i liked the charlie huston 'mystic art of erasing signs of death' a lot. i hand't read his previous one, but i loved 'caught stealing' and the following 2 of that trilogy also, more than many here did.
i read 'lush life' by richard price. very good. not quite as good as 'clockers' if my memory is holding up, but good. those are the only books of his i've read. as you know, his dialog is up there with the best ever.
i'm now reading 'they don't dance much' by james ross and like it, but it's too soon to say more as not much has happened yet. the set up is good tho.
'red' by jack ketchum is quite good. not horror like he mainly writes, as far as i know (haven't read any), but i think people here would like it.
--- On Thu, 3/12/09, tomarmstrongmusic <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: tomarmstrongmusic <email@example.com>
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: I've finally begun THE HOT ROCK...
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Thursday, March 12, 2009, 1:39 PM
> Just joined this group a few months
> back, and have been taking its recommendations to
> heart. I bought the recent reprints of the first three
> Parker novels and was completely wowed - those are just
> fantastic reads. So I went to the library and got my
> feet wet with Westlake proper with "The Hot Rock", and while
> it didn't knock my socks off like the Parker books did, I
> got a kick out of it. Afghanistan bananastan
> indeed. I think someone on here mentioned that a lot
> of the comedy comes from how the characters talk past each
> other, missing their fellows' sarcasm or annoyance. He
> gets a lot of mileage out of that stuff and it makes for a
> fun read. I'll get around to "The Bank Shot" when I am
> in the mood for that flavor of goofiness again.
> Other recommendations I want to thank y'all for were the
> Margaret Millar Stark House reprints - jeez louise those
> were good, that lady could nail a character with one
> metaphor faster'n a speeding bullet - and Dave Zeltserman's
> "Small Crimes" which I just finished. Terrific!
> Stark House has to be my fave publisher at the
> moment. I loved the Wade Miller books, and the
> Benjamin Appel too. "Brain Guy" is a weird piece of
> prose, but the story and characters stuck with me for weeks
> afterward; and "Plunder" was just plain nasty, lean and
> mean, I really dug it. I'll be starting Russell James'
> "Underground" on my train ride home today.
> So thanks everyone, for keeping me in good reading!
> Tom Armstrong
> --- In email@example.com,
> "foxbrick" <foxbrick@...> wrote:
> > The first Dortmunder novel, of course, by Donald
> Westlake...and what surprises me most is how broad the
> comedy is, at least in the early chapters that Westlake
> apparently set aside for a while. (I've read a number of
> Dortmunder stories, out of order, but the latter-day works
> are somewhat subtler.) Haven't seen the film version yet,
> either, as I was consciously putting that off till after
> reading the book.
> > Also notable is that Dortmunder here is a Korean War
> vet, which I believe is at least soft-pedalled in the later
> stories...it's tough when one sustains a series over
> decades, without wanting your character to age as quickly as
> one's self does. Travis McGee, Fritz Leiber's
> characters Fafhrd and Mouse/the Gray Mouser, and a number of
> others (particuarly of late) have been allowed by their
> creators to grow older along with their characters, which
> has a certain effect on the series...slowing that down has a
> different, not worse, effect, but it can make reading the
> whole series in a lump a bit dislocating...
> > Todd Mason
> RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
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