RARA-AVIS: Ken Bruen/ Scott Phillips

From: Donna ( donna.moore@virgin.net)
Date: 10 Nov 2004

Jason wrote:

> Also, I just read a terrific new Jack Taylor short story from Ken
> called THE DEAD ROOM. It's going to be published by ASAP Publishing
> as a limited edition book, with illustrations, and I'm writing the
> introduction for it.

I've read it too and it's great. As Ray said, his story in Brooklyn Noir is really good. In fact, I would probably say it's my favourite of his short stories (although I have a VERY soft spot for THE DEAD ROOM because it's a Taylor story :o) )

Jason also wrote:

> Ken says he'd love to be a guest on the list...If Bill can arrange a
> time, Ken will join us...

______________________________________________________________________ Miker wrote:

> Darn it! I deleted the post that Donna wrote about
> the one that rated as one of the best books she had
> ever read. Can you run that one by me again?

It was THE DRAMATIST, which is the most recent in the Jack Taylor series, but in order to get its full imapct you have to read the earlier ones first. His books are really quick reads, so I suggest THE GUARDS
(1st in the Jack Taylor series), THE WHITE TRILOGY (first 3 in the Brant series - they're very short and go together as a trilogy really well). And for the standalones...hmmm...THE HACKMAN BLUES is really raw and bleak and powerful (Bruen takes noir and decides i needs a fresh coat of paint to darken it up a bit :o)). Or DISPATCHING BAUDELAIRE which is a great look at paranoia and seduction. It's about a bland accountant who lives a safe and boring life with regular routines until he meets a girl in a pub and is seduced by sex, money and power. Dark and funny.

For me, Bruen's main strength is in the characters. He can make you care about his characters, even if you don't care FOR them. He takes readers so far inside his characters you can see their hearts pumping and their bile ducts spewing.

Bill wrote:

> I saw lots of my favourites on the lists, but did anyone mention Scott
> Phillips? THE ICE HARVEST (2000), THE WALKAWAY (2002), and COTTONWOOD
> (2004) should be on there.

I think i mentioned THE ICE HARVEST. And if I didn't, I should have :o) Great book. I also loved COTTONWOOD, which was sort of like Little Whore House On The Prairie. I didn't care for THE WALKAWAY quite as much as the other two.




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