Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Find Skuld! and find McKinty

Matteo Strukul's and Marco Piva Dittrich's Find Skuld! has an opening paragraph that should grab your attention:

"Call me fuckin’ Ishmael."

If that opening suggests American-style hard-boiled attitude and sullen slacker wiseassery on the part of the novella's Italian creators, its subtitle evokes over-the-top new-pulp sensibility with a touch of the old-time British adventure story. That subtitle is Chimaera: Anti Nazi Squad. The story, in other words, is a fine piece of global genre-hopping.

Find Skuld! takes a two-man commando squad deep under a castle hideaway to rescue Skuld from the Nazis. What is Skuld? Read the book to find out.

If this suggests Indiana Jones to you, know that the imprint of which the novella is a part is called Popcorn, and its slogan is "When reading a book is like watching a movie with some pop corn and a coke!" (Other Popcorn authors include Victor Gischler and Anthony Neil Smith.)
***
Over at Adrian McKinty's place, McKinty jumps the gun and links to the first review of his In the Morning I'll Be Gone, third of the Sean Duffy novels, following Cold Cold Ground and I Hear the Sirens in the Streets.

I've read the book in galley form, too, and I'll add to the reviewer's comments that it reminds me in a small way of Dashiell Hammett's story "Fly Paper."  It's no wandering daughter job but, like Hammett's story, McKinty's novel embraces a hoary murder-mystery motif and works it with great success into a story that is far from a traditional mystery.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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16 Comments:

Blogger R.T. said...

I cannot think of an opening line that would be less of a motivator: I will skip the book.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

RT, Peter

I cant remember the name of it but I think theres a satiric book from the 90's that begins: Call me, Ishmael. The comma being the important insertion there...

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I'm unsure if I remember such an opening. I do know that I have made the easy crack that "Call me, Ishmael" would make a fine appeal from a long-suffering mother.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Ok I'll see if I can find it. But God knows how...

November 26, 2013  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Well that was easy. Apparently it was The Vale Of Laughter by Peter De Vries

http://www.theguardian.com/books/2006/aug/26/featuresreviews.guardianreview29

I really should read more Peter DeVries. Comfort Me With Apples was hilarious.

The opening line: "Call me, Ishmael. Feel absolutely free to call me any hour of the day or night at the office or at home . . ."

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Six minutes, it took you. Not bad.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And later I will see what John Sutherland has to tell me about how to read a novel.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I liked the way they used Call Me Ishmael in the recent Moby Dick opera. But it wasn't exactly what you'd call funny.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

What did the opera do with the line?

November 26, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

That would be a spoiler.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I shall look for recordings or at least reviews before I come back, begging.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

I don't think it will be all that hard to find a summary if you're determined. I thought it was a very good opera.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

From a Times of New York review:

"Listeners waiting for the famous opening line, “Call me Ishmael,” should not hold their breath."

November 26, 2013  
Blogger seana graham said...

Same as mothers saying "Call me, Ishmael."!

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Better, I'd say. More sensible and less obvious.

November 26, 2013  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

R.T., I would certainly never try to talk you into liking the line or to suggest you are wrong to like it. I will say that I like the line's brashness. Needless to say, I think its target is not Melville, but rather a culture of shorthand worship of bits at the expense of knowledge of the whole.

November 26, 2013  

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