RARA-AVIS: Bernard Herrmann/Odds Against Tomorrow/Parker/Willeford/Nick Velvet

From: Paul Sowle ( ambrosehunter@yahoo.com)
Date: 16 Aug 2001

A few comments on recent reads/viewings. Please forgive me if I veer wildly off-then-back-on topic, like a wounded getaway driver.

I noticed a mention of Bernard Herrmann. This reminds me that he cites "On Dangerous Ground" as his personal fave of his many fine scores.

Speaking of fines scores(& Robert Ryan flics), I just saw "Odds Against Tomorrow" and it was great. One of the finest scores I've heard in years from MJQ. I have yet to actually read a McGivern novel, but all the adaptations I've seen so far are classics, with OAT being up there with "The Big Heat" as the best.

Also viewed another two adaptations: "Nightmare Alley"
(William Lindsay Gresham source) & "The 3rd Voice"(Based on ALL THE WAY by Charles Williams.) I haven't read either(though my ALL THE WAY Dell 1st Edition is one of the jewels of my PB collection), but I can recommend both films without reservation. I caught half of "They Won't Believe Me"(Scripted by Jonathan "From the way her buttocks looked under the black silk dress, I knew she'd be good in bed" Latimer), but the tape cut out before I could get into it. I'm not a big Robert Young fan, but the presence of Jane Greer and Susan Hayward sure helps.

The recent reads:

I finally decided it was time to tackle the Parker novels. With a combination of library holds & on-line purchases, I have made my way from THE HUNTER to DEADLY EDGE in about a month. I read the 1st novel(long after viewing "Point Blank", but that didn't really matter) and then was stuck waiting for THE MAN WITH THE GETAWAY FACE to arrive in the mail. To appease the beast within, I read a few stray Willeford's(THE SHARK INFESTED CUSTARD & I WAS LOOKING FOR A STREET) & short story collections from Edward D. Hoch(THE THEFTS OF NICK VELVET) & Michael Collins(CRIME, PUNISHMENT AND RESURRECTION.) All were great, though the end of TSIC kinda bothered me. But my Parker thirst was/is insatiable, so they barely kept me at bay.

Once the 2nd Parker novel arrived, my free time was claimed. I found myself finishing one book and starting the next before the last one had hit the shelf. I'm one of those people who likes to read the adventures of a series character in order and I was pleased to see that the Parker series rewards this. While I have yet to devour the Grofield books(I'd love to hear some opinions), I would liked to have read them in sequence with the Parkers.

The problem I have is this: PLUNDER SQUAD & BUTCHER'S MOON. Where in the hell can you get these w/o paying an arm and a leg? The inter-library loan route was a no go and I can't see myself paying the king's ransom they currently demand. I fear my only hope is that someone will post them on eBay, misspell Stark's name(Don't laugh, I bought THE HANDLE by Richard Strak for a song!) & overlook the Westlake ties.

Anyone interested in Parker should check out the excellent site @


Oh yeah, one more thing. Anyone with a spare copy of Richard Sratk's BUTCHER'S MOON shouldn't hesitate to e-mail me.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 16 Aug 2001 EDT