Monday, January 30, 2012

Pulp Poem of the Week

Calm down,
will you?
Have a
Osamu Tezuka
(translated by Camellia Nieh)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Book Review: Osamu Tezuka, MW (1976-1978)

A young boy, Michio Yuki, is accidentally poisoned by MW, a top-secret hyper-powerful chemical weapon, which turns him into a sociopath. As an adult, his lifes ambition becomes to find a hidden stockpile of MW, which he hopes to use to kill pretty much everybody. Michio is a remarkably uninteresting sociopath because of his origins: His soul has literally been poisoned, and thats that. Nothing else to talk about here. More absurd than uninteresting is his foil, Father Garai, a pedophile turned priest who seduced the young Michio. Priests must do what priests must do, but Father Garais insistance that he must try to save the soul of a hardworking serial killer rather than turn him over to the police does not play well. Grade: C

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pulp Poem of the Week

She was a virgin,
and things took
some doing.
Gil Brewer
The Tease

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Book Note: Lawrence Block, Afterthoughts (2011)

Afterthoughts collects the many afterwords that Lawrence Block has written mostly for his out-of-print works that have become available as ebooks. Not surprisingly, given Block’s recent popularity, these works skew toward the beginning of his career. Because Block chose not to take the time to turn Afterthoughts into a coherent memoir, he offers it for 99 cents and makes no bones about what it is: an extended advertisment for his backlist. In return for that bargain price, you are not allowed to complain that you hear certain stories over and over again, sometimes verbatim, as they are repeated in the afterwords to different novels from the same time period. Everything is informal and chatty and reads quickly, and you will be consistently entertained (if you can put up with the repetition). On top of that, the book serves Block’s stated purpose well: You will likely finish Afterthoughts with a good idea of which Block ebooks you want to buy.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pulp Poem of the Week

Fellas that yells
that loud
ain’t hurt much.
Jim Thompson
Bad Boy

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Book Review: Gil Brewer, The Tease (1967)

Wes McCord is a skirt-chaser with a marriage to match. One night, when his disgusted wife leaves him to stay at her sisters house, a naked nymphette appears on his doorstep with an incredible tale of murder and money. For reasons that are never explained, Wes believes that money will solve his marital problems, so he agrees to help the nymphette flee her pursuers and secure her hidden loot. If all goes well, she will give him half of her $300,000. Brewer may be going through the motions with this one, but at least he knows the motions to go through. Grade: C

Monday, January 9, 2012

Pulp Poem of the Week

Somehow we just don’t see
how it is with other folks until—
something comes up.
Susan Glaspell

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Book Review: Charles Williams, The Diamond Bikini (1956)

Start with Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Remove the Duke, the King, and Huck, and transplant them into an Erskine Caldwell novel. Have the Duke and the King be a little bit smarter. Cut Huck's age from fourteen to seven, and make him the Duke’s son. Throw in a striptease dancer on the run from the mob, and throw in some killing, but all in fun. This is what happens when Charles Williams needs a vacation. Grade: B

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pulp Poem of the Week

Emily Hawley Gillespie
April 25, 1887

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top Ten Novels Reviewed in 2011

1. Dashiell Hammett, The Maltese Falcon (1930)
2. Gil Brewer, Memory of Passion (1962)
3. Gil Brewer, A Taste for Sin (1961)
4. Dave Zeltserman, Outsourced (2011)
5. Richard Stark, Plunder Squad (1972)
6. Tsugumi Ohba and Takeshi Obata, Death Note (2003-2006)
7. Donald E. Westlake, The Ax (1997)
8. Richard Stark, The Sour Lemon Score (1969)
9. Otsuichi, Summer, Fireworks, and My Corpse (2000)
10. Richard Stark, Lemons Never Lie (1971)