Peter Walker (pw@pw.cablenet.co.uk)
Fri, 25 Jun 1999 20:10:03 +0000

"The Eye of the Beholder" is back with us. Re-issued as a book and soon to be a film. Hard boiled and noir credentails beyond reproach. Maxam Jackbukowski - of Murder One bookshop in the UK - says it is "the best PI novel ever written.....a roller-coaster ride that combines poignancy and metaphysical anguish: a book that stands alone in the field like an unpolished diamond". For those of you who missed it here is something I wrote earlier: For my money it is one of those books written in the genre but not 'off' the genre. Behm's say's:
"It's the story of God in disguise as a Private Eye, searching for his daughter: a quest for grace" (Quoted in the introduction to the Black Box Edition of Behm's three novels). This is fair enough (although this does raise the possibility of some Hotel Dick spotting a weird looking guy sitting in the lobby reading a paper with two eye holes in it and asking Spade, like that scene in "The Maltese Falcon": "Who's the Punk?" to which Spade replies; "Its just God, on a job" ). Anyway, amongst many other things, it does raise the question of 'The Eye" as an 'eye' i.e. just what is it we actually 'see' when we see something (or more to the point when someone sees something for us). The answer for Behm is, I suspect, 'you don't see things the way they are but the way you are'. Or, to put it another way, just how do men see women in this hard-boiled genre? It stated as a film script for Philip Yordan and then became a book and is now a second film script (the first was turned into a film by Claude Miller) with Ewan MacGreggor. On a final point, Behm said, in response to the critical acclaim that followed the book and labelled him the new Hammett, that "I've read my share of contemporary thriller writers and I still find that Graham Greene is the master of us all. I find Chandler rather boring and Hammett, although nice to read, belonged to a school of writing I find tiresome." Sacrilege! Wonder if he'd like Hannibal? Peter

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0b3 on Sat 26 Jun 1999 - 04:34:05 EDT