Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent purchases

From: George Upper (
Date: 06 Feb 2002

--- Rene Ribic <> wrote:
> Just got around to unpacking a whole bag full of
> books I picked up
> during Xmas hol's & as it seems a little quiet I
> thought I'd let people
> know what I'd picked up & see if anybody has
> anything to say about any
> of these.

My prejudices are pretty well known on this list, but I'll throw in my two cents:

> "Death Trap" & "You Live Once" by John D MacDonald.

Anything by JDM deserves a low number on the TBR list.

> "Two for Tanner" by Lawrence Block. "A Likely Story"
by Donald E Westlake.

Although I've read neither of these, the worst writing by either of these men is worth reading.

> "The Hard-Boiled Detective" ed Herbert Ruhm.

Includes "The False Burton Combs," often considered the first hard-boiled short story. Written by Carroll John Daly, of course, the story clearly pre-figures Daly's later Race Williams tales. It's a little silly 80 years later, but it's a fun read, IMHO.

> "The Destroyer 12 : Kill or
> Cure" & "The Destroyer 14 : Judgement Day" by
> Richard Sapir & Warren Murphy.

The early Destroyers are the best. These are early enough in the series actually to have been written by Sapir and Murphy. (Robert J. Randisi wrote a couple of Destroyer novels under Murphy's name, but I can never remember which ones. They were much later in the series, however.)

> "Blood Marks" by Bill Crider (!).

I've only read one Crider, ...A DANGEROUS THING
(correct me if I've messed up that title, Bill), but I'm constantly on the look-out for more. He's not hard-boiled (although there's some tough-guy attitude in there), but he's a solid writer and a heck of a lot of fun.

> "Such Men Are Dangerous" by Lawrence Block

Put this one on the top of the pile. It was worth buying new.

As always, feel free to ignore these comments, or even disparage them, at your leisure.


===== George C. Upper III, Editor The Lightning Bell Poetry Journal

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