RARA-AVIS: The Summer of Charles Williams

From: Jeff Vorzimmer ( jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 09 Sep 2006

Thought I'd squeeze this post in between the many on Marxism in hardboiled crime fiction.

Well, my summer of Charles Williams has come to an end. The last three I read where Girl Out Back, Gulf Coast Girl (Scorpion Reef) and Go Home, Stranger, I include here a brief overview of the three books.

Girl Out Back This is one of his best books. It has elements of River Girl and A Touch of Death and is every bit as good, which makes this the best of the novels that haven't been reprinted in recent years. The last twenty pages are among the best of any hardboiled crime book I've read. The Williams irony is in full force. This book gets five stars.

Gulf Coast Girl This was a Dell paperback reprint of his first hardbound book. It was also his first "sea" novel. Although this was probably my least favorite of the dozen or so books I've read by Williams it still was a good read--maybe three out of five stars.

Go Home, Stranger Another book that was good, but not great. It has lots of suspense. Not so typical of Williams. No femme fatale. Not as much irony. Not his usual kind of ending. Still three out of five stars.

Williams best novels of those I've read are: Nothing in Her Way, A Touch of Death, Girl Out Back, Talk of the Town and River Girl. I also loved the Diamond Bikini. All five star books.

Finally, I rented The Hot Spot, the film version of Hell Hath No Fury. I must say that I quite liked it. It was not nearly as bad as some reviewers have said. It's very erotic and worth renting just to see Jennifer Connelly and Virginia Madsen in the buff. Like the locale of most of his novels, it was shot in Texas--in the Hill Country. In fact there's a skinny dip scene In Hamilton Pool, which is a beautiful swimming hole not far from Austin. It's been so long since I read the book, I couldn't tell you how faithful it was to it.

And for you Williams fans that have read this post this far, here's something for you. It's a short, short story of his entitled The Strike from Cosmopolitan, January 1954. It's the only short story of his I've found that wasn't a serialization of one of his novels. http://tinyurl.com/h656p


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

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

<*> Your email settings:
    Individual Email | Traditional

<*> To change settings online go to:
    (Yahoo! ID required)

<*> To change settings via email:
    mailto: rara-avis-l-digest@yahoogroups.com
    mailto: rara-avis-l-fullfeatured@yahoogroups.com

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

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

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 09 Sep 2006 EDT