From: Moorich2@aol.com
Date: 06 Jun 2001

Herbert Asbury's histories of low life have been among my favorites for years. His books were reprinted often enough that any regular visitor of used book stores can locate his books. They are well worth the effort. One of my favorites that has not been mentioned is his 1950 history of prohibition THE GREAT ILLUSION. Like so many of my favorites from this period, Asbury was a former journalist. Gene Fowler was the best known, checkout his SKYLINE which tells of his years on the Hearst newspapers of the twenties. Almost totally forgotten is one of the most entertaining ex-journalist/historians Stanley Walker. His THE NIGHT CLUB ERA is great fun as is the strangely titled MRS ASTOR'S HORSE. I say he is forgotten but Johns Hopkins reprinted his prohibition history THE NIGHT CLUB ERA in 1999 so it is available.

Very belatedly, I have always admired Dorothy B. Hughes but I chose to read her DREAD JOURNEY last month and found it very tedious. She was a fine writer and a great critic but I did not care for that book.

Our writer this month is a long time favorite. I am now reading IF I HAD TEARS, perhaps the most difficult to obtain of his mystery novels, and will comment on it later. For those who have asked about INCREDIBLE INK. I also hesitated at the price but it is very well worth it.

Richard Moore

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