Monday, 27 May 2013

Memorial Day Gift

Happy Memorial Day America!  Please accept a free copy of Lost Angeles from Amazon, click [here].

Full time whiskey enthusiast Doug Morgan is on a downward spiral. Over the past two years the Irish man has played witness to the slow and steady decay of his life and he’s finally called time. Haunted by an unacknowledged pain Doug swaps the white collar nine to five of Belfast for one last charge into oblivion in the City of Angels. A scotch-soaked stranger in a strange land Doug befriends a series of like minded and self destructive vagabonds who, like him, are aiming for chaos. In a city that sees thousands of people per year come to be discovered why has one man come to get lost?

Saturday, 25 May 2013

Dexy's Midnight Murders

I can see why Darkly Dreaming Dexter was picked up by Showtime and adapted for Michael C. Hall. It's very visual, it runs at a decent pace and the character has that charm and personality he needs for an internal monologue to run throughout the narrative. The final few chapters are misfitting and have been smoothed out for television.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Context and Conrad

There's a lot made of Conrad's work and it lingers largely around the book's title. It's a book that's well over 100 years old and to understand it, and it's brilliance you need to view it in the context of which it belongs. Ask yourself. In a western when the "Injins" are circling the wagons do you wonder why they haven't tweeted for help? No? Then why should context be any different here. It's very much a story of the whole, the idea of the unit rather than the individual and it's that idea in a culture of selfish individualism that is incredibly interesting. An excellent book about morale, work and the dangerous contagiousness of apathy and laziness.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

The Real McCoys

The Getaway is undoubtedly one of Jim Thompson's best known pieces of work. It's made it through two Hollywood adaptations, neither of which come close to resembling the novel in either feel or content. Thompson, quite often, sets his stories within a clearly defined genre with understood expectations only to push against them from the outset. The conflict created in the story of Doc, Carol and Rudy is not the conflict you would expect and ultimately becomes more of an internal conflict within the characters and the reader alike.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Memories of Bunker Hill

TODAY IS the thirtieth anniversary of the death of John Fante, the single most important American writer of the twentieth century.  I'm thirty-two this year so all contact with the man's literature is posthumous and removed but it still has had the greatest effect on me as a person.  When you read Fante you learn to dream, to love, to hate, to cry, to live, to fear, to hope, and to wish.  Emotionally I'm at John Fante Square today sharing a cigarette with Bandini and reminiscing until the dust settles.

Monday, 6 May 2013

Less Than Zero

I read a review recently of Less Than Zero were the reviewer said they felt stressed when they left it unfinished. I know what they mean, and I don't know how Ellis does it. But it's great.

I don't buy into the "why should I care about his characters when he doesn't" bullshit. It takes a hell of a lot of work to make it feel this discarded. His train of thought narrative is exceptional and comedy so dark it'll stain your soul.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Golden Opportunity

Toddy's got a sense for a short con. He calls it his golden gizmo yet it eventually it always leads to trouble. When he is framed for a crime he didn't commit what results is a clever, if some what generic noir.  It's not Thompson's best work but it's enjoyably comfortable within the genre.