Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Brian Moore

Independent Crime tonight features a Gold Medal novel by one Bernard Mara. Mara and Michael Bryan were two pseudonyms used by literary writer Brian Moore before he was established in the mainstream. The Maras are good stuff. His specialty was taking genre and populating it with people who were odd enough to be real. He did much the same with his literary novels.

Here's Wikipedia:

Brian Moore (August 25, 1921 – January 11, 1999) was a novelist. His Christian name is pronounced in Irish (Bree-an). He published twenty novels, was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1975, was shortlisted for the Booker Prize three times and also worked as a screenwriter. His distinctively simple, lucid style gives his works a highly powerful effect. He remains possibly the only novelist to encapsulate life in Northern Ireland in the post-war era, including his exploration of the intercommunal divisions of The Troubles. He also demonstrated an unusual male insight into female psychology, with women as the central narrative character in several of his books.

Here are his paperback originals:

* Wreath for a Redhead (1951) (U.S. title: Sailor's Leave)
* The Executioners (1951)
* French for Murder (1954) (as Bernard Mara)
* A Bullet for My Lady (1955) (as Bernard Mara)
* This Gun for Gloria (1957) (as Bernard Mara))
* Murder in Majorca (1957) (as Michael Bryan)
*This Gun for Gloria (1957) (as Bernard Mara)
* Intent to Kill (1957) (as Michael Bryan)

His crime fiction wasn't nearly as good as his literary fiction but it has a style (esp. the Maras) that made the reading wortwhile.

I'm partial to his novels The Luck of Ginger Coffey, An Answer from Limbo and Black Robe.


Vince said...

Moore's Lies of Silence is one of the great novels of the Troubles, as well as a devastating portrait of a marriage.

August West said...

I remember enjoying "The Khaki Mafia" which I thought was fairly raw for it time. A fine writer who wasn't afraid to take it to the reader.

pattinase (abbott) said...

His literary fiction was terrific. I never knew he wrote crime until I saw that paperback in a vintage pb store and the proprietor told me it was him. The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne was good too. So sad. And wasn't it a movie? (Maggie Smith?)

Ed Gorman said...

Hi Vince--a good deal of his fiction concerned failed marriages. He was one hell of a good writer.

Declan Burke said...

Ed - You're right, The Black Robe is a terrific novel ... stays with you for years after. Cheers, Dec