Re: RARA-AVIS: Recent reads

From: Chris M (
Date: 29 Oct 2005

It's been a nice month for me w/ noir and hb fiction. Here are the highlights:

Peepers, The Midnight Man, Motor City Blue and The Glass Highway by Loren D. Esltemen: Long before I discovered RA, I tried the Amos Walker series and gave up on him after two or three books. What was I thinking? These are terrific. Walker is rooted in the HB tradition, but new enought to be worth seeking. PEEPERS is the weakest of the bunch (it's an HB satire), but still has enough jokes to be worth everyone's time. The Walker novels are great one and all.

The Lincoln Lawyer, but Michael Connelly: A few months back, I answered Vicki Hendrick's question about why we read certain authors by stating that their manic plot twists become addictive. This great read is an example of just that. However: there were enough inside jokes in this book that I got
(right, Det. Lankford?), that I have to wonder how many sailed right past me.

American Boys by Kent Harrington: I loved this book. But...every Avian who enjoyed it would be wise to pick up Power of the Dog by Don Winslow. Similar territory, and it's my vote for best book of 2005.

Shooters by Terril Lankford: Wow! A noir tale that staggers. My quibble: Like many other books in the tradition of Jim Thompson, I always struggle to believe the narrator could pen (or even dictate) such a tale. For some reason, I can suspend disbelief when the narrator is a broken P.I. I struggle when it is someone like the narrator of this story. Nevertheless, I raced through the book in a single sitting. It's that good.

The Prince of Wales by John Williams: My favorite book in a long, long time. Since John is on this list, I'm embarrassed to admit it took me this long to buy and read it. Bobby is an all-time classic character. She's on of the few that has a life off the page--I will think about her long after forgetting th plot details of the book. For whatever reason, many of the Peleacanos characters share this same quality of living off the page for me.

On deck: Temperance Town by John Williams; Little Girl Lost by Richard Aleas; I Spit on Your Grave by Boris Vian (forward by Sallis!); Lady Yesterday by Esltemen; and After You with the Pistol by Kyril Bonfiglioli
(anyone read these?).

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 29 Oct 2005 EDT