RARA-AVIS: Recent Reads

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 11 Jun 2006

Just finished a whole lot of classics. Here are some impressions, starting with the most recently finished:

The Red Right Hand - Joel Townsley Rogers Interesting. Classic of the unreliable narration. Reminded me a lot of Fredric Brown, especially his more surreal and fantastic novels such as Night of the Jabberwock and The Screaming Mimi. This one caught my attention because it had been published in both the Blue Murder series and as a Green Door mystery (in the 60s). It was well worth reading. I hadn't previously heard too much about the book or Rogers. It's one of the few I've read that takes place during the second world war and makes quite a few references to life on the homefront at the time.

A Touch of Death - Charles WIlliams What little I've read by Charles Williams has been great so when Hard Case Crime reprinted a book of his I snapped it up and devoured it. Wow. The best book I've read by a great writer. Having read most of the HCC reprints I would say this one was the best. It was even better than Hell Hath No Fury which Black Lizard reprinted. Touch of Death is perhaps the perfect Gold Medal PBO. It has all the elements of a great GM-style plot. Lots of rye whisky and double-crossing dames--real femme fatales--murder, arson, it's got it all. If it can be said that there is a GM formula, this is it at it's quintessential best, right up there with Web of Murder and Black Wings. If anyone else has a better candidate for the perfect Gold Medal crime book, I'd like to hear about it.

Moon in the Gutter - David Goodis I love David Goodis and, after reading about half of his books, have yet to read a bad one. I also happen to know the neighborhoods he writes about having lived in Philadelphia for a long time. This was typical Goodis fare, complete with the dichotomy between the good woman and the evil woman. Goodis was the real poet of the gutter of the Gold Medal line.

The Simple Art of Murder - Raymond Chandler In a short story collection such as this, you really can see Chandler improving his craft through-out the 30s. The same can be said about his novels. I think he really hit his stride with Lady in the Lake and he just got better from there.


------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> Get to your groups with one click. Know instantly when new email arrives http://us.click.yahoo.com/.7bhrC/MGxNAA/yQLSAA/kqIolB/TM

RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
  Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 11 Jun 2006 EDT