RARA-AVIS: Way of the Gun/Dan Marlowe/Jack Ehrlich

From: Paul Sowle ( ambrosehunter@yahoo.com)
Date: 22 Jul 2001

--- Mark Sullivan < DJ-Anonyme@webtv.net> wrote: Every time
> you start to like them, McQuarrie throws in
> something to remind you just
> how amoral they really are. These are guys from a
> Dan Marlowe Gold
> Medal original.

Let it be known that this was what put me over the edge and got me to rent the DVD. I'm currently reading Marlowe's STRONGARM. I loved the 1st two books in the "Drake" series, though I hear that the subsequent ones are not up to snuff. The opening robbery in THE NAME OF THE GAME IS DEATH(one of the finest titles for a PB original every, by the way) seems a precursor to the great Michael Mann film HEAT.
 I'd love to hear that Mann had read it, though I doubt he'd admit it if he did. In SCREENWRITERS ON SCREENWRITING he makes the statement "I write cinema", which always struck me as a bit pretentious. He is a helluva director though and I've read a unproduced screenplay of his that is damn good.

A few of my other recent reads include A HOUSE IN NAPLES by Peter Rabe(which ranks up there with his best) and two by Jack Ehrlich: PAROLE & SLOW BURN. I read these two based on Bill Crider's recommendations in THE BIG BOOK OF NOIR(Beyond mearly essential. Anyone who participates in this list would do well to pick up a copy.) I thought both were entertaining, but far from greatness. That said, I felt compelled to read both in one sitting. I was kept up late into the night by each. I'd give SLOW BURN a slight edge on the 1st book simply because the relationship material in PAROLE does tend to drag it down after awhile. Incidently, I haven't read the 3rd book in the series, THE GIRL CAGE. Any thoughts on this one?

Robert Flick is a good series character and one that could have been taken further than the 3 novels he was given. I think the parole officer as protagonist has potential as well. Does anyone know of other good novels where a parole officer is the lead or important supporting player?

A family friend of mine is a parole officer. He always refers to his parolees as "Cowboys". For some reason, this reminds me of the young narrator of Charles Williams' THE DIAMOND BIKINI. He(naively) refers to his father being "drafted", whenever dear pop has been tossed in jail. I highly recommend this book. Williams' use of an unreliable narrator is quite original and amusing. This book is the closest thing to Mark Twain's Gold Medal Original that we'll ever have.



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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 22 Jul 2001 EDT