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« Blogging Note | Main | Cherie, Nude »

March 22, 2009

Hardboiled Linkage

Michael Blowhard writes:

Daer Blowhards --

* The Rap Sheet offers a farewell to the recently-deceased crime-fiction giant Donald Westlake, here and here, with tributes by many crime-fiction scenesters. Loads of good reading suggestions.

* Hard Case Crime publisher Charles Ardai (a one-man antidote to the general pussification of book-writing and book-publishing) offers his own recollections of Westlake.

* Say hi to an impressive new website devoted entirely to Westlake's masterful Parker novels.

* Cullen Gallagher writes a nice appreciation of the underknown pulp novelist Day Keene. As far as I'm concerned, Day Keene was a major fiction talent. You're unlikely to hear anything about him if you follow the usual "literary" press, though.

* MBlowhard Rewind: I raved about Donald Westlake, who (FWIW, of course) I consider a genius, as well as one of America's greatest entertainer-artists.

* Bonus link: An introduction to the influential paperback-original crime-fiction line Gold Medal Books. A question to drive home one of my favorite themes: If you'd been following contempo fiction in 1950, would you have bet that 60 years later the lowbrow Gold Medal Books would be viewed by many as having been a vital and important moment in American literary history? C'mon, be honest.



posted by Michael at March 22, 2009


I remember reading his Adios, Scheherazade as a teenager. The protagonist was a drudge who wrote cheap pornographic novels (remember those?), aimed at horny losers like himself, for peanuts. His publisher's stylebook insisted that each book have fifteen chapters, and each chapter have fifteen pages and one sex scene.

I got about two-thirds of the way through it when it hit me that Adios, Scheherazade itself had fifteen chapters, each with fifteen pages-- and one sex scene. Ouch.

Posted by: Reg C├Žsar on March 22, 2009 2:35 AM

Fun, thanks. Westlake often played games like that -- you might call them modernist but for the fact that his storytelling was so straightforward and traditional. A really virtuosic (as well as a solid and generous) performer.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on March 22, 2009 2:55 AM

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