Monday, August 25, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

I still don’t know
what this is all about.
Please, will you stop
being a woman?

          P. J. Wolfson
          Is My Flesh of Brass?

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, What's So Funny? (2007)

Entertaining (as always) but second-rate Dortmunder. This time out, Dortumunder is blackmailed into trying to steal a seemingly unstealable chess set. The plot is more raggedy than usual, and Dortmunder & Crew relinquish too much stage time to their supporting cast. As with The Road to Ruin (two Dortmunders previous), you can hear the gears grinding as Westlake detours his way into meeting his word count. But every time that I thought it was too long, I remembered that there is only one more Dortmunder novel after this one, and I wanted it to be longer. Grade: C+

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

of the noise

          Harry Whittington
          Call Me Killer

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Book Review: Donald E. Westlake, Watch Your Back! (2005)

Watch Your Back! belongs at the bottom of the top tier of Dortmunder novels. Lightweight but exquisitely plotted, the novel concerns, in large part, the fate of the O.J. Bar and Grill, where Dortmunder and his crew often meet. The more affection that you feel for the O.J., the more you will care how things turn out, so Watch Your Back! is best read in its proper sequence (12th novel in the series, not counting one story collection), by which time, if you are still reading the series, you ought to care a great deal. Grade: A-

Monday, August 11, 2014

Book Review: P. J. Wolfson, Is My Flesh of Brass? [a.k.a. The Flesh Baron] (1934)

How do you know that, deep down, an abortionist is a good guy? When he charters a plane in bad weather to fly across country to perform a late-term abortion on his fellow abortionist’s desperate underage ex-girlfriend. How do you know that, deep down, a writer is a good guy? When he dedicates his novel about abortionists to his wife. Pioneering noir from 1934. Grade: B

Pulp Poem of the Week

I’m not Rebecca
of Sunnybrook Farm.
I’m thirty-four and
I’ve been married twice.

          Charles Williams

Monday, August 4, 2014

Pulp Poem of the Week

there ain’t nothin’
as aggravatin’
to live with as
a disillusioned hawg

          Charles Williams
          Uncle Sagamore and His Girls