"Sort of an anarchist with syndicalist tendencies," plus William McIlvanney
|Elisha Cook Jr.|
38 years before
"Are you really a Wobblie?"
"Ah, no. That's just Hammett talking. What I am now is sort of an anarchist with syndicalist tendencies."Cook appeared in Hammett forty years after he began making his name as a Hollywood fall guy. What are your favorite late-career cameo appearances?
Laidlaw appeared in 1977, the other two in 1983 and 1991, and their author has since become recognized as a father figure to Scottish crime writers who have followed. He has begun appearing at crime fiction festivals, including Crimefest 2013, celebrated by all and a genial presence for a literary demigod.
The Laidlaw books are the answer to anyone who needs proof that literary fiction can be tough, gritty, and unpretentious, or that crime writing can be beautiful, affecting, and a portrait of its time and place that deserves to last. (The place is Glasgow. That Glasgow is McIlvanney's adopted city is of interest. Does being a nonnative sharpen his perception?)
In addition to the books, McIlvanney has a website called Personal Dispatches, where bits of his writing appear from time to time, including a recent discussion with Sean Connery.
© Peter Rozovsky 2013