Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review: Lawrence Block, The Sins of the Fathers (1976)




Fans of the Matthew Scudder series all seem to agree on two things: (1) You must read the books in publication order, and (2) It takes four or five novels for the series to get really, really good. So I obediently begin with the first novel in the series, and, not expecting anything great, I am not too disappointed. The limited cast of characters combined with the title The Sins of the Fathers leave little doubt where this novel is headed, and that’s where it heads. I’m trusting that later novels in the series (i.e., the ones that are supposed to be really, really good) will feature more Scudder and less Freud. Grade: C-

Monday, October 20, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week




don’t trust anybody
over thirty
or
under thirty
or
thirty

          Donald E. Westlake
          “The Hardboiled Dicks”
          1982

Monday, October 13, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



We all do the best we can, and
sometimes the best we can do is
make a mistake.

          Donald E. Westlake
          unfinished autobiography

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, Thieves' Dozen (2004)



When you are done with the Dortmunder novels, you still have the Dortmunder short stories to read. Will you enjoy them? Of course. Would you trade them for one more novel? Of course. Grade: B-

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



She despised men
she could dominate,
but began to think
there was no other kind.

          Thomas Berger
          Sneaky People
          1975

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, Walking Around Money (2005)



Almost lost in a nether region between the Dortmunder novels and the Dortmunder story collection is the Dortmunder novella, Walking Around Money, which Ed McBain solicited for the first Transgressions collection. As is the case with the Dortmunder short stories, Walking Around Money seems to exist outside the narrative of Dortmunder’s career as chronicled by the full-length novels. The novella, featuring Dortmunder and his sidekick Andy Kelp, emphasizes Dortmunder’s competence above his bad luck, which is always welcome given how Dortmunder’s cursedness often obscures the fact that he is actually quite good at his job. Grade: B

Monday, September 29, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week



A hostage,
was a chance.

          Gil Brewer
          Memory of Passion
          1962