Country Noir: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

I still haven’t seen season 2 of True Detective, but season 1 was near perfect television, and I really need to revisit it in the near future.  When I found out that True Detective writer Nic Pizzolatto wrote a country noir novel, I jumped on it almost as soon as season 1 drew to a close.  That novel, Galveston, has got the requisite blood and gravel, and really pretty prose, but it isn’t a standout work in the subgenre.  (Apparently Pizzolatto’s real wheelhouse is the short story, so maybe I’ll pick up his collection Between Here and the Yellow Sea in the near future.)

Galveston is two stories of one man: the story of a big Texan on the way out of Louisiana organized crime and the story of an old, broken-down Texan former gangster.  It’s pretty much what you would expect from the creator of True Detective.  It’s a story of ugly crime, it’s beautifully written (see below), and the story is told on two chronologies.

“Clear of the cities, Texas turned into a green desert meant to hammer you with vastness, a mortar filled with sky.”

4 of 5 Stars.


A movie adaptation of Galveston is set for release on October 19.


More reviews:

lightninglouie at Observation Deck – review.

Ben at Dead End Follies – review.

Pamela Lowe Saldana at All Things Thriller – review.


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4 thoughts on “Country Noir: Galveston by Nic Pizzolatto

  1. Thanks for the ping back. You have an interesting site. I like a lot of southern gothic and Texas noir. I recently tried to get through The Thicket by Joe Lansdale. I couldn’t. Too gimmicky for me. I really like Daniel Woodrell. Anyway, thanks again.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went through the same process. Loved the first season of True Detective and discovered the writer and director had a published a book. I bought Galveston and started reading it but for some reason never finished it, mostly due to circumstance, and I never got around to finishing it. It is still well-written and Pizzolatto is master at atmospheric prose. That same heavy ambiance is present in True Detective.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The usual knock it that it is too predictable, which is fair enough, I guess, but I’m willing to overlook it if well executed. Which this book is, even if it didn’t really grab me in the end.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed. I haven’t written it off yet because it really is well written, and I usually finish the books I start, sometimes even years later.

        Your post, though, made me buy his short fiction collection, so there is that. 😄

        Liked by 1 person

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