Langston Hughes"Prize Fighter"1927
Monday, January 31, 2011
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Max Allan Collins has cut a wide swath through the noirboiled world (and many other literary worlds, for that matter) as a prolific author of novels (graphic and otherwise), stories, screenplays, movie tie-ins, comic strips, and on and on. He is perhaps best-known to noirboiled fans for the Nathan Heller novels, which blend the private eye genre with historical fiction, as well as his series featuring Quarry (the assassin) and Nolan (the thief).
1. What is the first crime novel that you remember reading?
I read a lot of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and loved the Saint novels—I particularly remember The Saint and the Sizzling Saboteur making an impression. And the Dick Tracy comic books are a very vivid memory—the first story I read was about Junior Tracy’s girl friend, Model, who died as a result of her juvie brother’s misdeeds, quickly followed by a book collecting the Brow sequence, in which the sympathetic Summer Sisters drowned in a car. But the crime novel that kicked off everything came in the seventh grade—The Maltese Falcon. Still my favorite private eye novel.
2. Which crime novelist do you consider to be your biggest influence?
I have to dodge this, at least somewhat. Everybody thinks I would say Mickey Spillane, but he is only one of a quartet of great mystery writers I discovered when I was thirteen—Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, and James M. Cain. I learned 90% of what I know about crime writing from Hammett, Chandler, Spillane, and Cain.
3. Which non-crime novelist do you consider to be your biggest influence?
Probably William March, author of The Bad Seed, which inspired my films (and novels) Mommy and Mommy's Day. My other favorite mainstream writers during my impressionable years were Calder Willingham, who wrote End As a Man, and Willard Motley, who wrote Knock on Any Door. Not your standard picks, I’ll grant you. Later I came to like Mark Harris, author of The Southpaw.
4. Which crime novel (that you didn’t write) do you most wish you had written?
There aren't any. I only want to write my novels.
But I am very thrilled to be collaborating with Mickey Spillane—contributing real entries to the Mike Hammer series is an honor I wish I could share with my thirteen year-old self. Well, I guess I do.
5. What is the best novel by Max Allan Collins?
I don't know. I would suggest that the Nathan Heller novels, taken as a whole, represent my best work and major contribution. Of those I might pick The Million-Dollar Wound as the best representative example, and Flying Blind as the best atypical entry.
Monday, January 17, 2011
Sunday, January 16, 2011
Friday, January 14, 2011
If you visit this series of cover galleries of Turkish translations of noirboiled novels, you will quickly discover that the standard practice of Turkish translators/publishers was to change titles. I am still trying to imagine which Mickey Spillane novels have been published in Turkey as Battle of the Giants, Murderer of the Full Moon, Guns Won’t Talk, The Revenge Claw, Teenager Hell, I’m Afraid of the Blondes, You’ll Spit Blood, Alive Target, Hands of Dark, and Murderer with Green Hand. I’m the Judge is obviously I, the Jury, but beyond this, I’m baffled.
So which Peter Cheyney novel do I have? This is the opening paragraph in Turkish:
Yasamak bazan ne kadar zevkli oluyor. Fakat ben su anda hayatin tadini alamayacak kadar efkârliydim. 1945 Martinda Pariste hemen bütün erkekler ekfârliydi. Bu efkârin da bir tek sebebi vardi: Yosmalar.
And this is the glorious translation that I get from Google Translate:
How much fun is going to live sometimes. But right now I get to enjoy life efkârliydim. Ekfârliydi in Paris in March 1945, almost all men. There was also the thoughts of a single reason: Yosmalar.
This may be gibberish, but it provides enough information for me to be sure that this is not a Peter Cheyney novel that I own. The Cheyney books I have eliminated are:
Can Ladies Kill?
Cocktails and the Killer
Dance Without Music
Don’t Get Me Wrong
He Walked in Her Sleep
The Stars Are Dark
This Man Is Dangerous
The Urgent Hangman
You Can Call It a Day
You Can’t Hit a Woman
You’d Be Surprised
Is there anybody out with the resources to eyeball a few more Peter Cheyney opening paragraphs? Any help figuring out which book this is will be much appreciated!
John Pelan, who is most known as an author and publisher of horror and science fiction, has begun the ambitious project of publishing the complete short fiction of noirboiled writer Day Keene. The first two volumes of Keene stories—League of the Grateful Dead and Other Stories and We Are the Dead and Other Stories—have recently been published by Ramble House.
1. How did you become aware of Day Keene?
My buddy, the late Richard Laymon (tremendous author in his own right) and I were both fans of 1950s noir; and I recall him bringing Keene up as someone that I would likely enjoy. He was spot on!
2. What’s your favorite Day Keene story?
I’m rather fond of “League of the Grateful Dead,” but ask me tomorrow and I’ll likely have a different answer. . . . Keene was very versatile and depending on my mood, my preferences can run from weird menace such as the aforementioned to Doc Egg to a non-series mystery. . . .
3. What’s your least favorite Day Keene story?
I haven’t read everything yet, so I’ll pass on this one.
4. Do you have a favorite Day Keene novel?
Home Is the Sailor was the first novel I read, so I have a special fondness for it.
5. How did you go about about tracking down so many hard-to-find old pulps to collect Keene’s stories?
Well, I’ve been a collector and part-time bookseller for many years and have a lot of connections; that said, it hasn’t been easy!
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Friday, January 7, 2011
Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Ed Gorman’s accomplishments in the noirboiled world are too many to mention, but he is dearest to my (black) heart for being one of the editors of The Big Book of Noir (1998), a sort of grab-bag bible of the noirboiled world. His most recent novel is Stranglehold (2010), his second featuring political consultant Dev Conrad.
1. What’s the first crime novel you remember reading?
Mickey Spillane—I read his first three back to back in the summer of ’55 and was cursed with this preference for hardboiled fiction ever since. He had a huge influence on me. That same summer I started reading Gold Medal novels, too. My first was a Lionel White then Peter Rabe and John D. MacDonald. I knew that this kind of story was for me.
2. Hammett or Chandler?
Hammett for realism, Chandler for romance.
3. If forced to choose, would you trust Sherlock Holmes or Parker to save your life?
4. If I recommend a novel to you, and I tell you that it’s noir, have I just spoiled the ending?
No, because noir is a point of view not always a particular group of tropes or storylines. They Shoot Horses Don't They? is noir as is in its way The Day of the Locust. We always think of noir as Bogie and trench coats and drinking too much and dames who did us wrong. But I think that’s too narrow a definition. There are a number of westerns, for instance, that are definitely noir. I’ve read a number of books and stories by Ruth Rendell that I also consider definitely noir.
5. What’s the best novel by Ed Gorman?
Since I've worked in several genres, that's not easy to answer. In crime I'd say Blood Moon (available on Top Suspense Group e books for $2.99) because it's probably my most ambitious book and because I think it's a somewhat unique approach to a series of murders.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Ryu MurakamiCoin Locker Babies1980(trans. Stephen Snyder)