Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Allan Guthrie's black shorts

Allan Guthrie, that sharp noir author, scholar, editor, agent, and impresario, is back with a collection of cheap shorts.

Hilda's Big Day Out offers four gut- and heart-wrenching slabs of noir, including the title story, which is atypical in at least two ways: It has an arguably happy ending, and its narrator is a dog.

Of the remaining tales, "Bye Bye Baby," which gave rise to Guthrie's novella of the same name, may wring tears of pity from even the hardest-hearted reader. Like David Goodis' novel Cassidy's Girl, its noirness inheres not in a tragic ending, but rather in an inconclusive sort of non-ending. Not every tragedy has the easy out of catharsis or death. Sometimes the nightmare just goes on.

© Peter Rozovsky 2012

Labels: , , ,

17 Comments:

Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Hi, Pete

Hope you don't mind me posting a link to my blog here, but I thought this was pretty funny - Spot the difference...

Cheers

gb

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm...Guthrie's cover model has a little more facial hair than yours?

I presume the two have the same cover designer.

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Yup, the awesome JT Lindroos.

gb

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Awesome, all right. The man has given the world some fine books and covers.

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Gerard Brennan said...

Agreed. I'm delighted that WEE ROCKETS can now be associated with him.

gb

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I first heard of him through the Frank McAuliffe/Augustus Mandrell books. Crime readers owe him quite a debt of gratitude.

January 11, 2012  
Anonymous I.J.Parker said...

I see Guthrie has joined the Kindle generation. I just put up some stories and a short story collection, and will put up more this month I hope.
Lucky man: he gets publicity.

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think he makes much of his own publicity. The man's a publisher, editor, and publicist of a kind in addition writing fiction, and he puts lots of work into those.

January 11, 2012  
Anonymous solo said...

Like David Goodis' novel Cassidy's Girl, its noirness inheres not in a tragic ending, but rather in a non-ending

Nice to see you keeping words like 'inhere' alive. I must look it up sometime to find out what it means.

I'm a bit confused about non-ending, though. Does that mean the story is still going on even as we speak?

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Jesus, first you catch me using a word that made me wince even as I wrote it, then you follow up with an implication of imprecision that just might be accurate.

But yes, if one accepts the conceit that a naturalistic story offers a slice of life, then the story is still going on as we speak. If I can figure out a way to do so without giving away too much, I may go into greater detail in a future comment.

January 11, 2012  
Anonymous solo said...

I can't help thinking of The Italian Job (1969) which has an inconclusive ending, which I suppose might be called a non-ending.

That was a damn fine ending, if you ask me.

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That ending left viewers on the brink, that's for sure.

January 11, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I've done a bit of editing to try to make the "non-ending" bit clearer. Thanks!

January 11, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

I like the PG Wodehouse stories that featured the villainous British fascist Roderick Spode and his followers the Black Shorts. Spode V Jeeves was never really a serious contest however.

January 15, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

John Mortimer poked some melancholy fun at British fascists in one of the few Rumpole stories I've read. Humor, as one or two people have said in the past, can be an effective weapon.

Criminy, I hope the title of this post doesn't get me on British fascist mailing lists.

January 15, 2012  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

When Google has taken me to the Stormfront website its evident that they read nothing, not even Mein Kampf so I think you're safe.

January 15, 2012  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yeah, I'm more likely to be troubles by spam for Russian generic versions of Viagra. McFetridge gets so much of that stuff that I'm starting to wonder about him.

January 15, 2012  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home