RARA-AVIS: Re: Blatant self-promotion once every thirty years

From: Charlie Williams ( cs_will@hotmail.com)
Date: 11 Oct 2006


Sounds like a fantastic book. A shame and really quite terrifying that I hadn't heard of it before. Oh, and your self-promo efforts are eminently entertaining, therefore excused and even encouraged.


--------- charliewilliams.net

--- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "Frederick Zackel" <fzackel@...> wrote:
> Today I hold it in my hands; it came by UPS. Yes, on 1 November
2006 the
> hardboiled imprint Point Blank Press is bringing back out my first
> 1978's "Cocaine & Blue Eyes." I know most of you never heard of
it, most
> mystery fans never did, but I might be able to give you four good
> why you might want to stock a few copies to give as Christmas
> The reasons ...
> Here is Ross Macdonald's old (1978) blurb for that same book:
> "Fred Zackel's first novel reminds me of the young Dashiell
Hammett's work,
> not because it is an imitation, but because it is not. It is a
powerful and
> original book made from the lives and languages of the people who
live in
> San Francisco today."
> Here is Loren Estleman's new (2006) blurb for that same book:
> "The American private eye story was in the Dumpster when Fred
Zackel fished
> it out at the point of a gun. He revived the form, electrified
readers and
> critics, and started the juggernaut that shoved aside the
paperback romance
> to establish the mystery as the most popular category in the
world. Finally,
> the generation that grew up since COCAINE AND BLUE EYES has the
chance to
> meet Michael Brennan. An event like this ought to have a national
> connected with it."
> --Loren D. Estleman,
> author of NICOTINE KISS
> (Loren's such a fuckin' sweetheart! Full of shit, but such a
> Here is Tom Nolan's new (2006) blurb for that same book:
> "The American private-eye novel enjoyed a resurgence in the 1970s,
and Fred
> Zackel's "Cocaine and Blue Eyes" was a unique part of that literary
> blossoming. Set in the Bay Area of Northern California, this fast-
> 1978 novel speeds through an eventful Christmas and New Year's
season with
> all the energy of a classic genre bursting with new life. From
page one,
> it's clear the book's author is a born story-teller, one who
brings a
> personal vision to the templates of the past.
> "Cocaine and Blue Eyes" - the tough tale of a semi-pro
> hunting high and low in San Francisco society for a missing person
who maybe
> isn't missing, on behalf of a client who is without a doubt dead -
> some of the tone and terrain of Dashiell Hammett, some of the
> cadences of Raymond Chandler, and some of the poetic flashes of
> Macdonald (who enthusiastically supported its publication). What
seems most
> Zackel's own is the sensibility of investigator-protagonist
Michael Brennen:
> a man coming up through the underside, to find his own moral
> "Fred Zackel's novel reads today with the same raw
vigor as when
> it was written. If some of its slang, social-sexual attitudes, and
> pharmacological lore now ring out of date, such jarring notes only
> the book's integrity as an honest time-machine: a beat-up-cab-ride
back some
> 30 years to when parking-meters took pennies, cigarettes were
smoked in
> restaurants, cocaine was thought to be neither addictive nor
fatal; and
> when - then as now - "Only the lucky solve cases."
> -- Tom Nolan, author of "Ross Macdonald: A Biography"
> (Tom, I'm still trying to find that moral center. I know it
wasn't in that
> bar we just got home from. Nice bar, though.)
> The Time magazine review from November 28, 1978, said:
> "Drugs and thugs, a missing person and a backchatting investigator
> dominate Cocaine and Blue Eyes. Fred Zackel's sprightly first
novel, set
> mostly in the San Francisco Bay Area, combines the story of a
> Heights dynasty, corporate shenanigans, Chinatown gangs, a
spectrum of sex,
> aging flower children, Mafia money and the houseboat life in
Sausalito. The
> result is as nerve-rattling as a full-throttle auto chase from
Grant Avenue
> to Fisherman's Wharf."
> Oh, and there is even a fifth reason. The murderer who found it
in an
> airport paperback rack and decided to make a movie of it.
> "Cocaine and Blues Eyes" was made into a so-so 1983 NBC made-for-
TV movie
> co-produced by and starring O. J. Simpson. Say what you want, but
> check cleared; in 1983 that's all anybody cared about. Which
explains why
> you also never see it on television.
> Want a sixth reason? The editor at Coward, McCann in 1978 who fell
in love
> with it, bought it and published it was Joseph Kanon, who retired
to write
> thrillers.
> What follows is the info from the catalog. It will be available in
the US
> and UK.
> Wildside Press LLC
> Imprint: Point Blank
> ISBN/SKU: 0809562138
> ISBN Complete: 0-8095-6213-8
> Title: Cocaine and Blue Eyes
> Publication Date: 11/1/2006
> Language: English
> Book Description (formally called "Annotation"):
> Contributors:
> Last Name First Middle Role
> 1:
> Zackel Fred Author
> Order Types:
> Galley
> Proof
> Short Run
> Other Title Information:
> Large Text Edition: N
> ISBN/SKU: 0809562138
> ISBN Complete: 0-8095-6213-8
> Book Type: 5.5 x 8.5 in or 216 x 140 mm (Demy 8vo) Perfect Bound
> Page Count: 264
> I am new to all this promotion biz. But, thank you, Lord, for
this glass of
> wine. Best wishes to you and yours.
> Sincerely,
> Fred Zackel

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