Friday, July 1, 2011

Books June 2011

Lawrence Block book of the Month: The Burglar Who Liked to Quote Kipling
This is a paperback that I have owned for years and until now have never gotten around to reading. I think that I picked it up in the late 80s or early 90s when I read my first Block books. This time around Bernie is running a bookshop, trying to make it the legit way... only there is always another score. Bernie been hired to pick up a rare book, only there are bodies and Bernie finds himself in the middle of it all again. At this point I read these books because Bernie is fun to read about, and I enjoyed this book... and am sure I'll enjoy the next one when I get around to it.
Stark House Press novel of the Month: One for Hell by Jada M. Davis
Willa Ree is a bad man, and when he hits a booming oil town in the backwaters of Texas he thinks he’s hit the jackpot. Co-oppted by the town leaders to work on the police force to take over the action and line everyone wallet, Willa runs wild and takes what he wants, using his badge when needed.  This was a solid noir from the early 50s and one has to wonder what Davis would have produced if he written a few more.

Ian Dury : the definitive biography by Will Birch
The title pretty much says it all… aside from the fact that this was very solid biography that moved along well and at the same time gave insight to Ian Dury. There was no soft-pedaling of his shortcomings and issues, at the same time the uplifting parts of his life story are explored. Very good, and recommended.

Black Wings Has My Angel by Elliot Chaze
One of the Holy Grails of Gold Medal paperback fiction, the story is about a ex con and the woman he meets and their descent into the blackness of greed. I really don’t want to say anything more because I really don’t want to give the story away, but I will say that there is a heist. I will say that it works on many levels and echo’s many of the great themes of Noir, but spins them in a direction that is more David Goodis than Richard Stark. I just finished it and I am still taking it in, but I can add only that it really deserves to be back in print (Hard Case Crime or Stark House Press would be thee candidates for a reissue). While looking for info on it I did note that a film version has been in development for almost half a decade, well shall see if it makes it way to the screen and if that also triggers a reissue.

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