RARA-AVIS: James Crumley

From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 19 Mar 2003

Bill Denton wrote:

>I'm reading THE LAST GOOD KISS (1978) >for 1970s month, and I like it a
>lot. I'm not sure which was the first >Crumley book I tried, but it drove
>me away. Now I see why he's so
>admired, and I'll be reading more.
>What's the word on him? How come he >hasn't written more books? What's he

Bill, see if you can find a copy of John Williams' Into The Badlands and read the chapter titled Missoula, Montana: Saturday Night at Charlie's Bar. Perhaps John, who is on this list, could expand upon his visit with Crumley. As I have mentioned before, this book, that includes visits with James Ellroy, Elmore Leonard, George Higgins, Carl Hiassen, James Hall, James Lee Burke and others should be a must-read for Rara-Avians.

While it's not easy to find, Clark City Press published a book of Crumley's non-fiction and short fiction in 1991 titled The Muddy Fork & Other Things that includes an interview that took place in Missoula in 1985.

The early Crumley was a favourite of mine and I prize the first edition of The Last Good Kiss that I bought new because of the cover art of several bars with the mountains in the background. This was one of the books that got me reading crime novels on a regular basis.

Montana seemed to attract fine writers such as Burke, Thomas McGuane, Jon Jackson, Jim Harrison, Richard Hugo and William Kittredge and Crumley suggests that he and his friends partied hardy.

Kent Morgan

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