MRT, Mike, Brian, and Montois, thanks for the insights--
I'm not sure why I assumed Personville was in California (perhaps because SF seemed so close by train?), but if it's in Montana I gladly stand corrected. As a New Englander, I admit my sense of US geography is a bit vague at times. Characters in the novel reference Salt Lake on a few occasions, but I assumed that that wasn't the one in Utah--maybe it was? (I can draw pretty detailed maps of Europe and SE Asia from memory, but I'm at a loss in my own country.)
Mike, bummer news about the BLACK MASK stories. Maybe this is an excuse for me to visit a research library? I'm surprised no fan has yet created a homemade PDF edition of these tales, never mind that they've not been properly collected.
Montois, nice reflections on the Pyrenees. I've been there a few times, but usually just to go snowboarding--so I've not picked up much on the social realities you painted so vividly.
Also, I meant to mention, but think I didn't, that after reading RED HARVEST I now know where the Coen Brothers got the title for BLOOD SIMPLE, and also what the term means.
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