It's been a slow month on the reading front, but here is what I spent my time with this past month.
Butterfield 8 by John Ohara
Which I only got a Hundred pages into before abandoning it. I am mentioning it only because it's a classic. I never really connected with the story and it took way to long on the set up. There wasn't any hook early enough in the narrative to give me a reason to keep reading.
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
This YA novel is the story of two boys who are misfits in the world. One is recovering from an illness and his family is starting to fall apart. The other lives with his grandmother in a Buckminster Fuller dome house and is cut off from his peers. They bond over punk rock and the need to have friends.
The Asphalt Jungle by W.R. Burnett
You've seen the film, it is pretty much the same as the book. There is a bit more background on Dix and the end of the story isn't as cinematic as the film, but it's a classic noir tale and every time Dix was on the page, Sterling Hayden, and his voice was in my head
Murder in One Syllable by John D. MacDonald
Time was running short at the end of the month and instead of reading a full length JDM paperback I picked the story of his included in the recently released The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. Murder in One Syllable is a rashomon puzzle story, with a different character providing a chunk of the narrative that when put together creates a whole. The plot is the well worn woman is murdered and maybe the wrong man is accused…. or maybe not. It was a fractured read, but once the whole story has come together it's a nice little crime package.
The Girl with the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block
This was my Hard Case Crime book for the month. The plot involves a complex con, with plenty of twists and turns. It's a artifact of it's time, with much of what happens and enables the con to be very out of date. That said, Block tells a compelling story with a driving narrative and characters that, while criminal, you come to enjoy spending time with. I think that if I was going to give a new Hard Case Crime reader 2 of their books to start with, a new book and a reissue-- this would be the reissue.
More next month, where I have a bunch of non-fiction lined up along with my monthly Hard Case Crime and John D MacDonald.