Moxie Mezcal and the Concrete Underground

MoxieMoxie Mezcal is the nom de plume of an author who has been successful posting his (or her) works on the internet and through Amazon’s independent writer services. Concrete Underground is even available on Amazon in paperback. The blurb for Concrete Underground suggests that it is postmodern pulp fiction: a gritty, labyrinthine murder mystery about identity and alienation in the digital age.

Another blurb provides a more detailed look into the narrative:

An idealistic journalist sets out to expose corruption among the city’s elite and soon finds himself immersed in a conspiracy of murder, blackmail, espionage, and human trafficking. Pitted against the enigmatic CEO of one of the world’s largest tech companies, he must play a deadly game threatens to unearth its players’ darkest secrets.

Hmmm … sounds a little like Fletch! (Concrete Underground is the name of the publication being written for). Well, Gregory  McDonald is a much better writer than is Moxie Mezcal, but there are some significant differences that keep Mescal in contention. The first and possibly the most important is that Mescal for the most part has all of his (or her) works online and available for download … for free! The second difference is that Mescal is an independent and at least trying to write up-to-date imaginative stories.

By the way, Moxie Mezcal is not the author’s real name, but you figured that out yourself. On Mezcal’s website you learn that Moxie is a resident of San Jose, California (unless that is a home de plume) which suggests a tie-in with Silicon Valley.

Concrete UndergroundConcrete Underground at first greatly disappointed me. Although the writing was competent, it was silly and not as imaginative as the blurbs would suggest. I was afraid I had recommended a novel to my Experimental Fiction group that barely qualified for the local super market tabloid. But I kept reading and the intricacies of the narrative overcame the weaknesses of the prose. My biggest complaint was that the author felt a need to explain everything, leaving nothing for the reader. Even the clues to the mystery were telegraphed and re-empasized once or twice to make sure the reader didn’t miss any cleverness executed by the author.

So in the end I felt good about my recommendation. Concrete Underground certainly isn’t a great novel but it is fun and entertaining. Furthermore, this is a new author who might just hit it big someday and we will all feel we did our part to boost him (or her) to success.

Here are the current books by Moxie Mescal:

  • Concrete Underground
  • Fake
  • Home Movie
  • 1999
  • Sweet Dream, Silver Screen
  • Making Dylan Maxwell
  • Gagapopolis (Three Stories)

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