RARA-AVIS: Rare Books: Miss Doll, Go Home

From: Jeff Vorzimmer (jvorzimmer@austin.rr.com)
Date: 26 Dec 2008

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    Miss Doll, Go Home (1965) was David Markson's third novel. It's a comic crime story about expat American beatnik artists living in Mexico who begin to suspect that newly-arrived American neighbors are actually gangsters on the lamb after having pulled a big heist back in the States. The hilarious plot revolves around the schemes of the starving artists to liberate the hoods from their $400,000 in cash from the heist.

    Each chapter is narrated by a different character and alternates among a dozen characters, but as complicated as the form might seem, Markson pulls it off quite effortlessly and manages to keep the narrative flowing.

    Because this book is so rare, it has been the subject of a lot of speculation. Although it's a crime novel and noir, it doesn't feature Harry Fannin, but like those novels it features beatnik characters. It wasn't his last crime novel either--he followed it with a very similar novel in theme in 1970 called Going Down.


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