RARA-AVIS: Gil Brewer, again (of course)

From: George Tuttle ( noirfiction@whoever.com)
Date: 17 Oct 2006

The Booklist review of the latest Stark House Press release: Brewer, Gil. Wild to Possess / A Taste for Sin. Nov. 2006. 283p. Stark House, paper, $19.95 (1-933586-10-9). These high-octane crime novels, originally published as pulps in 1959 and 1961 but long unavailable, have much in common: guys with cheating spouses, drinking problems, and nagging consciences launch long-shot money grabs with the wrong dames while being stalked by men with dark agendas. But like a practiced bluesman, the late Brewer improvised well within the basic structure. One of the most enjoyable aspects of both stories (but especially the superior A Taste for Sin) is how the protagonists doggedly work out every last detail of what remain utterly crazy schemes. For instance, they'll rob a bank without knowing if the tellers' vaults can be broken into by force, but meanwhile they will replace the scratched kitchen countertop upon which they've been fashioning keys. Watching these characters make their refreshingly oddball choices underscores how formulaic many noir tales are. Brewer also displayed a gift for hard-boiled descriptions:
"Cars littered the sloped lawn like discards on green felt"; "She was beating his head in with a hammer. It was a ball and peen. She was using the peen." Deliriously delicious. -Frank Sennett

As a librarian, I have a great respect for reviewers. I wish I was as articulate as Frank Sennett. Most of my reviews go something like:
"You gotta read this one!" (If I shake the book vigorously, it means I really, really liked it.)

George the Librarian

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 17 Oct 2006 EDT