Monday, September 15, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



The secret of great fortunes
without apparent cause
is a crime forgotten,
for it was properly done.

          Honoré de Balzac
          Le Père Goirot
          1835
          (translated by Ellen Marriage)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



feeling faintly defensive but
firmly strangling the feeling
in its crib

          Donald E. Westlake
          What’s So Funny?

          2007

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



as silent and miserable
as kittens in a sack
with the bridge getting close

          Donald E. Westlake
          Watch Your Back!
          2005

Monday, August 25, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



I still don’t know
what this is all about.
Please, will you stop
being a woman?


          P. J. Wolfson
          Is My Flesh of Brass?
          1934

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, What's So Funny? (2007)



Entertaining (as always) but second-rate Dortmunder. This time out, Dortumunder is blackmailed into trying to steal a seemingly unstealable chess set. The plot is more raggedy than usual, and Dortmunder & Crew relinquish too much stage time to their supporting cast. As with The Road to Ruin (two Dortmunders previous), you can hear the gears grinding as Westlake detours his way into meeting his word count. But every time that I thought it was too long, I remembered that there is only one more Dortmunder novel after this one, and I wanted it to be longer. Grade: C+

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



elaborately
unaware
of the noise

          Harry Whittington
          Call Me Killer
          1951

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, Watch Your Back! (2005)



Watch Your Back! belongs at the bottom of the top tier of Dortmunder novels. Lightweight but exquisitely plotted, the novel concerns, in large part, the fate of the O.J. Bar and Grill, where Dortmunder and his crew often meet. The more affection that you feel for the O.J., the more you will care how things turn out, so Watch Your Back! is best read in its proper sequence (12th novel in the series, not counting one story collection), by which time, if you are still reading the series, you ought to care a great deal. Grade: A-