Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Book Review: Gil Brewer, Little Tramp (1957)

After the train wreck of 1957's The Angry Dream (aka The Girl from Hateville), Gil Brewer finished the year with two much stronger efforts: The Brat and Little Tramp. Little Tramp is a Noir Everyman story, in which our ordinary guy, Gary Dunn, is blackmailed by the title character into kidnapping her so that she can extort money from her father, who also happens to be Gary's former boss. For me, what often elevates truly great noir is the ending: Simply put, how memorable is it? Gil Brewer loads up a powder keg and lights the fuse. Will he snuff the fuse, or will he let it blow? And if he lets it blow, will the explosion somehow surprise me--but without making me roll my eyes? This time out, Brewer does a fine job of packing the explosives, but if you ask me next week what happened to the keg, I probably won't be able to remember.
Grade: B

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