Sunday, April 19, 2009

We have a winner

My favorite entry in last week's Raymond Chandler simile fest was this, from PKL:

"Jingo slithered into the bar like a vaseline salamander in a sharkskin suit."
If he'll send me his postal address at detectivesbeyondborders (at) earthlink (dot) net, I'll send his prize: His choice of the copy of Farewell, My Lovely that gave rise to the contest, or Boiling a Frog, a novel by an author who goes over the top in a different way: Christopher Brookmyre. If he has those already, I'll send another book from the Detectives Beyond Borders Crime Fiction Collection.

Honorable mention goes to Adrian McKinty's "He stuck out like a reasonable man in the Fox News building."

Thanks to all for the verbal high jinks and for helping me clear a bit of space in my book-muddled house.

© Peter Rozovsky 2009

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16 Comments:

Blogger adrian mckinty said...

fair's fair, Patrick's was better.

April 19, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You're a good sport. I'll send you a book, too. And I'll add Brookmyre's Quite Ugly One Morning to the prize pot.

April 19, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

According to his own words, Patrick is currently lashed to a mast as he heads home to America, so he may not claim this for awhile. But I expect he will be very honored.

Adrian, yours was good too, though slightly less Chandleresque.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lashed to a mast, is he? Which sirens is he trying to avoid? But the book will be around for a while, or at least some book will. I'll always have a spare book or two.

Adrian's entry was wittily neo-Chandleresque.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Dorte H said...

A good choice, Peter, I like that sharkskin :)

I am as pleased as a yokerght (word verification - I think it must be a Mongolian dish; or perhaps the cook?)

April 20, 2009  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

One of my favourite quotes about critics is from our old pal RC. It isnt that witty but its oh so true:

"Good critical writing is measured by the perception and evaluation of the subject; bad critical writing by the necessity of maintaining the professional standing of the critic."

The entire New Yorker magazine seems to run on the fumes of that gas these days.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Dorte, your v-word is the utterance of someone who suffers a severe shock while asking for a prepared food having the consistency of custard, made from milk curdled by the action of cultures, sometimes sweetened or flavored.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

One of my own touchstones for good critical writing, one that obviously will not have wide application, is that it can hold the interest of someone who would not ordinarily be interested in the subject.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Sucharita Sarkar said...

Slippery winner, that one...what with the vaseline and not claiming the prize for a while...

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, off sailing the oceans when he should be home claiming his prize.

Well, travel is a noble pursuit. His book will be waiting when he returns.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger seanag said...

I know it's going to come to me just after I post this, but who is your old pal RC?

And I thought I heard on someone's blog recently that the essential ingredient for a great critic was a black heart. That's the assumption I've been working under anyway. It seems a lot easier to achieve than scholarly application...

I think Patrick might have been fibbing a bit about the mast. You may hear from him once he gets over jetlag.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I had to think for a moment before realizing that our old pal RC is Raymond Chandler, who made critical pronouncements from time to time. One that sticks with me is his declaration that there had been no classics of mystery writing -- no stories or novels so good that no one could hope to better them. This, he wrote, left the field wide open.

Being bound to a mast is not much more confining that being jammed into an a seat on a modern passenger plane, I suspect, so the precise nature of Patrick's travel arrangements is a mere quibble.

April 20, 2009  
Blogger PKL said...

Peter, et al:

I have, you are assured despite your doubt, been working like a whipped sled-dog here in Dublin, negotiating ocean, air and European trucking contracts for my high-tech, name-brand patron, in association with my Irish and Dutch colleagues, on a killing 5am to 11pm schedule that leaves little time for fun or romance, but I am now free, as of Thursday, for a long, long weekend of nothing but fun.

The people I have been jousting with in this venture are far more akin to Darkie White than they are to Bennet Cerf, and consequently the work is very much a labor, but I do love it. Odd what we find ourselves good at, and amazing what we will do do support the ones we love.

Only so, so appreciative that you liked my little sprig of sleaze, and the address has been sent in good faith of receipt of the promised RC.

Is there really a place called New Caledonia? Do the prhase "New Caledonia" stikes a familiar note?

PKL

April 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

You’re a horrible example of the last acceptable prejudice in America: anti-New Caledonianism. Yes, New Caledonia exists, and yes, there was an annual quota of four admissions from there, at least for the first few years of the so-called green-card lottery.

I hope you did not have to resort to Michael Forsythelike methods to achieve the desired results in your work. I plan to be in Northern Ireland soon, but my visit will be all play, no work. Ik vind Nederland ook leuk!

Your address has been noted and stuck to the book on a stick-on note so I can bring it to the post office tomorrow. Your winning entry was so good that I confess I did a search for it online to make sure you had not pilfered it. Congratulations again.

April 23, 2009  
Blogger PKL said...

Peter: Oh, I write drivel like that all the time, and my pictures are not much better.

More from this injured mind can be found here. Thanks so much for encouraging my delusion.

PKL

April 23, 2009  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

If the winning simile was drivel, I'd love to see the stuff that rises to the level of barely passable.

April 23, 2009  

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