Saturday, August 22, 2015

A book (about Hammett) and a picture (by me)

Discussion to come about The Lost Detective, Nathan Ward's fascinating new book about how a tubercular ex-detective with an eighth-grade education made himself into the greatest crime writer who has ever lived. In the meantime, here's a recent example of work by a copy editor with an education of uncertain utility who has made himself possible the greatest photographer on his block.


© Peter Rozovsky 2015

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8 Comments:

Blogger pattinase (abbott) said...

Nice one, Peter.

August 22, 2015  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

"into the greatest crime writer who has ever lived..."

its a book about Jim Thompson then is it?

August 23, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, Patti. The photo is pretty good, too.

August 23, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Adrian, I think you once figured that Thompson and Phillip K. Dick hit about .333. or .400 as far as the proportion of their novels that were good. Hammett hit at least .700, and that's giving only half-credit to The Thin Man and not taking his short stories into account. If I were going to pick someone other than Hammett, though, I'd choose Thompson, unless I went for David Goodis.

August 23, 2015  
Blogger adrian mckinty said...

Peter

Batting averages arent everything though are they, there's also longevity.

John Kennedy Toole batted 1.000 because he only finished one novel (there's also The Neon Bible in an unfinished form).

Its a great mystery why Hammett stopped writing and unless he was ghosting Lillian Hellman's stuff or something its a shame he didn't go on to write more books. Even half a dozen mediocre Hammett novels wd still be a treasure...

August 23, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

That's why John Kennedy O'Toole is ineligible for the Hall of Fame; his career was too short.

The mystery is less that Hammett stopped writing than that he stopped finishing what he started. A couple of things in The Hunter and Other Stories, especially in the e-book version, might have been damn good had he brought them to fruition.

This ought to please you: Maybe,since Hammett was a superlatively good crime writer in a relatively short career (though don;t forget his short stories), he was to crime writing what Joe DiMaggio was to baseball. The dapper appearance, the white hair, the connections with Hollywood. It all fits.

August 24, 2015  
Blogger Harper said...

Great posting! BTW . . . I have enjoyed visiting and browsing through your fine blog. Now, though, may I be bold enough to change the subject and invite you to visit my blog? I am a retired federal government court reporter and paralegal, and I am an avid reader and reviewer of crime, detective, mystery, espionage, and historical fiction; the new edition of my blog, "Crimes in the Library," is where you will able to find regularly posted book reviews and commentary. Here is the address: http://crimesinthelibrary.blogspot.com/ I hope you will stop by and comment often. Thanks, Harper

August 24, 2015  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I have just posted a comment at your place. You ask a good, thought-provoking question.

August 24, 2015  

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