One Tough Bastard entertained the hell out of me and I don’t even like 80s action movies. Big shock, I know! I was a horror/Sci-Fi kid that only dabbled into action films when it dripped into my favorites. I never saw the appeal of a Stallone/Norris or even a JCVD. So, why did Adam Howe’s One Tough Bastard speak to me?
Author Adam Howe has carefully crafted a world that straddles the line between The Last Action Hero and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. One Tough Bastard focuses on action star Shane Moxie. He’s a washed up star who always seems like he a gleam of coming back. Moxie looks up to a Schwarzenegger stand-in dubbed Klaus Kaiser.
Klaus might be a good guy or a bad guy, it’s not 100% from the start. But, Moxie wants to be at that level. Fortunately, he’s got a chimp friend that speaks with the voice of a Kevin Spacey type. While dropping a talking chimp into the middle of an Old Hollywood book would be distracting, it’s not that distracting.
Growing up as a comic reader, I’m used to having main narratives broken up so we can get origin stories for everyone. Hell, I loved learning all of the details on each film in Moxie’s world. The book clocks in around 300 pages, which an average adult should be able to read in the course of a week. So, no excuses!
What makes One Tough Bastard work?
One Tough Bastard works because it manages to tap into that comic book desire to have a world onto itself, while also carefully tweaking what works with 80s/90s action cinema. When Klaus is finally revealed as the super bad guy type, it is earned in a way that few action releases get to enjoy.
Adam Howe represents a voice I want to see writing more. Why? Well, because the average person doesn’t read like they used to read. A lot of that boils down to having 10-20 years of sparkling vampires, dying kids and fill-in-the-blank Post Apocalyptic scenario taking over the fun mainstream reading charts.
There was a time when spinner racks of books had their place near spinner racks of comics at your local K-Mart. Paperbacks were collected and shared among friends who dug this sort of thing. You could be the person listening to “And Justice for All”, while reading the novelization of 10 to Midnight.
One Tough Bastard calls back to that time with a punch to the neck. Hell, it beats Tarantino to this market by about 3 1/2 months, as we’re not getting the paperback expansion of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood until June 2021.
The final verdict on One Tough Bastard
One Tough Bastard works…it just works. After months of reading various Pandemic releases, One Tough Bastard is easily in my Top 3 things I’ve read since COVID put everything on-hold. Hell, I’d make an argument that it’s the best thing I’ve read in the past year.
So, what does this mean for Joe Average that barely has time to watch TV much less read a book?
It means that you need to make the time to read One Tough Bastard. If you keep reading books like this, you show there is a market for these works. Your dollars dictate the market and encourage more writers to try and build these worlds.
Be better. Put down the PS5 and your Ataris and pick up a book. I feel like O.G. Readmore up in here.
One Tough Bastard is available now!
The book is available as a paperback on Amazon and also available on Kindle. Check the right panel to find the direct links to click and buy!