Monday, October 31, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

Apples taste
so much better
Tsugumi Ohba
Death Note
(translated by Pookie Rolf)

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

more relieved
than bereaved

Koushun Takami
Battle Royale

(translated by Yuji Oniki)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review: Richard Stark, Plunder Squad (1972)

After taking a kind of vacation in Slayground, Parker gets back to work in Plunder Squad, and it is, as always, the kind of book that Starklake does best: a slice of life from the career thief. Whereas Slayground was a set piece, Plunder Squad is tangle of events from the ongoing story of Parker’s criminal career. And it is, as well, the clearest evidence you could want that Parker is a pure sociopath: Any sane person would work in a McDonald’s rather than deal with Parker’s problems. Grade: A-

Monday, October 17, 2011

Book Review: Koushun Takami, Battle Royale (1999)

Lord of the Flies as formally organized competition: In a Japan-like dictatorship, 42 fifteen-year-old classmates are forced to play a killing game till one of them remains. Each kid is issued a bag of supplies—including one weapon, which could be anything from an Uzi to a fork—and they are turned loose on an island, where they will complete the competition or all be killed. The 2009 English-language edition of Koushun Takami’s Battle Royale features a newly corrected translation, interviews with the author and with the director of the film version, and a foreword by Max Allan Collins in which he makes a fair case for himself as the world’s coolest dad. These bonuses in some measure compensate for the novel’s weak dénouement, which culminates in perhaps the lamest final page in the history of the printed word. Grade: C+

Pulp Poem of the Week

I sit here writing, not daring to stop,
For fear of seeing what’s outside my head.
Bob Kaufman
“Jail Poems”

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

I wondered which would be better
to work as a prostitute to live,
or to die rather than work as one?
I’d say the latter answer would be
the one chosen by the healthy mind,
but then again,
there’s not really anything healthy
about being dead.
Anyway, they do say that women
who are sexually active tend
to have a better complexion.
Not that I cared if
I was healthy or not.
Hitomi Kanehara
Snakes and Earrings
(trans. by David James Karashima)

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book Review: Hitomi Kanehara, Snakes and Earrings (2004)

Woodenly translated Japanese nihilnoir. Sort of like They Shoot Horses, Don't They? with the dancing replaced by tattoos, piercings, and demeaning sex. Grade: C-

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pulp Poem of the Week

I had no idea
How much brains
He had
I saw them.
David Rachels
Verse Noir

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Book Review: Richard Stark, Lemons Never Lie (1971)

The best Grofield novel earns its status as the best Grofield novel by being the Grofield novel that is most like a Parker novel: The Sour Grofield Score with minimal opportunities for Actor Alan to play the wiseass. Grade: B+