Haven't read Virgin yet, but I agree about the Goodis. Glad I had another Goodis to read, but it was nowhere near the level of the others I'd read.
As for the Hard Case recommendations Ed asked for, here are a few I really liked:
361 -- can't go wrong with one of Westlake's early hardboiled novelsBranded Woman -- same goes for Wade Miller standalonesThe Girl with the Long Green Heart is one of my favorite Blocks, but I'm a sucker for con job booksThe Gutter and the Grave -- I really enjoyed it when I read it as I'm Cannon for HireHome Is the Sailor was the first Day Keene I'd read and I now buy every one I see (need to pull some of those out)The Peddler -- I'm not a fan of his Shell Scott books, but this gangster tale is nasty stuff, in the best sense, no joking around hereTouch of Death -- my first Williams novel, have sought out more
I've also really enjoyed Collins's new Quarry books
I'm thrilled to finally have a copy of Jason Starr's Fake ID and I'm currently reading Losers Live Longer. I'm very much looking forward to the last Westlake novel next year (and really sad that it's his last).
> To: email@example.com
> From: Dave.Zeltserman@gmail.com
> Date: Wed, 2 Sep 2009 22:48:19 +0000
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Hard Case Crime
> Ed, I had the same reaction to Vengeful Virgin. The beginning read almost to me like Brewer was bored with it, but once the book picked up speed it really got going and became a nice nifty "screwed" noir book.
> The Wounded and the Slain had me groaning also. It was easily the weakest Goodis book I've read. He was too good a writer not to make it interesting in spots, but it would be a real shame if this was a reader's first exposure to Goodis.
> --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, ejmd <ejmd__@...> wrote:
> > I recently read the Hard Case Crime reprint of Gil Brewer's /The
> > Vengeful Virgin/ (it has a great cover painting too). I thought it was
> > nicely paced and well written and a good length (I like 150-200 pagers).
> > I've also just finished David Goodis's /The Wounded and the Slain/ (also
> > Hard Case Crime). I found some of Goodis's language and detail a bit
> > unlikely, and it made me groan a bit in places (for example, the
> > dialogue in the fight scene toward the end is one that springs to mind,
> > and does the way in which Goodies handles the baddy, Nathan Joyner, and
> > his penchant for the green goddess). I didn't guess the ending though--I
> > was anticipating something quite different.
> > Anyway, I've gone back to Brewer and I currently have the Blue Murder
> > double, /13 French Street/ and /The Red Scarf /on the go. I don't know
> > if I'll tear through them both, or if I'll just do one then have a
> > change, as I have a couple more Hard Case books on my recently acquired
> > pile (Shepard Rifkin's /The Murder Vine/ and John Farris's /Baby Moll/)
> > which brings me to the point of my post: does anyone have any particular
> > recommendations in the Hard Case Crime series? If so, what are they?
> > Also, does anybody know if Hard Case Crime has any particularly
> > interesting titles in the pipeline?
> > ED
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