy Marlo might not be all that smart, but Andrew Battershill certainly is—deftly juggling a rowdy cast of characters in a breakneck narrative just this side of out of control. Hilarious, sharply observed, and wildly entertaining, Marry, Bang, Kill is the super fun, expertly crafted, west coast genre-bending crime thriller I didn’t even know I needed, and now can't stop talking about."
-Amy Jones, Author of We're All in This Together
"Andrew Battershill's MARRY, BANG ,KILL is comic noir with a particular west coast Canuck vibe: loose, absurd, sweet. There's abundant skill here, and plenty of laughs, but also the pleasure of reading a writer finding a space of his very own."
-Andrew Pyper, author of The Only Child and The Demonologist
"Marry Bang Kill boasts a rogues' gallery of small time crooks that would make Elmore Leonard and the Coen Brothers proud. Battershill mixes sardonic wit and kinetic action with a razor-sharp eye for the details of West Coast life. Stylish and smart."
Sam Wiebe, author of Last of the Independents and Invisible Dead
"Combine the plot from a Richard Stark “Parker” novel with the humour of early Charles Portis and you’ll come close to the shenanigans in Marry Bang Kill. My advice? Just shut up. Shut your eyes and read this book.
-Michael Winter, author of The Death of Donna Whalen and Minister Without Portfolio
“The island is full of characters who aren’t easily forgotten, thanks to Battershill’s gift for fast-paced and darkly funny dialogue… Odd and endearing, Marry, Bang, Kill will delight readers who relish a unique crime thriller that is far from formulaic.”
'Andrew Battershill caught our attention with Pillow, his uproarious Giller- nominated debut novel about a boxer turned criminal. He returns with Marry, Bang, Kill, another witty crime thriller in the vein of Elmore Leonard and Patrick deWitt. "
"The title of this book comes from a popular question: when presented with three things (typically celebrities) who would you: (need I say more?). While this question is only posed once in the book, the title is a sure attention getter, and the writing between the covers, while perhaps not to everyone’s taste is excellent... Great dialogue, a good story and some memorable individuals all contribute to making Marry Bang Kill a winner in my book."
Reviews and awards
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred Review)
". . . diamond-sharp writing. The author's use of metaphor and imagery is exquisite; he plays with surrealism with such a light step so as to appear effortless . . . This debut is accomplished and highly entertaining."
THE NATIONAL POST
". . . this intriguing, funny, and effective debut"
THE GLOBE AND MAIL
"A fresh, incredibly smart take on literary crime"
"If you like fiction where you have no idea how a paragraph might end, try the very funny and whip-smart Pillow by Andrew Battershill."
"It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Battershill and the acclaimed Pillow have come out of nowhere. Yet while the book is certainly something of an eruption of raw talent, its influences and techniques are more savvy than truly surprising."
"A darkly humorous novel about a boxer with some fight in him."
"Battershill uses ‘personality’ to great effect; Pillow is a fantastic read."
"Pillow, like its gangsters, is a surreal experience. It’s also a crackling good read that I'll soon be revisiting."
“It captures the novel’s title character with the deftness of a butterfly collector capturing his prey in a net. A retired boxer and animal lover who has taken one too many hits to the head, Pillow, the man, is vivid, a gentle being who is out of options and finds himself in a life of crime. In fact he’s so vivid you’ll start to feel as though you’ve seen him somewhere around the neighbourhood. The dialogue lands true, the humour is offbeat and the writing has pace and insight.”
"What sounds like a standard crime novel is a showcase for lyrical, poetic writing ... What makes this novel stand apart is not only its creative imagery and stylistic complexity, but its dark humor."
CHRIS IRVIN, SPINETINGLER MAGAZINE
"I was gripped by this wonderfully odd book and couldn’t put it down. Haven’t read anything else quite like it."
The Town Crier