Tuesday, November 16, 2010

DBB goes to Toronto

In Toronto to visit Brother Beyond Borders and to hear Hilary Davidson read from her novel The Damage Done at Sleuth of Baker Street on Wednesday.

On the ride up, I:

  • Read "$106,000 Blood Money" and cursed Dashiell Hammett for not having written more.
  • Wondered when plain old bus and train stations became transportation centers.
I should have figured from her pleasing manners at Noircon 2010 that Hilary Davidson was Canadian, and if that was not clue enough, her titling her debut novel for a Neil Young song should have given her away. More tomorrow.
***
On the subject of fine independent bookstores, here's a belated thanks to Farley's Bookshop of New Hope, Pa., official book purveyor to Noircon 2010. These guys brought in not just books by festival attendees, but a well-chosen selection of related noir and hard-boiled and, to my pleasant surprise, a nice selection of international crime fiction from Bitter Lemon, Soho Crime, and maybe a title or two from Europa Editions.

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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27 Comments:

Blogger seana said...

I could do without transportation centers and go back to stations if I could only get where I want to go. You are much better about dealing with non-automotive transportation than I will ever be.

Brothers Beyond Borders, huh? Is this a franchise?

November 16, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thing is, "transportation center" only throws into sharper relief that these are just dreary bus stations.

I've always flown or taken the train to Toronto, but the bus was surprisingly pleasant and, of course, a lot cheaper.

My brother used to have an ordinary name, but now I have a brand to build. Call DBB a Brand of Brothers.

November 16, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Copyright it. It may be your retirement, as things are going...

November 16, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

DBB: a Brand of Brothers ©

Done.

November 16, 2010  
Blogger Solea said...

I've taken the painfully slow overnight train from Los Angeles to Albuquerque. The train makes frequent stops out in the middle of the desert because freighter trains have the right of way (even in the cities!) What happened to the North by Northwest and Some like it Hot trains? Why are all these trains sharing one lousy track? I do love reading on the train though (and I do love me some Europa editions). Right now I'm reading "A Novel Bookstore", a Frenchy book that reminds me of "Suite Francaise" & "Elegance of the Hedgehog", with a dash of "Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio"

November 16, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Solea, on a book level,you are talking my language!

I don't mind riding trains or buses. The part I mind is waiting for them. Or really, running for them.

November 16, 2010  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

have fun Peter. There are some terrific and overlooked Canadian crime writers - many whose books aren't that widely available outside of their home country, so make sure you pick up a few titles (including those of your fellow Ngaio Marsh Award judge Lou Allin).

Enjoy Toronto.

November 16, 2010  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

For one--Robert Rosenberg, writer of "Old City Hall," a rather quirky police procedural.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I don't mind riding trains or buses. The part I mind is waiting for them. Or really, running for them.

Seana, I guess you know that passengers are required to be in the boarding area thirty (30) minuted prior to departure in order not to miss any of the delay.

The key to enjoyable travel: striking a balance between waiting and running.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Craig, thsnks for the reminder to take advantage of where I am. I've jotted Lou Allin's name in my notebook.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, I think "Old City Hall" is widely available in the U.S. A Toronto author friend of mine who has writeen fine crime novels about the city once took some slight umbrage to a reviewer's statement that "Old City Hall" was the first or best or finest modern crime novel about Toronto, or some such.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"A Novel Bookstore", a Frenchy book that reminds me of "Suite Francaise" & "Elegance of the Hedgehog", with a dash of "Clash of Civilizations Over an Elevator in Piazza Vittorio"

That's blurb material right there.

Solea, at least in the Northeast, USX owns some of the track, which gives it priority over passenger trains, as it did that painful, snowy night when my train, already crowded with two days worth of passengers because of the previous night's snow cancellation, sat on the track for two or three hours outside Toledo.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Solea said...

Hi Seana, I'd love to hear your recommendations!

November 17, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Well, it's tricky, because I undertand the relation between these books, but find it a bit of a challenge to expand it. But I did think of A Very Long Engagement by Sebastian Japrisot, and perhaps oddly, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. For some reason I'm also thinking of the Marseilles trilogy of Jean- Claude Izzo, but that may partly be because I learned about it at around the same time as Clash of Civilizations.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, quite a number of these titles are pubished by Europa Editions.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Yes--Europa is not a bad indicator of a promising title.

I'm realizing that Solea may quite likely know Izzo because, well, one of his books happens to have the same name.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've remarked on that coincidence of names. It's better to be called Solea than to be called Total Kheops, I suppose.

November 17, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Depends whether you're a boxer or not.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Total Kheops sounds more like a name for a professional wrestler than for a boxer.

The book was also issued in English under an awful title, somethlike "A Helluva Mess." In this case, keeping the original untranslated was the better idea.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Europa seemed to have gotten it about right with Total Chaos, though.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Criminy, I forgot that it had been translated as Total Chaos. In fact, my previous comment was tosh.

The novel's title in French was "Total Kheops," variously translated into English as "Total Chaos" and "One Helluva Mess" (or something similar). It was never issued in English under the original title, though "Total Chaos" obviously stays close to the sound and rhythm of the original title and I think is reasonably close to its sense as well.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Kiwicraig said...

I've recently read a couple of novels by Toronto author Rick Mofina, and really enjoyed them (high octane thriller type novels), but I think he's probably reasonably available in the USA.

Other Canadian authors I've enjoyed in the past include William Deverell and Mark Zuehlke, and I also have books by Howard Schrier and a couple of other lesser-knowns (lesser-known internationally, probably not in Canada) on my TBR shelf thanks to a friend who recently went to Canada.

Make sure you go to the Hockey Hall of Fame to see the Stanley Cup Peter.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Some Rick Mofina was in the book bag at either Noircon or Bouchercon.

There are also John McFetridge, Howard Engel, Sandra Ruttan, and an interesting choice with an asterisk: the Cuban Canadian Jose Latour.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Solea said...

My favorite Canadian read this year was "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" by Gabor Mate. It's an incredibly poignant non-fiction look at addicts, addiction & society by a Vancouver Doc who runs a unique clinic. Some great quotes from Mahfouz in the book -- "Nothing records the effects of a sad life so graphically as the human body.” News goddess Amy Goodman has had him on her show a couple times (audio available at her site).
I'm a huge Izzo fan. "One Helluva Mess" -- that's one of the worst translations I've heard. I'm surprised they passed on "Total Crap Shoot".
Remember to take some good graff shots.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I once read that Vancouver had the world's highest incidence of heroin addiction, so such a book from a doctor there is no shock.

"Total Crap Shoot" would have been better than "One Helluva Mess." Hell, "One Hell of a Mess" would have been better than "One Helluva Mess."

November 18, 2010  
Blogger seana said...

Thanks for the Gabor Mate rec, Solea. I know of the title, but you make it sound more intriguing.

Peter, I was a bit shocked to hear that Vancouver, which I've always heard described as such a lovely city would have such a high incidence of heroin addiction, but then remembererd that Santa Cruz, which has also been described as such, has a big largely underground problem with it as well.

November 18, 2010  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Seana, I don't know the economics of drugs, but if much or all of the source drug for heroin comes from Asia, and, given that Vancouver's regional port is by one measure the largest on the West Coast of North America, perhaps heroin's presence in the city is no surprise.

November 18, 2010  

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