Saturday, November 08, 2014

Northern Ireland comes to New York, and an alter kocker takes a header

Child of a Belfast father. (Photo 
by your humble blogkeeper)
This Northern Ireland crime thing just won't stop. No sooner had I returned from New York University's Glucksman Ireland House and the U.S. launch of Belfast Noir than I found a copy of Gun Street Girl, fourth volume in Adrian McKinty's Sean Duffy trilogy, waiting for me. I suspect the book may come up next week during the Belfast Noir: Murder and Mayhem in Northern Ireland panel I'll moderate at Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach.

Lee Child spoke about his family connection to Belfast and his childhood bewilderment and then growing awareness of the sectarian strife known as the Troubles. He also may have earned the bitter jealousy of other authors present by his disclosure that he does no rewriting at all, made sharper by Stuart Neville's declaration that Child's story for Belfast Noir was "the cleanest piece of copy I have ever seen in my life, not a comma out of place."

Mr. Child had trouble recalling our first meeting until I reminded him that it had occurred shortly after a bird crapped on his jacket one year at Crimefest (Bristol), in England. Though Mr. Child favors dark sport coats, I can state with some confidence that he has had his jacket cleaned or perhaps even acquired a new one since the shit hit the writers.

The only crimp in the evening came from the disagreeable older gentleman who, in his haste to squeeze past me in the row of the seats we shared, did not bother to say, "Excuse me" or heed my suggestion that he allow me to stand up so he could pass. Naturally it was my fault when the old prick tripped, went flying, and landed on his belly, complaining out the side of his mouth as he fell that "this guy (me) wouldn't get out of the way."  My reply to him was phrased and addressed rather more directly.

(I should make it clear that this was no frail oldster. He was in better shape than I. Nor did I swear at him, you dirty-minded rabble.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2014

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26 Comments:

Blogger Philip Amos said...

And it's spread to Wales, Peter, albeit so far on a small scale. Malcolm Pryce has published six novels featuring a P.I. in Aberystwyth(!). Very Chandleresque. If you want to give them a look and start with at the beginning, the first two titles are Aberystwyth Mon Amour and Last Tango in Aberystwyth. The titles alone make them hard to resist, surely so if you know something of Aberystwyth.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger P. C. Hosmer said...

Old pricks deserve more kicks as Samuel Beckett might say.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Ach, P.C., now you've got me feeling bad for the guy.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger P. C. Hosmer said...

That is not my intent. Piss on the old fart. (As an old fart myself, I give you permission to have at the old bugger. He sounds horribly rude.) Of course, you never know what is happening the mind and life of another person. But, wait, that sounds like the compassionate side of me busting through the curmudgeonly crust. Ignore the compassion. It just ain't noir. BTW, got any good reading recommendations for me. See my new blog, and help me get started by telling me about some "must read" winners.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Philip, here are some posts I've made about Aberystwyth Mon Amour. I have always thought of Malcolm Pryce as the deadest of the deadpan in his setting of hard-boiled stories in a sleepy seaside resort.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

P.C., my guess is that they guy is horribly insecure and uncomfortable. (Of course, that is often my guess.) Why would he address his complaint to onlookers, rather than yelling at me, if he thought I was at fault?

Compassion, by the way, can lie at the very heart of of the noisiest of the noir. See David Goodis' Cassidy's Girl and "Black Pudding," for example, which certainly qualify as must-reads.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Peter, your incident sounds like the opening of a story.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Hmm, maybe the guy who went flying turns out to be one of "The Boys."

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Or maybe he saw his ex-wife in the audience--the one he's owed child support to for 15 years.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Or maybe he's on the run from murder charges, under a new name, and he's an old enemy under similar disguise. Or maybe he's from Belfast and sees someone in the audience from Derry. Or vice versa.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Now you're talking.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

My own version of the Dictionary of the Khazars marketing gimmick can be to publish the story in a Derry version and a Belfast version.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Quite a feat if you can pull it off. But then, you do have a lot of expert beta readers in your circle of friends who can advise you on arcane details.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Each group of readers telling me the other is a bunch of gobshites!

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

They seem to be very inventive in their invective, so that should be quite entertaining.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Garbhan Downey
12 hrs ·
Peter Rozovsky talks a little smack about last night's Big Apple launch, see. 'When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it.'

You like this.

Peter Rozovsky All I do is give one old guy what for, and suddenly everyone thinks I'm a tough guy.
4 hrs · Like

Garbhan Downey Takes some cojones to be hardest man at such a criminal gathering. I hear Lee Child and John Connolly hid behind the sofa.
4 hrs · Like

Peter Rozovsky Lee Child mumbled something about having to see to his New York Yankees tickets. But one baleful stare from this guy would have been enough:
Peter Rozovsky's photo.
4 hrs · Edited · Like · 1

Garbhan Downey Our editor, Don Nevillione. Always leads with the steel toecaps.
4 hrs · Like

Peter Rozovsky Stuart Neville in "Chords of Death." (I hear tell he spends his earnings on guitars, with anything left over going toward raising his children.)
4 hrs · Like · 1

Garbhan Downey Stuart must be going soft. In Derry, our children raise themselves.
4 hrs · Unlike · 1

Peter Rozovsky He says he says he hires a nice, gentle nanny from Derry to care for his kids.
2 hrs · Like · 1

Garbhan Downey 'Gentle Derry nanny' is a euphemism used in S&M classified ads...
41 mins · Like

Peter Rozovsky I hear Derry men are so tough, they think S&Ms are a brand of candy-coated chocolate.
32 mins · Like · 1

November 08, 2014  
Blogger seana graham said...

Like I said, a treat.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yep, this has been fun and could be even more fun.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger R.T. said...

The photo reminds me of Samuel Beckett. Hmmm.

November 08, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Yes, one detects a few Beckettian crags and sharp edges.

November 09, 2014  
Blogger R.T. said...

Remind me to tell you someday about my Samuel Beckett story (i.e., my letter to Beckett, and his letter to me in 1972). Perhaps I should post the story at my blog. If I mentioned it previously, ignore this posting. I do tend to repeat myself. At my age and in my condition, I considered redundancy a codger's prerogative.

November 09, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Whoa, "My Letter to Beckett"! I urge you to post it posthaste!

November 09, 2014  
Blogger R.T. said...

Perhaps I will post the tale in another day or so. Here is a quick preview: I invited him to a production of Waiting for Godot (which I was directing in 1972). . . and then strange things began to happen.

November 09, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's a hell of a tease. be sure to illustrate the story
with appropriate photos. (I once made Susan Sontag laugh, but sounds to me like your Beckett story has that one beat hands down.)

Have you seen the video someone made a few years back about a golf match between Joyce and Beckett?

November 09, 2014  
Blogger R.T. said...

The tale is now told at my blog. Read and weep.

No, I do not know the golf story. Are you serious?

November 09, 2014  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Try this link for the golf match.

November 09, 2014  

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