Saturday, November 30, 2013

Nordic humor and satire from Hallgrímur Helgason

I've run into deadpan Danes, wisecracking Swedes, jovial Icelanders, and Norwegian authors who enjoyed a good joke, and the one Finn I've met was a gregarious hotel clerk who radiated benevolence and good fellowship. In short, if dour, gloomy Nordics exist, they cheer up when they see me coming.

So I was not shocked by the following in Hallgrímur Helgason's The Hitman's Guide to Housecleaning:
"I understand the smoking ban is on its way up here [to Iceland], in a sunny sailboat named the Al Gore. ... Only when you've had some fifty warless years do you start worrying about things like air quality in bars."
"Getting Friendly off my back was like dumping a loud girlfriend with a Texan accent and a cell-phone addiction."
"She smells like a New Jersey Devils' banner that's been hanging on the dim corner of a seedy Newark lounge for the past twenty years."
"I don't know. I just hate it when people discriminate against me, only because I kill people."
Along the way, Hallgrímur's satirical targets include sanctimonious public apologies and spurious declarations of corporate duty to the customer. And I have to think that his decision to make the protagonist a Croat is a bit of sly fun at the expense all the crime novelists who have found it expedient in recent years to people Europe with Balkan characters, usually one per book, generally dark and forbidding, all the better a background against which we are asked to contemplate big subjects like human depravity and the vicissitudes of history. (I can't be sure, but I think those characters have tended to be Croats rather than Serbs, possibly because Serbs were the bad guys in the recent Balkan wars, as opposed to World War II, when Croats filled that role.)

The Icelandic author's decision to make his protagonist/narrator a foreigner also affords him the opportunity to observe the oddities of his own country: its silence, its high prices, its cleanliness, its difficult language, its beautiful women. And the briefer glimpses of the protagonist's native Split tally with my recollections of that marvelously situated city.

I'm not sure how well a middle section works in which the multi-named protagonist has an emotional crisis and undergoes a kind of exorcism. The section is melodramatic, and Hallgrímur has more fun when the soul-savers turn out to engage in some of the same crimes as the protagonist does.  But even there Hallgrímur works in a few good observations and jokes.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Friday, November 29, 2013

Thankful for Black Friday

Since I once read that the term Black Friday to designate the masochistic shopping crush in which all those other people are engaged at this moment originated in Philadelphia, I see no harm in bringing back this post from 2010 about Black Friday, by Philadelphia's own David Goodis.

TODAY ONLY: Stay home and read this book instead of going to the mall, and derive 70% more pleasure from your reading!!!
I read David Goodis's 1954 novel Black Friday on Thanksgiving Day, and I can see why the French love this guy. The book's bleak, uncertain ending reminds me strongly of Jean-Patrick Manchette.

I also got a kick out of its mention of my newspaper and out of its references to Dizzy Gillespie and the painters Corot and Courbet.

Here's a routine bit of description whose tone is, however, indicative of Goodis' bleakness:
"The front of the cellar* was divided into two sections, one for coal, the other for old things that didn't matter too much."
And here's a tiny excerpt from Black Friday read at Goodis' graveside.
* I know of no Goodis story in which cellars do not play a part: Black Friday, Down There, "Black Pudding." That has to say something about Goodis. Here’s your humble blogkeeper reading from “Black Pudding.”

© Peter Rozovsky 2010

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Freaky Deaky: Elmore Leonard's post-Sixties trip in print and on screen

Poor 1960s! The decade that gave the world "Incense and Peppermints" does not get the respect it did for a while back there.  Elmore Leonard's Freaky Deaky, to name just one novel, has fun making fun of the decade's self-indulgent excess. An ex-radical recalls a meeting of

"The People's Coalition for something or other." 
"Peace and Justice." 
"Yeah, they had a bunch of celebrities giving talks. It was so goddamn boring, that's why I ripped 'em off."

Another character "didn't look at her again after that, as he collected the checks and left with the Panthers."

A third character recalls how a rock festival--you know, those bastions of freedom from the man, and all that--inspired him:

"I think it was at that moment, driving past everybody in that fucking stretch, I knew I would someday be in the entertainment business."

On Abbie Hoffman:

"I feel sorry for him too. The poor guy hiding out all those years and nobody was even looking for him."

On one of the era's half-assed impresarios:

"Fifteen-dollar admission a bummer. Should be a free concert. The promoter, a smart-ass youth-culture rip-off artist, asks if we give our newspapers away free."

Or this:

"And the guy's dopey girlfriend doesn't get it. She says, `Yeah, well, like there's plenty of freedom. We ball and everything.. ...' She was being used and didn't know it. You saw so much of that. All kinds of dumb kids taken advantage of by guys pretending to be gurus or Jesus..."

My favorite bit of the book, though, may be a blurb from an American newspaper that will likely surprise and amuse British readers:

"Leonard tops himself every time."
Boston Globe
I read Freaky Deaky after watching the 2012 movie adaptation, a film I did not know existed until I stumbled on it on Netflix. It's not a bad movie, incorporating much of Leonard's dialogue and judicious in what it cuts out. Did it disappear quickly, or did I just miss it?

One interesting decision was the casting of Breanne Racano, who was probably in her early twenties at the time, as Robin, who is around 40 in the book and doesn't pretend to be other than that in the movie (unlike, say, Emma Thompson, who changed Elinor Dashwood's age from 17 to 27 for her 1995 screen adaptation of Sense and Sensibility and was not terribly believable playing 27--no shock, since she was around 36 at the time.)

The makers of Freaky Deaky (Walter Matthau's son Charles directed) made the canny decision to have Robin wear lots of makeup and make sure the audience knows she's wearing it. And that makes her look like a woman trying to look younger than she is, which lets her slip rather smoothly into the role of a woman two decades older than she is. She's not a bad actress either, so her casting works better than it could have.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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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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Monday, November 25, 2013

Dashiell Hammett, father to John le Carré?

Did Donald Westlake spend much time in Texas, in particular browsing the Dashiell Hammett archive at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas in Austin? (If the good folks at The Violent World of Parker know the answer, feel free to weigh in.)

I ask because a passage from "The Secret Emperor," a fragment included with e-book editions of the new Hunter and Other Stories by Hammett, contains a scene that reads just like a favorite bit from The Score, one of my favorite of the Parker novels — and Hammett wrote his fragment in 1925. Westlake has said of his own precursors that "For early influences we have to start, and almost end, with Hammett." Even if he never read "The Secret Emperor," I like to think Westlake would smile at the thought that he captured a bit of its style.

The Hunter and Other Stories contains twenty stories uncollected or unpublished during Hammett's lifetime, plus a tantalizing fragment of an uncompleted Sam Spade story. E-book editions include three additional pieces of what Hammett hoped would turn into political novels, according to Julie M. Rivett, Hammett's granddaughter and, with Hammett scholar Richard Layman, a co-editor of the new volume.  Rivett invokes The Maltese Falcon in discussing "The Secret Emperor," but I'm reminded of The Glass Key.

Like that novel, which appeared in 1931, "The Secret Emperor" feels like it could have been written decades later, even today.  Had he completed "The Secret Emperor," and if the result were as good as the opening chapters included here, it's entirely possible that, as well as a father of hard-boiled crime writing, Hammett would be considered an ancestor of modern political thrillers, including those of alienation and paranoia. As well as the progenitor of Raymond Chandler, Hammett might thus be regarded as a forerunner to John le Carré, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Alan Glynn, and all the 1970s paranoia thriller movies Glynn likes so much.

Yep, the man was that good.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

A tale of three cities, or: No crime fiction, please; this is Philadelphia

Since I'll soon be in Chicago for a few days and then Los Angeles, this is a good time to bring back an old post about Chicago's decision a few years ago to honor Raymond Chandler, who was born there, though he will be forever associated with Los Angeles. That post, in turn, reminds of another I made about the high-mindedness of my own city's One Book ... program. No Chandler or Hammett or David Goodis here; this is Philadelphia.

 Julia Buckley is one of several bloggers to note Chicago's decision to feature Raymond Chandler's The Long Goodbye in its One Book, One Chicago program, complete with discussions, readings, seminars, screenings and other events of various kinds.

A number of American cities run similar programs under such names as "One City, One Book", and I've never felt entirely comfortable with the concept. Why? Because I'm not sure uniformity of reading choices or of anything else is a good thing. Even the slogan "One City, One Book" has disquieting historical overtones, unintended though they may be. Still, Chandler is a refreshingly unhigh-minded choice, for which Chicago deserves a hearty clap between its broad shoulders.

All right, readers, you've just been elected mayor of the municipal jurisdiction where you live. What's your choice for One City, One (Suggested) Crime Book?

© Peter Rozovsky 2008/2013

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

"It's raining in Los Angeles ... "

... a friend tells me, a fine opening for a hard-boiled story. Said friend tells me that rain is rare enough in El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Angeles del Río de Porciúncula that Angelenos and Angelenas make a big deal of it. But I'm no Raymond Chandler; I'll take the sun when I visit there in a few weeks.

In preparation for the trip, I've been riffling crime novels and stories set in and around L.A., seeing how authors manufacture their own versions of the city. Thomas Pynchon does it with period vocabulary in the opening pages of Inherent Vice, his 2009 novel set in the Los Angeles of 1969 and 1970.

Pynchon has his characters say things like: "But say I just wanted to hang out and rap with this Wolfmann dude?" But what caught my eye even more than obvious gambits like that was Pynchon's use of speech patterns I associate with the slackers of recent years but that nonetheless feel right for the time of the book's setting.

Characters turn declarations into questions, or, should I say, into questions? They begin statements in the middle and trail off into irrelevance without supplying intervening detail.  They open with "So...," as if resuming, without being asked, an old story. Today, that's a precious, annoying affectation. For a book set in 1969, it's a nice objective correlative of the era's proverbial druggy self-involvement. (I don't know if people talked that way back then; I was just 10 years old and had not developed the ear for speech that I have now. But so far, it works in Pynchon's book.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

"He was a bald-headed man of no particular age ..." or What's your favorite line?

This post's title comes from Raymond Chandler's story "Nevada Gas," which you should never read before getting in the back seat of a car unless you are absolutely sure the windows and the door handles work. The complete passage follows:
"De Ruse half-closed his eyes and watched the croupier's fingers as they slid back across the table and rested on the edge. They were round, plump, tapering fingers, graceful fingers. De Ruse raised his head and looked at the croupier's face. He was a bald-headed man of no particular age, with quiet blue eyes. He had no hair on his head at all, not a single hair."
I've never seen that passage on the lists of famous Chandler quotations, and I don't know why. Maybe the compilers of such lists are more familiar with Chandler's novels than with his short stories. The passage does at least as much to set a mood as the opening to "Red Wind," but how does it do what it does?

How about that juxtaposition of plump and graceful, two words not generally associated? How about no particular age,  without qualification or modification, no "appeared to be," no "He could have been thirty, or he could have been sixty"?  Or the intensifying not a single hair after Chandler has already told us the croupier is bald? Surprising? Yep. Dreamlike? Otherworldly? Maybe. As good as blondes and bishops and stained-glass windows? I'd say yes.

What's your favorite Chandler line? And why? Or choose a memorable line by another author, and tell my why you like it.
(Blogger's spellcheck program is politically correct with respect to what its designers would probably call gender, but is really sex.  It flagged as a misspelling blondes two paragraphs above. I wonder if the simps who wrote the program would come up with a more gender-approprate name for one of Bob Dylan's most ambitious and celebrated albums.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Visigoths in the dust

Today's find when pushing books around and raising dust motes in my house was Karel Poláček's 1928 novel released in 1993 in an English translation (from the Czech) titled What Ownership's All About. I decided I would probably like this one when I read in the introduction that in 1934:
"Poláček published A Journalist's Dictionary, a collection of hundreds of vapid expressions favored by contemporary journalists."
And I felt a surge of kinship with Poláček when I read that
"(O)n the pretense that the Visigoths had been maligned in history as a barbarous and destructive people, he founded a tongue-in-cheek school journal called the Visigoth Review, in which he championed the Visigoth cause."
I have never founded a tongue-in-cheek school journal, but I did put up a blog post two years ago called "Visigoths: Breaking the Silence." I may lack a spiritual brother, but a satirical novelist with Visigothic tendencies who hates clichés sounds like a good candidate for the job.
What Ownership's All About is available as a free e-book from the publisher's Web site. The publisher, Catbird Press, specializes in Czech literature..

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Joe Gores' Interface and Donald Westlake. Hammett, too

Did Joe Gores borrow the cadence of the name of Donald Westlake/Richard Stark's Parker for his own Docker, an antagonist in Gores' 1974 novel Interface?

Docker is as ruthless as Parker, as dedicated to the proposition that work exists to be done, not fretted over. Further, a lengthy mid-novel scene in which Docker evades a string of pursuers at an airport, leaving them much worse off than when they started, reminded me of Parker in Slayground.

Finally, Gores and Westlake were friends who resorted to the delightful game of writing a chapter that included both authors' characters and using the resulting chapter in a novel by each author (Westlake's Drowned Hopes, Gores' 32 Cadillacs.)

Docker's and Parker's dedication to their dark tasks may ultimately stem from Dashiell Hammett, whose Sam Spade and Continental Op did what they had to do. Gores was among the most dedicated and accomplished of Hammettians; his novels include a prequel to The Maltese Falcon (Spade & Archer) and Hammett, in which Hammett resumes his role as a real-life detective. And Westlake, speaking of the authors who shaped his work, once told an interviewer that "For early influences we have to start, and almost end, with Hammett."

I'll be back with more, on Interface's ending. For now, though, if you like Hammett and you like Westlake, you'll like Interface. And if don't like Hammett and Westlake, like the Monticello Man said, "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just."

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Hammett, Hamilton, and Jefferson

1) The United States might be a better country if everyone in it were forced to declare himself either a Jeffersonian or a Hamiltonian, and then read the life and works of the man he or she did not declare for.

2) The Hunter and Other Stories, the new collection of previously unpublished and uncollected work by Dashiell Hammett, highlights at least two aspects of Hammett's crime writing (though not all its selections are crime): the hard-boiled side, and the side that marvels at the inexplicable things that some men do (or, to cite two examples of the first tendency and one of the second, The Glass Key, the end of "The Gutting of Couffignal," the "Flitcraft Parable" from The Maltese Falcon.) Readers wary of rediscovered and other "lost" material can rest assured that these stories are nothing like Metterling's laundry lists.

Each of the book's four sections ("Crime," "Men," "Men and Women," and "Screen Stories") includes an introduction of its own, which means the reader gets a good, well-rounded picture of what Hammett was up to as a writer.  The book also includes a fragment from a Sam Spade story, and the e-book version includes additional fragments.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Welcome to Gerard Brennan's Belfast octagon

Back in September, Eric Beetner and Terrence McCauley took part in a panel I moderated at Bouchercon 2013, and talk turned to novellas they had written for the Fight Card line, a series of boxing stories by new pulp and hard-boiled authors under the house name Jack Tunney.

What is the appeal to younger authors in the 21st century, I asked them, of writing stories set in the 1930's, '40s, and '50s, using a byline fashioned from the names of two athletes of the 1920s, about a sport that has not loomed large on the American scene since the 1970s?

Beetner dismissed the widespread belief that boxing is no longer popular, citing the rise of mixed martial arts (MMA). And lo, it was one of Fight Card's two MMA novellas that not only opened my eyes to the nuances of a sport that took shape only in 1993, but also demonstrated in its purest form the appeal of those old-style boxing stories.

The novella in question is Welcome to the Octagon, and the author is Gerard Brennan, a  longtime friend of Detectives Beyond Borders and an author with a growing list of credits for the stage and the page. That he sets Welcome to the Octagon in contemporary Belfast only emphasizes his fidelity to the old-time conventions of pulp boxing stories: the good guy, the gangster, the girl, the temptation, the tug of war between old and young.

The story has wry, self-deprecating humor:
"My heart wasn’t in it, but I had to live up to my nickname. The Rage! That was a joke. There and then I felt like The Disappointment. But I roared at the crowd and they roared back."
It has sharp social observation that reminds the reader he or she is no longer in New York or Los Angeles or a tumble-down precinct of some other American city:
"The Troubles had gone away. Except for the new age scum that was rising to the top. Maybe TapouT didn’t typify the real gangsters pulling the strings in Northern Ireland — we’d get to them quicker by looking at our politicians first — but he was a wannabe villain that slipped through the cracks of a mostly law-abiding society. A wannabe villain that would have been crushed by the RUC or the paramilitaries of old."
Brennan knows how to keep a story moving, planting narrative hooks toward the ends of his chapters and throwing in at least one character wrinkle unlikely to have shown up in an old-time boxing story. But what may have impressed me most is his engagement with MMA, a sport until now shoved somewhere back in my consciousness next to street luge, half-pipe, and bicycle motocross. MMA is compounded of styles and techniques taken from many fighting sports, and Welcome to the Octagon is full of observations about the resulting complexity and the demands it places on the fighters.

Welcome to the Octagon has heart, humor, and respectful engagement with its subject. What's not to like?

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

HHhH's best joke

Chapter 146 of Laurent Binet's HHhH (don't worry; the chapters are short. The novel weighs in at 327 pages) begins with quotations from Seven Men at Daybreak, Alan Burgess' 1960 novel about the plot to kill Reinhard Heydrich, in which Jan Kubiš and Jozef Gabčík were parachuted into Czechoslovakia to carry out the mission.  Binet does not entirely approve of Burgess.

There follows a long paragraph in which Binet works himself up into a righteous huff, proclaiming, detail by detail, how much his research has taught him about the fateful flight, working his way up to this:
"I know pretty much everything that can be known about this flight and I refuse to write a sentence like `Automatically they checked their parachute harnesses.' Even if, without a doubt, they did exactly that."
© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Friday, November 08, 2013

Why you should read HHhH

In today's busy world, in these straitened times, it's more important than ever to maximize the return on your reading dollar, to choose books that can do more than one thing for you. And that's why you should read HHhH.

Laurent Binet's 2010 novel is a thriller; a history lesson; a lesson on the importance of history (which is not the same thing); and a meditation on how we read, write, and experience fiction and history; and it has, as almost any serious book will, good jokes.

HHhH stands for Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich, German for Himmler's brain is called Heydrich, and the novel has as one of its centers a Czech and a Slovak soldiers' real-life assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, the Nazi official who will become known, as we are told in the opening chapters, as the Butcher of Prague. Another center is the narrator's research on the book he is writing about the assassination plot. Shot through are compelling bits of Central European history that, believe, you want to know.

The book's cover copy gives just part of the story, recounting briefly the assassins' plot, but lapsing into sketchy adjectives for the rest: thrilling. Intellectually engrossing, and, more telling, "a profound meditation on the debt we owe to history."

But you know what? I don't blame the copywriters. HHhH is a difficult novel to describe without making it sound like a piece of self-contemplating postmodern whimsy or a plodding piece of must-read. But it is anything but. Far from looking inward, it look out into the world and its history far more than most fiction does. Its "voice" is low-key, engaging, and, where called for, self-deprecating. And, while the novel treats its subject with due seriousness (Heydrich may have been the worst human being who ever lived), it gains in seriousness by eschewing solemnity.  And now I'm going to shut up and resume my reading.

The book is beautifully translated from the French by Sam Taylor, one of whose most felicitous phrases occurs, in a bit of irony, no doubt unintended, on Page 88.
(Hear the Europa Philharmonic Orchestra perform Memorial to Lidice, written by the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů in 1943 to commemorate the village wiped out by the Germans in revenge for Heydrich's killing.)

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

What to read while you're waiting for the new Dashiell Hammett book

This is a good time to be reading Dashiell Hammett, not that there is ever a bad time to read the greatest crime writer ever.

Last night I reread "$106,000 Blood Money" and the first chapters of Red Harvest and The Maltese Falcon. My favorite bit from the day's reading was this exchange, from "$106,000 Blood Money," between the Continental Op and Dick Foley about the fate of a man the latter was tailing:
"At three o'clock in the morning my bedside phone took my ear out of the pillows. The voice that came over the wire was the Canadian op's.  
"`Exit Arlie,' he said." 
This week's big Hammett news is the release of The Hunter and Other Stories. While waiting for your copy, why not satisfy your Hammett jones with a book from Vince Emery Productions? Or browse Mike Humbert's Dashiell Hammett Website? Or the two Hammett volumes from the Library of America? (One contains Hammett's five novels, the other short stories and some highly entertaining, illuminating nonfiction pieces.) Or pick up The Glass Key or "Arson Plus" or "The Scorched Face" or...

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Saint, P.G. Wodehouse, and copy editing

The introduction to the new edition of The Saint and Mr Teal invokes the name of P.G. Wodehouse, and aptly so; the writing is that good.

The introducer, one John Goldsmith, claims a place for author Leslie Charteris alongside (or above) the stars of British adventure writing of the early and middle twentieth century. The Saint was a rule breaker, Goldsmith writes, free of the anti-Semitism and racism of his upper-class British fictional counterparts. Goldsmith also offers an astute discussion of Charteris' literary style.

The introduction's one conspicuous weakness is Goldsmith's account of his trip to "a remote fishing village on the coast of Brazil," where "when I mentioned the Saint faces lit up, recognition was instant. It was smiles and ecstatic cries of ‘El Santo! El Santo!’ all round."  Why the Brazilian villagers spoke Spanish rather than Portuguese is a mystery to be solved by Goldsmith, his copy editor, or, just maybe, a linguist. (Read Goldsmith's introduction at the Hodder & Stoughton website.)

Wodehouse lovers will also note the name of the Scotland Yard detective Claud Eustace Teal, whom Charteris introduced in 1929 — six years after Wodehouse had created Bertie Wooster's unforgettable scapegrace cousins Claude and Eustace Wooster in The Inimitable Jeeves. That makes Charteris the earliest crime writer known to your humble blogkeeper to have paid apparent tribute to Wodehouse. He joins such later authors as John Lawton and Ruth Dudley Edwards.

And finally, a tip of the Yorkshire wool cap to Zoë Sharp, who talked up Charteris and The Saint at Crimefest this year.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Sunday, November 03, 2013

A crime/war poem from Ciaran Carson

Here's another poem that packs the punch of a good crime story. The poem is "Trap," from Ciaran Carson's 2003 collection Breaking News and also available in his Collected Poems:
backpack radio



I don'
read you

what the

Here are more Detectives Beyond Borders posts about poetry that may appeal to readers of crime fiction (Click on the link, then scroll down.)
© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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Friday, November 01, 2013

Rozovsky is a fictional character

An excerpt from John McFetridge's forthcoming novel, Black Rock, is up the Barnes & Noble and Amazon sites. One of the characters is an enterprising police photographer whose name I quite like.

I've been a McFetridge fan for years, even before he borrowed my name for a character.  Here's part of what I wrote about his most recent book. And here's a two-part interview I did with him in 2008.

© Peter Rozovsky 2013

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