A Machine for Loving by Iggy Pop from Preliminaires
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
A Machine for Loving by Iggy Pop from Preliminaires
Killing Floor by Lee Child
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Fish
I made it 168 pages into this book before cashing it in. I just didn't get what the big deal was. The book started off ok, drifter gets blamed for a murder, only it turns out he has more experience solving homicides than just about anyone on the local police force-- In the Heat of the Night anyone-- pretty soon it's established that Jack Reacher is a ex-military badass-- and it just never took off for me, and I figured what the hell, there are plenty of other books that are calling to me, that I want to read more of, so I moved on. DNF
The Poison Ape by Arimasa Osawa
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Fish (yes I carried the card over from Killing Floor)
This is the first crime novel I have ever read set in Japan, and I dug the fast paced, action oriented pace of the book. The Poison Ape is a Taiwanese Mob Hitman on the hunt for the man that destroyed his life and betrayed him. On his trail is an old army buddy who is now a cop and a Japanese cop, known as the Shinjuku Shark, who plays by his own rules-- I know, I know, sounds like a episode of Mannix or something. One thing that I would point out is that Japan is one of those cultures where non-conformity is almost a capital crime. Honestly it's the fact that it's set in Japan and plays on the culture and customs of that country, along with a solid translation that makes this book well worth checking out. The book starts out with our hero busting low level criminals for selling paint thinner to huffers, I don't think that I have ever seen that anywhere else in any other book I have read. I would recommend this for anyone out there that wants something along the lines of a Hard Case Crime novel from Asia. I have to also note that what grabbed my attention in the first place was the Chip Kidd cover, which seems to pay homage to the Black Lizard crime reprints of the 80s and 90s.
Hunt at the well of Adventure by Gabriel Hunt as told to James Reasoner
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Eye
Hard Case Crime Book of the Month
Fun, Fast, Light and frothy, the first Gabrial Hunt adventure, has all of that and a sense of history. The book starts with a mysterious woman delivering a Civil War flag and a bottle of water to Hunt at a reception, only men with automatic weapons interrupt and the quest is on. Hunt heads south following the few clues that are left to him and ends up danger a couple of times and out of it soon enough. This is summer reading, it's the kind of stuff that I dug as a teenager, and while it's not the kind of story that I would want a steady diet of it was a nice change of pace from the grittier kinds of books that I tend to read. Thinking back it reminded me of a Jerry Ahern's pair of The Takers books from the 80s, with it's slight supernatural twist. I wonder what an Ahern penned Hunt book might look like. All of that said, I wish it had been just a little grittier and had a little more of a puzzle to it. I will be checking out the future volumes of the Hunt for Adventure and will consider this a solid first entry and introduction to the series. I also have to add James Reasoner to the list of authors that I need to check out in further detail.
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Moon
This is the second Goodis book I have read, and I am not sure that I am all that ready to tackle more of his work at this point. It's not that it's bad, it's just that it's more of a challenge, with a rhythm and a structure of it's own. Dark Passage is about Vincent Perry a nobody of a man who his convicted of killing his shrew of a wife. He maybe be a nobody, but his wife was the kind of leach that sucks the life out of nobodies. He escapes the Big Q and heads back to San Fransisco to, well he's not sure at first. Complications ensue, as he gets framed for another murder before discovering the truth about who killed his wife and why. What I like about Goodis is that he seemed to have a handle on the lives of the those eking by, and those trapped in the drudge of life, with little hope for escape and how their simple desire to have something good can go so bad. Dark Passage isn't a page turner, but it is well worth checking out.
What can I say about the Parker books that I haven't said, and this is only the fourth one I have read. They are fast, fun, and smart. I dig the whole set up of the Pro Thief and his crew, the jobs they pull, and the goal that they reach. The drive of a Stark book is rarely equaled, and I always seem to find them a quick read, and I am rarely ready for them to end. This is the third Stark book, and I think that I liked the previous one, The Man With the Getaway Face better, but the first one The Hunter a little less, still so far they are all top shelf crime books. I am at the point where if someone was to ask me for a couple of books to give them a grasp of the history of Crime Writing in America, one of the Parker books would be right up there with Ed McBain's 87th Precinct books as an examples of the best of the 1960s. Next up on my Parker list is going to be The Mourner, but I think that I am going to end up reading a non-Parker Westlake next month.
Savage Season by Joe R Lansdale
Tarot Card Book Mark: Water
Growing up in Hippie Land U.S.A. taught me many things, among them never trust a Hippie-- pretty much that sums up this book. The plot is pretty basic Hap and Leonard are sucked into a scheme to recover a chunk of money that was stolen from a bank years and years ago. They don't like their partners too much, and several times think on just walking away, but have to see it though. Things go bad, people die and general chaos ensues. I like the look at the hippie Sixties culture though the lens of time and seeing in the end what I have tended to see from the tie dyed moron masses, they are some of the most untrustworthy, selfish, and deluded dangerous fools walking about round today. I like that Lansdale even explores and questions the real commitment of the sell outs and wanna be revolutionaries of that time rather than playing up the BS We ended the war, and saved the world delusion of way to many of his peers. I will be revisiting the Hap and Leonard series some time soon.
Once Were Cops by Ken Bruin
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Horse.
4MA Discussion book
Wow --- I am going to say that again, Wow. Talk about narrative drive and story velocity. I can't think of another author since James Ellroy who has taken the language and story telling of crime and so stripped it down to the bare bones. The book is the story of Shea a Irish Guard (their version of police) who gets his wish and is sent to NYC to become an officer in the NYPD. In many ways the story is your basic riff on Jim Thompson's Killer Inside me, but it's fresh and furious due to the Irish lilt of the story and the language used to tell it. One of the oddest things about the book is that it really cuts out all the action. There isn't really any play by play of the crimes involved, no gory dissections of actions and events, it all just happens and the plot moves on. That's a very brave move, and one that in the right hands will surly fail, but not here. The previous Bruin books that I have read were the collaborations he has done with Jason Starr for Hard Case Crime, but with this book Bruin has joined; Faust, Girschler, Abbott and Swierczynski on my list of new to me authors I need to follow.
Tarot Card Book Mark: The Spider
Hard Case Crime book for the Month (2).
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It's been many years since I read this book, but I recall it fondly, with it's adventure trail around the world, but mostly the parts on the ice cap. Escapist and never taking it's self as anything more than a pulp adventure book, it was a fun and fast read. There was a second book in 1985 The Takers: River of Gold which I also read and enjoyed. Doing a little research for this FFB I see that there was third book published in 2001 The Takers: Summon the Demon.
There is a full bibliography of Ahern books with covers HERE
Here is a list of things that you can do to off set the money that you spent seeing 2:
1) buy a copy of the 2001 film The American Astronaut along with the soundtrack
2) Take friends to see the current Sci Fi film Moon
3) Rent (or better yet buy) the DVDs of; Silent Running, Solient Green, The Day the Earth Stood Still (original of course) Blade Runner, Alien, Firefly (the TV Series) and Dark Star--- no just do it, oh and a copy of the American Astronaut as well.
please feel free to add your own ideas to the list.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973)
Boston looks like a city on it's way down, we don't see the ghetto or the inner city and drug culture Apocalypse of the 70s is really missing from the film. One of the strangest things about the film is that lack of overt drug crime, it's as if it wasn't part of what was going down, but I'm left thinking it's more that Eddie is an old timer who's crime world was pre-big time heroin and he had mostly managed to keep it that way.
One thought that I had watching the film was that the cars have more color and pop to them than the clothes. I have vague memories of the earthtone blahs of that era, and this film really showed what that was like. The bars, coffee shops, the parking garages and the shopping centers are all a blast from the past and several of the shots of these places reminded me of films that came later. A shot of Mitchum driving his boat of a car though a new cement slab parking structure to the top made me think of Fargo for instance.
It's a great film from a great era of film, one that I am going to have to watch again, and would love to see on the big screen.
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Posted 21 June 6006
Into the Forbidden Dimension
- Artist:Forbidden Dimension
- Album:Somebody down there likes me
the most well rounded album that I can think of. Musically it runs the gambit of style, you have punk tunes, metal tunes, rockabilly tinged tunes, and intros songs. The record has a flow and drive that keeps it
moving forward, but it never seems forced, or fake or anything but a
great rocking blast of energy.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
I had an e-mail from Erik's mother over the weekend, she informed me that Keith Herber has passed away a couple of months back. He was 60 and his passing was sudden. I recall Keith as being my friends Dad, but also a guy who treated his son's friends like people and not kids who were underfoot. I recall him calling me one day during the summer in the late 80s, he was playing the computer game Wasteland and was stuck. He was looking for help on what the next step in the game was and with the clues he had found. I was more than happy to help him out, as I had won the game a couple of times at that point. I recall also play testing a Call of Cthulhu adventure for Gen Con with his family and seeing him around town into my high school years. As High School went on Erik and I drifted apart, he was a theater guy and I wasn't.
Keith and his wife moved out west in the late 80s, but I saw him again when he was in town for our High School Graduation. I had an e-mail or two with him a couple of years back and sent him some of the Reanimator Records CDs. It is strange the only other writer I had contact with when I was growing up was Robert Asprin(who was also the father of a school mate) and he passed away a year ago, but I guess I was just lucky that there were adults around who were creative and able to be an example of the creative life.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
This weeks Friday Forgotten Book was inspired by Bill Criders recent entry about the book Open Square
Let Us Prey is more of a thriller than a mystery or crime story, the story follows a a pair of hit men as they get caught up in a domestic terror plan to destroy IRS offices and disrupt the funding of the US government. Along the way there are twists and turns, and red herrings and all the kinds of stuff that makes for a solid page turner. There wasn't a lot of talk about this book in the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, but it had an eerie resonance. I did check out Branon's follow up, which really didn't connect with me, but Let Us Prey has stayed in the back of my mind all these years, and is on my mental list of books that I need to re-read.
Thoughts, Comments, Conspiracy Theories?
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Four Movies You Can See Over and Over
- The Big Lebowski
- Night of the Creeps
Ann Arbor, MI Vaxjo, Sweden Moscow, ID
Ste Marie, MI
- Homicide: Life on the Streets
- The Wire
- Veronica Mars
- Coupling (The
Version only) UK Helsinki, Finland Cape Cod
- The U.P.
Area San Francisco Bay
Four Websites You Visit Daily
- Blogspot/Live Journal - to check on peoples blogs
Four Places You Would Rather Be:
(Shocking I know) Stockholm, Sweden
- The U.P. (I don’t get the chance to spend enough time up there)
Lolo Passfrom Montanato Idaho
- Home- I have DVDs, books and Music that need watching, reading and listening to
- Finish and publish at least one novel – I have one manuscript done, but don’t really know what to do with it.
- Get a master’s degree in History
- Drive the west coast
during the summer, preferably for Midsommar. Sweden
Four Novels You Wish You Were Reading for the First Time
- The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay: Michael Chabon
- The Stand by Stephen King (the original version)
- The LA Quartet by James Ellroy
ChinatownDeath Cloud Peril by Paul Malmont
Tag Four People You Believe Will Respond
- no thanks, play if you wish
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The woman he was pointing the gun at glared at him, and handed over the cardboard wedding cake cash box anyway. It held $1200 give or take.
"Don't scream," Pervis collected the fake cake under an arm and bolted. A boxed Honey Lemon glazed bunt cake he had won waited in the car.
On the road, Pervis pulled the cash from the fake cake pushing the bills into a cargo pocket on his shorts. He opened the window and sent the fake cake into the roadway, watching as it landed in the road way, spinning like a top before coming to rest on the double yellow line. His money bone sated, his stomach started to rumble.
The Lemon Honey Cake called him from the box on the passenger seat. The box stated that it once held an air filter for a 1997 Dodge Pick-Up. It was shut with a twist of string. Pervis fought with the string one handed trying to pull it from the corners of the box before noticing the bunny ears. He gave a loose end a yank. The string fell around the box and the top popped open.
The Cake was nestled in side, shining with sticky glaze over top a deep brown crust. What to cut it with? Casting around the car Pervis discovered a tine less spork in a door pocket. He used the edge to make a ragged incision in the cake, followed by a second. He looked down for just a moment to pull free the just cut piece, only to be interrupted by the blaring of a car horn.
Pervis spun the steering wheel and felt the car jolt off the road. Slamming his foot down on the break, the car came to a halt knocking over a rotting fence post. The hood popped open. Pervis waited a beat then the air bag deployed knocking him into a daze.
Haile Dixon and David Conner had been enjoying the afternoon drive. Looking forward to their arrival at the cake walk. Haile's grandfather had been raised locally and the family home had become a tourist stop. The late Jet Dixon had made a name on TV, first as a cowboy, then a Cop through the 70s.
Seeing a car in their lane, Dave hit the horn. The other car swerved off the road, hitting the fence post before stopping. Dave pulled over and they watched as the air bag deployed.
"You OK?" Haile asked. She was standing at the window as Pervis came back into focus.
Pervis looked up in a daze at Haile and smiled. His mind told him there was a modelesque young woman, tall and lean, good cheek bones, no curves-- Pervis liked curves, standing next to him.
"Do you need some cake, angel?" He asked "Do I know you?"
"An ambulance is on the way, don't move, you are going to be ok," Dave snapped his cell phone shut. Pervis looked from the angel to the middle aged man who appeared next to her.
Ambulance, wait cops would show up also, they always wanted to be in the middle of this stuff Pervis thought.
"Am I dead?" he asked,
Haile laughed "No silly, you've just been in an accident"
The air bag deflated, and he felt free. Pervis unbuckled his seat belt, and pulled himself from the car. Unsteady on his feet he took a moment. Something was digging into his ribs-- the gun.
"Thank you-- aren't you?" he started.
Haile blushed, "yeah,"
"Dave Conner, from The Post Riders?" Pervis like a lot of other had seen it on DVD where it had become a hit mostly due to the odd ball Cowboy Fence and Home Repair Theme. It hadn't lasted long, but the 9 1/2 episodes that had been produced were strangely watchable.
"Yep, I was on that one" Dave said with a smile.
Sirens sounded in the distance.
Pervis started to panic; he needed to get out of there. He started to sweat and go pale.
"I think he's in shock--" Haile started
the gun came out; Pervis didn't know exactly how or why, it just did. He leveled it at Dave.
"I need your Ca..." Pervis started.
There was a blur of motion and suddenly the gun wasn't in his hand, he was on his knees and Dave had his hand in a painful hold that was pressing him into the asphalt.
"You ok Haile?" Dave asked
"Yeah, wow this thing is a piece of shit," She expertly opened the revolvers cylinder "there aren't any bullets," She pointed the gun into the ditch she squeezed the trigger just a little.
"Major trigger creep, the cylinder is out of time."
"Where did you learn all of that?" Pervis panted
"Making a action movie." the siren arrived and stopped. Haile put the gun on the ground and stepped back as the officers stepped from their car.
"Afternoon officers, this belongs to that gun," Conner nodded to the gun on the asphalt.
"Dave Conner?" the older officer asked.
"Yep, can I have some handcuffs?" the younger officer looked to his partner and received a nod in return. The older officer picked up the gun and smiled at Haile.
Dave cuffed Pervis expertly and let the younger officer pull him to his feet.
"Say you folks know anything about card board wedding cake in the middle of the road a ways back?" the younger officer asked "that's mine," Pervis said as he was led to the patrol car.
982 Words 4 June 2009 Copyright Eric Peterson
She shoved the door open, turned around, putting her hands on her hips she glared at him. The light was fading behind her, a sodium security light recolored everything, the cement slab dock, her skin, the white frosting of the cake with a sickly orange tint.
"To the left," Strike barked, shoving the cart over the transom.
She crossed the slab to the far railing. Glancing over she noted the 30-odd foot drop to a road below. Strike, followed, the cart in tow.
"You own a debt, collection time," He hoisted the top cake tier. It had started with five tiers, pure white frosting, fancy decorations. Like lace. The wet dream of wedding cakes. The top two tiers had been too high; Strike abandoned them in the kitchen.
"What is this about?" She eye fucked him good.
She had confirmed: her name, Michelle Marie Barker. Attendances at Dark Lake University at the time in question.
Saying nothing Strike reached into the cake, pulling out a handful.
He flung the handful of cake into her cleavage, reached behind her head twisted the graying hair at the nape and slowly pushed the remainder of the tier into her face. He twisted it, clockwise, counter-clockwise. Letting go, he spun her around and smeared the remains of the tier down the open back of her dress before smashing the rest into her back side.
She gave a gasp, and started to sob. Her hands came up and wiped the cake from her eyes. Strike reached out pulling them away.
"No crying," He ordered
she took a moment to compose herself. She shot him a pleading look; he didn't care-- she owed.
"Toss the rest of this over." he pointed to the remaining tiers.
"Pick it up -- throw it over the side," She stood numbly.
"Now!" menace in his eyes
she picked up the first tier and held it.
"Over the side." He glared,
"what debt?" He held up a hand.
She knew what that meant; the tier sailed over the rail. Neither looked, they heard the spat of impact.
"The rest of it,” Strike looked to the last and largest tier.
"Too big I can't lift it," She protested
"Why..." She started
"The cake goes over, then you can go back and play nicey-nice with the family."
"What debt?" the shock wearing off.
Strike slapped her quickly across the tip of her chin. An attention getting slap not a hurtful slap. She did not move. Strike grabbed her pulled her right arm behind her back and pushed her into the last tier, after a moment he let go.
She started to tremble; forcing her hands under the cardboard base of the tier she slid it over the edge. This time she watched as it tumbled into the roadway, joining the rest of the cake. A smear of cake and frosting littering the asphalt.
On the now empty cart Strike set down a photograph. It showed a man in his 40s, healthy looking, the light of life in his eyes. He wasn't smiling. Something in those eyes she recognized.
"$700.00," Strike stated, looking for a hint of recognition from her. "Don’t know him?"
She looked blankly.
"I don't know this guy; don't know anything about a debt-- you come here to a family event, and humiliate ..." She'd remembered who she was; people didn't treat her this way.
Strike put down the next photo,
She was in this one, the non-smiling 22 year-old, skinny and fair skinned her. Black hair, dark eyes, long gone Skinny Puppy tee-shirt, olive drab shorts. She almost remembered the girl; angry, lost and full of fire. She almost recalled the boy in the photo, hulking, tender eyes, the embarrassed smile, completely devoid of confidence. He was looking at the camera; she descended a long forgotten porch behind him. He had thought he was in love with her, she had used him.
"Oh, fuck, it's..."
"You don't get to say his name; know what this is about now?"
"Yes, did he send you?"
"No -- he just mentioned you and the mark you left on him, a scar on his heart, one that never healed. You were the first, but not the last, still you were the only one that conned him. He said you were the best $700 he spent in college, learned more from that than any class. He wouldn't want me here, you can think of me as Mr. Karma."
"God that was... the money..."it was all coming back to her.
"Money, he doesn't need, not anymore." Strike laid down the last photo, from two years back, the man, wasting away. Cancer had pulled him apart and he faded into the void. She didn't need any more words. The photo said it all.
Strike reached out and tilted up her chin,
"look at me," he hissed "I get it," she gave a nod and Strike released her.
"Hope your kids never feel the betrayal and pain you left in him" Strike gave her a shove and watched as she slipped away, and then descended the loading dock stairs into the darkness.
921 Words 4 June 2009 Copyright Eric Peterson