RARA-AVIS: Re: recent reads

From: Dave Zeltserman ( dz@hardluckstories.com)
Date: 26 Feb 2008

> Which reminds me, isn't Small Crimes supposed to be out by now? Is
> it out?
> Mark

Mark, Small Crimes will be out in the UK March 20th, and sometime in the Fall in the US--I haven't been given a date yet. Serpent's Tail does advertise on their web-site free postage world-wide, so I'd have to think it could be ordered from them anywhere after March 20th. They also have the first chapter up now on their web-site.

End of commercial ;)

About Deadly Beloved--yeah, Collins does give away who the heavy is very early, and yeah, maybe Ms. Tree is really just a female Mike Hammer, and all the clothing observations are a bit too obvious, but the book is highly readable. Probably because Collins is just such a damn smooth writer. Anyway, regardless of its faults, it still a fun, pulpy read, and those are few and far between these days.

I'm finishing up Stark now. This is my first Edward Bunker book--although I am a big fan of the movie Straight Time. I take it you've read other Bunker books--is this at all representative of them? I guess it's readable enough that I haven't put it down, but the dialogue is bad B movie stuff. If I had the energy I'd copy some of the exchanges between Stark and the cop trying work him--it's pretty awful, and the characters are pure cardboard cutouts. I guess it's a period piece--early 60s, and does have that bad Gold Medal feel (bad as in the worst of the Gold Medals). According to the Afterward, this book was found after Bunker died, and was the first book he wrote. Unless this is representative of his other works (which I find hard to believe given his reputation), you'd have to think he would never have wanted this published. Anyway, this book is probably a good one for debating whether discovered books should be published posthumously.

I've also just finished Diablerie by Walter Mosley. This book has taken a beating by some critics for its contrived elements. Yeah, some of it is contrived, but I think that fits with this weird dreamlike-nightmarish atmosphere Mosley builds. I liked this one a lot--at least until the last few pages, and probably kept me as engrossed as any book I've read over the last year. It's kind of an interesting blend of existential dread and noir, and Mosley is a masterful writer. The ending was a disppointment, though.

--Dave Z.

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