RARA-AVIS: 80s month - The Prone Gunman

From: Chris Martin ( cptpipes@hotmail.com)
Date: 11 Apr 2003

I kicked off eighties month with the English translation of The Prone Gunman by Jean-Patrick Machette. It features the hitman Martin Terrier and offers a slanted take on two common themes: the criminal required to do one more job before leaving the life for good, and the working class guy eaning his fortune in hopes of returning to his hometown and winning back his high school sweetheart.

I read this book immediately after finishing James Sallis's spy novel Death Will Have Your Eyes and the two provide great counterpoits. Manchette's book has Terrier as the existential hero and provides simply a straightforward account of what Terrier does with almost no information on Terrier's thoughts. Sallis's first person narrative is the complete opposite. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, but the two books were fun to read back to back and when 90s month rolls around, I will definitely have to read Sallis's Lew Griffin books.

For now I've moved on to Knotts and Crosses, the first of the Inspector Rebus series. I've always wanted to get into this series, but have never been able to, which I hope is because I've never started at the beginning and have simply made half-hearted stabs at books further down the line.

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