DR. TIN (1979)

Review of Dr. Tin from 1979, after first publication:

Doctor Tin
By Tom Walmsley.
(Pulp Press, $2.95.)

Warning: Completely concerned with sex and violence.

Yes, Doctor Tin, the winner of Pulp Press’s “Second International Three-Day Novel-Writing Contest” is 90 pages of depravity and obscenity.

It begins with the torture murder of a prostitute and climaxes with a punk hero delivering his last blast of heavy-metal rock and roll.

All this should not obscure the fact that the book is a vicious social satire which hits many recognizable targets. Considering the three-day restriction, Walmsley’s raw style (a hybrid of Raymond Chandler and William Burroughs) is remarkably effective. In fact, it’s scorching. A sample:

“Davis’ oversized handgun boomed three times as he crashed into the lobby, the first shot tearing a fist-sized chunk out of the doorjamb, the next two ripping off the doorknob and adding a huge, jagged period to STAIRS. But A.J. was already in the stairwell.”

The publisher’s note describes the author in terms as stark as his work: “Tom Walmsley is 30 years old, blond, stocky, below average height, uncircumcised, bisexual, tattooed, with bad teeth and very large feet … He has now said everything he had to say about sex and violence.”

Despite the satirical merits of Doctor Tin, that’s a relief.

— Will Wigle, The Vancouver Province, November 11, 1979

NOTE: Dr. Tin is out of print, but is included as a footnote within Shades, which can be purchased here.