Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There's a money shot in Donna Moore's book

There are also a Big O, a two-way split and probably lots more I haven't noticed or have not got to yet.

Moore's book is Old Dogs, and Money Shot, The Big O and Two-Way Split are novels by her fellow crime writers Christa Faust, Declan Burke and Allan Guthrie, respectively.

Moore's salutes to her friends are unobtrusive and will bring a smile to those who have read the novels (I recommend all three). And now your question: What other writers pay similar tribute to the titles of their own favorite books?

P.S. I'll enlarge this list of Moore's tributes as I discover more of them.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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20 Comments:

Blogger Declan Burke said...

Crumbs! I read OLD DOGS, and missed the THE BIG O bit. Possibly because I'd gone cross-eyed trying to keep up with the plot ...

Cheers, Dec

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That simple, straightforward linear narrative confused you?

You'll remember that Sheehan and the dangerous old dears like to play the horses. One horse is called Big O.

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

Have you ever seen Nero Wolfe's reading list? (Full disclosure: I helped compile it with Winifred Louis, the site's original author.)

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's quite a list. Was it a dictionary that he once dismembered, page by page, because he disapproved of one of its definitions?

April 28, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

Any number of crime fiction novel titles begin with "The Long _________". Based on the plot within, I've often imagined the title of many of these is the authors' tribute to Raymond Chandler's "The Long Goodbye." But perhaps I tend to see Chandler whether he is there or not...

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

How about any number of titles that begin "The Big _________"?

In this case, I think you're seeing Chandler exactly where he is.

April 28, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

You're right; "The Big" is even more frequent than "The Long" in crime fiction titles.

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, Hammett published "The Big Knockover" in 1927 ...

Let's make a game of this: How many crime novel, story or movie titles begin with "The Long _________ " or "The Big _________ "? To make the game fun, don't consult any outside source. Rely on your memory alone.

Here are The Long Good Friday and The Big Clock to start you off.

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Linkmeister said...

"Was it a dictionary that he once dismembered, page by page, because he disapproved of one of its definitions?"

Yep. Gambit, Chapter One. He was ripping it apart and feeding pages into the fire. One of the things he objected to: the dictionary said "imply" and "infer" can be used interchangeably. After reading the book I've never ever done that.

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Poor Mr. Wolfe once would have made a valued member of a copy desk.

April 28, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Speaking of which, this interesting article by the Washington Post's ombudsman admits that that paper's copy editing is getting sloppier and offers some explanations.

Of course, the ombudsman is a Post employee, so he has to tack on a bogus hopeful ending (sort of like the Book of Job). Still, he offers plausible reasons for the sloppiness.

April 29, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

“What other writers pay similar tribute to the titles of their own favorite books?”

Not a book but a short story… In the early novels, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch sometimes frequented a cop bar called “Red Wind.” Obviously from the Raymond Chandler short story of the same title. I only thought about this because it is very windy here in L.A. today. Not a Santa Ana of red wind fame, however.

A while back you mentioned Ian Rankin’s short story “The Dean Curse,” an obvious reference to Dashiell Hammett’s “The Dain Curse.” Immediately preceding this story in the ss compilation is one entitled “Playback” – the title of Chandler’s final novel.

April 29, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

“What other writers pay similar tribute to the titles of their own favorite books?”

I forgot to ask… How does one tell for sure that the titles of other books, when mixed into a narrative, are truly references to those books? I’m not sure I’d necessarily recognize the connection if the reference was smoothly inserted. I guess I’m asking for you to provide the sentence/passage where one of those titles appears in such a way that you knew Moore was tipping her hat to the other author/book.

April 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

In the early novels, Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch sometimes frequented a cop bar called “Red Wind.” Obviously from the Raymond Chandler short story of the same title. I only thought about this because it is very windy here in L.A. today. Not a Santa Ana of red wind fame, however.

Mmm, no whipping wires, fraying tempers, meek wives eyeing their husbands' necks.

A while back you mentioned Ian Rankin’s short story “The Dean Curse,” an obvious reference to Dashiell Hammett’s “The Dain Curse.” Immediately preceding this story in the ss compilation is one entitled “Playback” – the title of Chandler’s final novel.

I read "The Dean Curse" in an anthology. Seeing it paired with "Playback" would have made me smile. Instead of rolling my eyes at all the business with the Rolling Stones, I'd have nodded approvingly at Rankin's respect for tradition.

April 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

How does one tell for sure that the titles of other books, when mixed into a narrative, are truly references to those books?

A sleazy character in Old Dogs is thinking back to his sleazy past, which includes having made a porno movie. The passage is something like "In truth, the movie was crap, but at least they got the money shot."

I thought it could be a coincidence until I came upon the references to a horse named Big O and a two-way split of proceeds from a heist. Moore, Burke and Faust share or shared the same agent -- Allan Guthrie (yep, he's an agent as well as an author). I also captured three of the perps getting chummy on camera, another good piece of circumstantial evidence.

April 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I happen to have read those three books; I may have missed any number of additional references, and this obviously did not affect my enjoyment of Old Dogs in the least.

April 29, 2010  
Anonymous Elisabeth said...

"...a horse named Big O"

Hmmm... Foals with the names of The Big O and Money Shot were registered with The Jockey Club (US) in 1998. Two Way Split is still available, pending further review by The Jockey Club.

April 29, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

It would not surprise me if many horses shared their names with crime novels. Short, snappy names are good for both fast horses and hard-boiled stories. Can you think of a better name for a big, graceful thoroughbred than Lovely Mover, also the title of a novel by Bill James?

April 29, 2010  
Blogger Donna said...

Well spotted Peter :o) There's also a Ray Banks reference...

April 30, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, let me cast my memory back: Donkey Punch/Sucker Punch?

April 30, 2010  

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