RARA-AVIS: mccoy, goodis

From: George Pelecanos ( shoedog1@erols.com)
Date: 25 Jan 2002

What's most interesting about KISS TOMORROW GOODBYE is McCoy's presentation of the protagonist, a criminal with a privileged background who makes no excuses for who he is.

Page 235 of my Midnight Classic edition:

"I didn't grow up in the slums with a drunk for a father and whore for a mother and come into crime that way. I hate society, too, but I don't hate it because it mistreated me and warped my soul. Every other criminal I know--who's engaged in violent crime--is a two-bit coward who blames his career on society. I need no apologist or crusader to finally hold my lifeless body up to the world and shout for them to come and observe what they have wrought. Do you know one of the first things I'm going to do when I get some money? I'm going to have Cartier make me a little solid gold thing for my wrist, you know, that identification thing the army guys wear, on a solid gold chain and do you know what I'm going to have inscribed on it? Just this: 'Use me not as a preachment in your literature and your movies. This I have wrought, I and I alone'."


THE BURGLAR, by David Goodis, is my favorite noir novel, bar none. The last chapter is both shocking and beautiful. Trust me, you will never forget this book.

Geoffrey O'Brien on Goodis:

"Nothing so downbeat, so wedded to the reiteration of personal and social failure, would be likely to find a mass market publisher at present. The absolutely personal voice of David Goodis seems almost to have escaped by accident. It emanated from the heart of an efficient entertainment industry, startlingly, like the wail of an outcast."

George Pelecanos

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