From: Paul Hartshorne ( paul@day1.demon.co.uk)
Date: 06 Jan 2000


When Mark tabulated the BLOWN AWAY top 5 results, he mentioned one wishy-washy abstention - well I guess that was me! (Although, to answer Bob Toomey's question in part, I did at least mention Fredric Brown...). Anyway, I figured that to make up I should list some of my top picks;

Fredric Brown: NIGHT OF THE JABBERWOCK - amazing plot, halfway between a dream and a nightmare, totally unforgettable, and not just for Doc's prodigious drinking!

Richard Stark: DEADLY EDGE - my favourite Parker (though I haven't yet read them all), has some unforgettable moments; Parker crawling up the staircase in total silence on all fours; stripping naked to dispose of the bodies...

Chester Himes: ALL SHOT UP - the most rounded of the Harlem Cycle with the right balance between realism and absurdity. Again, unforgettable scenes; the solid-gold Cadillac; the unfortunate motorcyclist...

Charles Willeford: MIAMI BLUES - when CW pulled it all together, with equally captivating hero and villain.

Other favourites; Edward Bunker: NO BEAST SO FIERCE - semi-autobiographical brilliance. Newton Thornburg: CUTTER & BONE William Hjortsberg: FALLING ANGEL - my favourite genre cross-over novel.

Recent favourites; John Wessel: THIS FAR, NO FURTHER - bought it on a whim remaindered for 49p - what a bargain! Tim Dorsey: FLORIDA ROADKILL - has anyone else read this? W.R. Burnett: THE ASPHALT JUNGLE - new to me, anyway, read it last month, the new Prion edition.

Other points: I read my first Parker (The Man With the Getaway Face) about 4 years ago and I've tracked most of them down now - I especially like the Coronet paperbacks published over here in the UK with die-cut bulletholes in the cover. Anyone else dig these versions?

Has anyone read Njami Simon's COFFIN & CO.? Is it worth looking for?

What's the novel that's disappointed you the most recently? I would have to say KISS ME, JUDAS by Will Christopher Baer. I guess I fell for the hype...

- Paul

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