Thursday, September 11, 2014

More on Beaux-Arts, books, and bouncers (Ellroy, Paul Charles, Joseph Nazel)

Here's a bit on what I bought in the land of Beaux-Arts buildings and of bouncers who are not so much stupid as they are the very idea of stupidity given human form, thick in body, thicker in mind, the kind who would be rejected for the role of a bouncer in a movie because they go a little over the top. (About the only thing to be said in favor of last night's specimen is that he did not wear a pony tail.)
  1. James Ellroy has said he no longer writes crime novels, yet I bought his new book at a crime fiction bookstore, Mysterious Bookshop, where, furthermore, Ellroy will appear next week. The novel's jacket copy makes the story sound an awful lot like a murder mystery, albeit with the grand historical sweep of Ellroy's recent books.
  2. Paul Charles' The Beautiful Sounds of Silence, my first novel in this Northern Ireland crime writer's Christy Kennedy series, looks set to take up a gruesome case with a degree of amused detachment. The opening chapter avoids the extremes of trivializing the crime with humor on the one hand and wallowing in its horror on the other. Charles says his inspiration for writing crime fiction was Colin Dexter, creator of Inspector Morse. That's not a bad model.
  3. Joseph Nazel's Death For Hire arrived earlier in the week. A hard-hitting tale of black ghetto life in 1970s Los Angeles from an author and editor who also wrote biographies of respected African American historical figures, the novel has its good guys and bad guys, glorifying none, but with a measure of understanding for all. Los Angeles author Gary Phillips discusses Nazel and other Holloway House authors in an article on black pulp fiction at criminal element.com.
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Paul Charles will be part of my Belfast Noir: Stories of Mayhem and Murder from Northern Ireland panel at Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach, California, at 11:30 a.m, Friday, Nov. 14.
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Gary Phillips will discuss Joseph Nazel as part of my panel on Beyond Hammett, Chandler, and Spillane: Lesser Known Writers of the Pulp and Paperback Eras, on Friday at 3.p.m.

© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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