Book Review: AT NIGHT SHE CRIES, WHILE HE RIDES HIS STEED

 

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Amazon’s introductory description for Ross Patterson’s At Night She Cries, While He Rides His Steed is not the real story of this new comic novel.

At Night She Cries, While He Rides His Steed is a side-splitting satire that perfectly parodies romance novels and western dramas.

Our hero, Saint James Street James is a tall, extremely muscular, 32-year-old man whose attributes and possessions include a mind stronger than Socrates on acid, a magnificent horse he loves more than anything in the world, a package so large that it requires a signature, a beautiful, passionate wife with a rack so perfect it belongs on a billiard table, a ton of children, and his own personal gold mine. His life, set in 1849 against the backdrop of the California Gold Rush, is one long parade of amazing sex, dynamite montages, whiskey, and explosive gunfights. The kinds of things men could do when men were actually men. He is the richest man in town—equal parts loved and feared by all. But when the Schläger Brothers come to town, so too comes the end of the good times. St. James is forced to defend everything that matters to him (including, but not limited to: prostitutes, his horse, money, and drugs. Oh, and his wife and children too, sort of). God help anyone who stands in his way.

Now, everything Amazon said is true, but it barely scratches the surface.  Forget a parody of western romances.  Instead imagine National Lampoon rebooted for the 21st Century.  Imagine Blazing Saddles meets gonzo porn as directed by Rob Zombie.

THEN you’ll have At Night She Cries, While He Rides His Steed.

clown
Yes, this novel even has a murderous clown.

This is a ribald and sometimes-disgusting parody of a macho cowboy story.  It’s pure, insane guy humor: it’s rude, crude and over-the-top lewd, and occasionally hilarious if you can get past the excesses of the main character, St. James St. James, and his uber-masculine exploits using all the popular tropes of the wild west.

The novel is certainly witty when the author wants to be.

Chapter Eleven: An Ironic Name for a Chapter when You Lose All Your Money

or

“I saw you walk into the house last night covered in blood.  What the hell happened at that party, Dad?”

“Let’s just say you have a new brother.”

“Wait, what?”

“I don’t want to talk about it, Daniel, but it would be nice for you to learn Chinese.”

It’s also shallow and disgusting every now and then.

As I look down at the chick kneeling on the ground in front of me, I hit my stride.  Just when I am about to unload a triple-roper . . . my balls are backdrafting up into my body, and I ejac with a force that would baffle seismologists for years.  The woman seems to be in shock as I take a moment to admire my masterpiece.  Her body now resembles a Jackson Pollock painting.  She blinks her eyes in appreciation.

You could even call some of the humor racist–

Asians are just a step above slaves during this point in America, so we get a few looks from people on the ride back to my house.  Someone even screams out, “What are you, yellow?”  I refuse to answer, because I can’t tell if they are just being observational.

–but that’s not really the truth.  The novel’s sensibilities are such that St. J St. J. is an equal opportunity offender to everyone, including his own family, because he, of course, is the main and most important character–as he will tell you, if he doesn’t shoot you first.

The following memoir . . . will end all stories about every other man ever told, so go fuck yourself, Buzz Aldrin.

Now, that made me laugh.

At Night She Cries, While He Rides His Steed is a non-stop joyride on a rabies-maddened horse.  No, it’s not for everyone; but if you still miss the take-no-prisoners attitude of National Lampoon and the edgy humor of Blazing Saddles, this book is for you.

 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

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