RARA-AVIS: recent reads

From: tomarmstrongmusic (tom@tomarmstrongmusic.com)
Date: 24 Nov 2009

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    I finished up my recent Simenon kick with "Dirty Snow" which was recommended by someone on here. Shoo-wee what a kick in the pants. That is one nasty book. I almost gave up 1/3 of the way through, feeling like I couldn't stand to hear any more about this pathetic creep and his awful, degrading crimes. But I stuck with it and I'm glad I did. It's no fun, but it's a sort of masterpiece of grimy criminality.

    After that I had to lighten up so I read "Jimmy the Kid" by Westlake - that's the Dortmunder book where they pull a kidnapping using a supposed Richard Stark Parker novel as the blueprint. Highly entertaining, doubly so if you've read some Parkers.

    Also read Vin Packer's "Something In The Shadows" and I wasn't that into it. I finished it, but it didn't really do it for me. I've got a few more of hers to try though.

    Oh and I read "Nightmare Town" the collection of Hammett stories. Man it just doesn't get much better than the Continental Op. The title story gave me a lot to chew on for a few days too - not very well executed, but I thought it was the most blatantly left-wing I've read by Hammett. Boom & bust capitalism or scandalous crime - what's the difference?

    Tom Armstrong

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