"Cry Me a River" is a book I've long admired, and recently had a chance to re-read. In this story, Pearson demonstrates that he is the master at the top of his form: it contains subtle humor, broad jokes, scatalogical situations, powerfully sympathetic characters and an interesting plot -- all of which is built on the foundation of Pearson's incredibly versatile skill with language and the tricks he plays with language in a way that echoes Faulkner (and presages Cormac McCarthy).
And what's interesting about this review is that I'm not really even touching on the pure talent that Pearson shows in the way he moves a scene from a bit of word play into broad humor and strange situations, and manages to end on a poignant note that is all the more rich for the deep humanity displayed in the back and forth of the scene.
Pearson's work is Bachanalian in all the best ways, and echoes Chaucer's ability to play rough, play dirty and write great literature at the same time -- all while seeming to have an amazingly good time doing it.
In short, T.R. Pearson is a master of the fiction form, and his inspiration and amazing gift with prose has been a lodestar for me in my writing work for many years. I admire the hell out of him, and frankly, I try to introduce every reader I admire to Pearson, so they too can admire the jaw-dropping tricks that he pulls off in this book.
I don't think Pearson is for everyone... but for writers who are trying to learn how to write humor, and make it work within a scene, Pearson is an amazing teacher -- and he's a very enjoyable read!