Monday, October 31, 2011

Bad Moon Rising in Baker & Taylor Top Ten; Warren Adler/Pauline Kael

Three weeks on Baker & Taylor Mystery Bestseller List from #15 to #11 this week #9
Warren Adler has written a number of bestsellers and has seen some of them turned into major movies. His piece in the Huffington Post makes some memorable and striking comments about the effect movies have on us.

I Found It At The Movies by Warren Adler

Pauline Kael, who reviewed movies for The New Yorker for many years, was considered by many to be the goddess of film critics. Her comments on movies were both insightful and controversial. Once again, a compendium of her reviews is coming out in a newly published book.

Her writings were distinguished by her sharp opinions. When she was negative about the quality of a film, she was downright lethal. When she was positive, she was ecstatic. But whatever her thoughts were about films, her enduring view was that movies were transformative, important, and, in some cases, life changing.

On the surface, such a conclusion might seem, to say the least, exaggerated and over expansive. Indeed, how many times have I heard it said: "It's only a movie."

Years ago, I might have dismissed her opinion, but after a very long, personal retrospective on the impact of movies on my own life, I'm inclined to see her point.

The effect that movies have had on my life, psyche, worldview, relationship with people, knowledge of the human condition, hopes and fears, emulations and aspirations, romanticism, speech, general appearance, taste in clothing, courting, sex, travel, yearnings and ambitions has been profound. There is no denying it.

for the rest go here:

New Books: Gardens of Night by Greg F. Gifune

Greg F. Gifune:

It began as an idea for a trilogy. Three novels: BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE, GARDENS OF NIGHT, and SMOKE IN CRIMSON. All would deal with female mythical beings (largely as metaphor) and explore various aspects of the human experience intertwined with mythology. The novels would be connected yet individual, in that they would (and could) stand alone as separate pieces. One could read only one, two or all three (in any order). But if all three were read, answers to many of the mysteries surrounding the stories would be revealed so that once completed the trilogy would become a single maze with a beginning, middle and end connected by a single enigmatic character that would appear (to different degrees) in all three, a transsexual named Wilma Malloy.

Ironically enough, it was the third novel that appeared first, but as a short story called SMOKE. It was published years ago and also appeared in my short story collection DOWN TO SLEEP. The novel, SMOKE IN CRIMSON, I have not yet finished (I’ve been working on it on and off for several years now), but the first two novels have been completed and published. Both have received a great deal of praise from readers and critics alike, and BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE has just been released in Germany (to rave reviews, thankfully) as part of a foreign rights publishing deal I have with FESTA. As for GARDENS specifically, the idea behind it had to do with how violence (mythological and literal) might impact people who have suffered a terrible trauma without fully understanding why. For Marcus Banyon, the main character, a violent sexual assault against himself and his wife opens the door to what very well may be an alternate reality controlled by the Three Fates. A reality where Marcus can communicate with nature itself on levels never before imagined, and where nature can communicate with him in the same potentially dangerous ways. In the end, what GARDENS is truly about is the unprovoked annihilation of someone’s life. It seemed to me that, unpleasant and difficult as it was to write, using sexual assault was the best way to illustrate this, as I could think of no crime that strips away one’s dignity in such a primal and base sense as rape does. As Marcus wanders through a surreal dreamscape (much of which, despite his medication, may very well be real), he is confronted not only by the horrors of this life (and perhaps the next), but issues of emotional isolation, love, marriage, friendship, lies, loyalty and a myriad of challenges that will either lead to his destruction or deliverance. Perhaps, in some ways, the strange and frightening corridors Marcus wanders, from mental institutions to hospitals to haunted farmhouses with hellish underground labyrinths, will lead to both.

When Robert Dunbar of UNINVITED BOOKS (a dear friend and a wonderful writer himself) approached me with an idea to launch his new publishing company UNINVITED BOOKS with a novel from me, I was flattered and excited. After hearing his goal with UB to publish dark literary novels, I knew GARDENS would be a perfect fit. Rob loved the concept, so I finished the novel and turned it in. He loved it and went on to publish it, bringing to fruition the second book in the trilogy. Since its release, reviewers have called GARDENS OF NIGHT “superlative literary horror,” “brilliant,” “psychologically horrifying and brutal,” “deeply disturbing” and “extraordinary.” I’m very proud of this novel, and honored that UNINVITED BOOKS chose to launch with it. So far reaction has been terrific, and I look forward to finishing the trilogy by completing the final novel SMOKE IN CRIMSON soon. Interviewers often ask me if, of the novels I’ve written, I have a favorite. I don’t. But I do believe GARDENS OF NIGHT is some of my best work, and will speak to readers open to it in ways nothing else I’ve written has (with the possible exception of BLOOD IN ELECTRIC BLUE).

Many of my novels have been compared to David Lynch films, in that if you’re looking for something where everything is spelled out and tied up in a neat little red bow by the end, then I’m probably not your guy. On the flipside, I don’t want people to come away from GARDENS having no idea what the hell it was about either. But if you enjoy being challenged and delving into the darkest corners of the human experience, then I think you’ll enjoy GARDENS OF NIGHT as both an existential thriller and a thought-provoking and spiritual journey deep into the heart of what it truly means to be alive.

GARDENS OF NIGHT is available from UNINVITED BOOKS at also at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and virtually everywhere books are sold.

Visit Greg F. Gifune at his official site or on FaceBook.

He can be reached via email at:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sunday Funnies: Michael Lohan denied bail -- boxing career jeopardized?

Ed here: All these deadbeat reality show creepazoids. Obviously the thought of getting an actual job fills them with terrror. To me the Lohans should be put in prison for the way they've lived off Lindsay without seeming to care much for her welfare. The last paragraph here about the names on the boxing card...the lowest depths of reality TV..

« Previous Post | Ministry of Gossip Home | LA TIMES
Michael Lohan denied bail -- boxing career jeopardized?
October 29, 2011 | 2:15 pm

Michael Lohan is still behind bars after a judge on Saturday denied him bail, a setback that could get in the way of his daddy and celebrity duties.

After nearly a week of trouble between Lindsay's dad and his former fiancee, Kate Major, the 51-year-old faced Hillsborough Circuit Judge Denise Pomponio at a satellite bail hearing to go over his recent alleged violation of a no-contact order.

Lohan tried to make excuses, but the judge wasn't having it. Not surprising, as only three days earlier, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Walter Heinrich had been very clear -- and fairly ticked off -- about what would happen to Lohan if he "even dreamed about" Major.

"It doesn’t matter if she called you a hundred times after you got out of jail, Judge Heinrich doesn't have a court order on her, he has a court order on you.... It is your responsibility, because you are under the court order," Pomponio told Lohan.

Major, a former Star magazine reporter who also dated Jon Gosselin, testified that Lohan tried to call her five times after being released from custody Wednesday night and sounded intoxicated. An officer who was with Major that night and heard at least one call via speakerphone told the judge that Lohan was nonthreatening and tried to patch things up with his ex during the call.

The problems had started Tuesday, when Lohan was arrested for allegedly beating Major. The ordeal went from bad to just plain bizarre after he complained of chest pains while in custody, was taken to a hospital and then reportedly tried to bolt. When he finally did post bail Wednesday, he rang up Major multiple times, she said. (That was the violation that landed him in front of the judge Saturday.)

Lohan allegedly tried to flee when police arrived at his Tahitian Inn hotel room by jumping 34 feet off the balcony. He suffered a possible broken foot and had to be taken to the hospital before they transferred him to a Hillsborough County jail on Friday night.

Bail was set at $500 on the charge of nonviolently obstructing police, but with no bail on the other charge, the judge wasn't letting Lohan go anywhere. Major, however, might have to go somewhere: She was reportedly given an eviction notice Friday because of the media hubbub she and her ex have sparked around her apartment building.

Michael Lohan's lockdown couldn't come at a worse time for a guy who according to TMZ was planning this coming week to meet with Dr. Drew Pinsky for a TV stint, attend daughter Lindsay Lohan's probation-violation hearing Wednesday in L.A., and participate in a celebrity boxing match Thursday with contestants including Tareq Salahi, the alleged White House party crasher whose wife, Michaele Salahi, ran off with Journey guitarist Neal Schon in September.

Though Tareq Salahi, Jose Canseco, Joey Buttafuoco and Nadya "Octomom" Suleman are all on the card for the pay-per-view boxing match, Lohan is -- was? -- set to go mano-a-mano with O.J. Simpson houseguest Kato Kaelin.


Saturday, October 29, 2011

For Your Halloween Viewing Pleasure: The Seventh Victim

The Seventh Victim

Even if he was overlooked in his lifetime Val Lewton’s horror and dark suspense films are not only remembered today but also celebrated. His movies changed horror fiction from the more obvious monsters teeming on Universal's lot to the subtler and darker insinuations we can still see in the horror films of our own time.

There’s now a collection of Lewton’s finest films available on DVD. In this age of the auteur you might make the assumption that Lewton directed the films but he didn’t. He was the producer.

’I'll let Wikipedia do the heavy lifting here: “In 1942, Lewton was named head of the horror unit at RKO studios, at a salary of US$250 per week. As head of the B-horror unit he would have to follow three rules: each film had to come in under a US$150,000 budget, each film was to run under seventy-five minutes, and Lewton's supervisors would supply the title for each film.

“Lewton's first production was Cat People, released in 1942. The film was directed by Jacques Tourneur, who subsequently also directed I Walked With a Zombie and The Leopard Man for Lewton. Made for US$134,000, the film went on to earn nearly US$4 million, and was the top moneymaker for RKO that year. This success enabled Lewton to make his next films with relatively little studio interference, allowing him to avoid the sensationalist material suggested by the film titles he was given, instead focusing on ominous suggestion and themes of existential ambivalence.

“Lewton always wrote the final draft of the screenplays for his films, but avoided an on-screen co-writing credit except in two cases, The Body Snatcher and Bedlam, for which he used the pseudonym "Carlos Keith", which he had previously used on the novel, Where the Cobra Sings. After Jacques Tourneur left RKO's horror film unit, Lewton gave first directing opportunities to Robert Wise and Mark Robson.”

Lewton was a sophisticated man familiar with all the arts and it was this intelligence that informed his films. I’ve watched most of his movies many times and I never get tired of them. They work as classic dark tales of vengeance and retribution and, most of all, as portals into terrifying worlds we only reluctantly enter. There are always moments in these pictures when Hitchcockian shocks slams us up against the wall (he revere Hitchcock). For me there are more of these shocks in “The Seventh Victim” than in any of the other Lewton films.

Victim is Lewton’s noir. Occasionally his films had lyrical, almost ethereal moments but not here. The plot details the plight of young Mary who is forced to leave an upscale boarding school because her older sister has not been paying her bills. Mary goes to New York in search of her sister Jacqueline who owned a profitable cosmetics company. But when she reaches the company she discovers that her sister has sold it to another woman and had not been heard of in some time. All too soon a shrink who’d been dealing with Mary—a sinister figure in his own right—relates that Jacqueline has taken up with some strange friends.

To say more about the story from this point I'd have to include spoilers. Story and style are one. Most of the city scenes are ominous and are Germanic in their dense shadow and faintly heard sounds. Young Kim Hunter, who went on to many other fine performances but had a troubled passage in Hollywood, is perfect as the wary naïf desperate to connect with her sister. And to protect her. She fears that her sister has been harmed in some way.

With the exception of a dozen scenes or so the tone is grim, even in spots morbid. This is a film about nothing less than death, about the essence and meaning of death itself. In the last few minutes of the picture we’re presented with an image that I remembered exactly from my childhood when I first saw it in a second-run house after the big war. In some ways it’s a bitter and brutal philosophical affirmation of the movie’s theme. This is what you’ll find in the city, it says, in the shadowy towers of privilege; this is extinction.

A number of critics consider this a prequel to "Cat People". Some consider it a sequel to Lewton's "Cat People." The latter makes no sense to me at all. But then we know how critics are, don't we?

Friday, October 28, 2011

An interview with Walter Hill

Ed here: You'll notice the way Hill & the interviewer tip toe pass comparisons between Hills The Driver and the new film Drive. The way Bob Clark always did between his Black Christmas and Halloween.

Night and the City: Walter Hill on The Warriors and The Driver
Sucker for the underbelly of urban life
By James Hughes
published: October 26, 2011

While filming the cult 1979 masterpiece The Warriors, in which a Coney Island gang busts through city barricades after being falsely implicated in an assassination, director Walter Hill found himself dealing with the real thing. “We were in Brooklyn most of the time during filming,” Hill says, “and we were bothered a lot by other real gangs, who, like hyenas, would be circling our sets. And of course our guys, who were a pretty active physical force themselves, took on their own kind of gang sensibility. One night, one of these real gangs was up on a train platform while we were running by below, and they pissed down on us. James Remar and about five other actors took off after them, and went up the stairs to have it out. We were, of course, wondering if we were ever going to get our cast back. Those kinds of things, in a way, happened almost every night.”
The anxieties and camaraderie of Brooklyn street life are evident throughout The Warriors, which, between various escapes from rivals wielding bats and billy clubs, is marked by pauses in the dark as the gang members catch their breaths and gird for the next showdown.

“Against the tactics of speed, of noise, set tactics of slowness, of silence,” Robert Bresson urged fellow filmmakers. Through dozens of directorial efforts, including Southern Comfort, both 48 Hrs. films, and the Emmy-winning pilot for Deadwood, Walter Hill has honored this balance.

Before a moment of downtime in his office on the Warner Bros. lot, Hill gives instructions to his editing team, ensuring that the recipient of a stomach punch in his latest film, Bullet to the Head, due out April 2012 and starring Sylvester Stallone, is pinned to the ground long enough to match the impact of the blow. At 69, Hill is still shooting on film, refining action sequences down to the crumple and questioning the nature of confrontation.

“I was always very aware that I was getting away with something,” Hill says of his first few films, including his 1975 debut, Hard Times, in which a laconic street fighter played by Charles Bronson ambles through New Orleans and knocks his opponents onto piles of oyster shells along the way. “Somehow in the belly of the great commercial engine of Hollywood, I had managed to get some things through that were not going to be conventional product. Whether they’re good, bad, or indifferent, I have to leave to someone else.”

for the rest go here:

New Books: ESCAPE FROM PARIS by Carolyn Hart, Oct. 2011 edition

Dear Ed,

For the first time ever, the original uncut version of my WWII novel ESCAPE FROM PARIS is now in print from a small press. Best Regards - Carolyn

ESCAPE FROM PARIS by Carolyn Hart, Oct. 2011 edition

Two American sisters risk their lives in Nazi-Occupied Paris to save British fliers from arrest. The Gestapo sets a trap and on the bleak Christmas Eve of 1940, death is only a step behind.

I was a child during WWII and the war dominated our lives.Family members served in the Army or Navy. We followed the faraway course of the fighting in huge black newspaper headlines. Food and gasoline were rationed.

The war remained vivid in my memory and, as an adult, I wrote several WWII suspense novels. To sell Escape from Paris, I cut the book from 93,000 to 55,000 words. That version was published in 1982 and 1983.

This month, to my great delight, Oconee Spirit Press is publishing the original uncut manuscript, which has a newly amended 2011 copyright. It has been 30 years in coming but now ESCAPE FROM PARIS is available as it was written.

I hope readers will share the struggles of brave men and women who defied the Gestapo during the bitter winter of 1940. They knew fear, found love, grieved loss. Their lives and deaths remind us that freedom survives only when the free are brave.

In 1940, England awaited invasion and the Nazis devoured Europe. I believe this book will appeal to book club readers, highly intelligent women, often of a certain age, who will bring their own memories or memories of their parents into play.

All best wishes - Carolyn Hart

Book Club discussion questions and an excerpt are available at .

Hardcover $24.95 978-0-9840109-1-2
Trade Paper $14.95 978-0-9830040-3-5
Available by ordering through your favorite bookstore or online.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Forgotten Books: Shooting Star and Spiderweb by Robert Bloch

Shooting Star and Spiderweb by Robert Bloch

Though Robert Bloch made his reputation with horror or horrorific stories and novels, he worked steadily throughout his career in the mystery and crime genres. Shooting Star, one half of the new Hardcase Crime double book (more of these please), is not only crimonious it's also set in Hollywood, one of Bloch's abiding fascinations.

The hook here is novel for those of us who can remember how actor William Boyd bought up all his Hopalong Cassiday movies when they fell from popularity in the Forties and later sold them to TV. Buy low sell high. They brought him millions. Failed literary agent Mark Clayburn, now paying the bills as a private eye, is hired to prove that a Boyd-like actor wasn't the decadent man the press revealed him to be following his murder. The man who hires Clayburn bought up the dead star's Hoppy-like movies and expected to make a fortune. But since the films are aimed at kids...who wants to see a hero whose tastes off-screen were, to be gentle about it, sleazy.

In Spiderweb failed actor Eddie Haines is hired to be a "psychiatric consultant" to the stars by a rather arch villain named Professor Hermann. By blackmailing Eddie, Hermann has found the perfect tool for his racket. There are moments that reminded me of Nightmare Alley throughout the book and more than a few scenes that move the novel into the kind of realistic horror of Psycho. Shooting Star is driven by its mystery storyline; Spiderweb, though the storyline is less focused, depends on shock material to keep you turning the pages.

Neither of these novels is major Bloch but both deserve reading. For one thing they encapsulate a number of the obsessions, sociologically, of the Fifties. For another we see the dark side of Bloch's obsession with Hollywood. In such masterpieces as his short story The Movie People we see his almost innocent sense of what the movies gave to him as a youth. When he speaks of Chaplin and Keaton and Lloyd it's as if he's speaking of secular saints. The movies of his boyhood are holy to him.

In these novels and many short stories he deals with the business side of Hollywood. The voice becomes by turns sardonic and angry as he witnesses the passion and beauty of the great films and film artists reduced to power plays and dishonest deals rendered by men who have no idea what they're defiling.

I enjoyed both of these books enormously.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Dead Man LIves and for $.99!

Ed here: I finished The Dead Man last night and really enjoyed it. And admired it as a piece of work. The structure is ingenious, the large cast of characters (third person omniscient works here) are variously strong, weak, weird, funny, sad, scary and unique and the storytelling is sleek and relentless. I recommend it big time. And it's now only $.99 on KIndle. BTW I hadn't seen the Booklist comparison to Warren Murphy & Richard Sapir's Destroyer series until after I read The Dead Man. But I thought about that old series several times as I read Goldberg & Rabkin.

Here's a piece from Lee Goldberg and William Rabkin published on Amazon. Review
Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin on The Dead Man series

Lee Goldberg

William Rabkin
We grew up loving those "men's action adventure" paperback novels of the 60s, 70s, and 80s...series like The Destroyer, The Ninja Master, Nick Carter, and The Death Merchant. You could find them in finer supermarkets, gas stations, 7-11s and bookstores everywhere. They were the male equivalent of Harlequin romances,though the only romance was often between a man and his AK-47.

The books were short and tightly-written, with hard-boiled heroes, outrageously sexy women, and gleefully over-the-top plots. Nobody would ever mistake them for great literature, but they were enormous fun to read...and to write (we know, because Lee broke into publishing in the mid-1980s writing one of those series—.357 Vigilante aka The Jury Series under the pen name "Ian Ludlow"--while he was still in college).

Sadly, the "men's action adventure" series novels are virtually extinct now, early victims of the narrowing of the paperback marketplace.

But the Kindle offers the perfect medium for the revival of the genre, which is why we've teamed up with over a dozen other writers on The Dead Man, an original series that we hope recaptures the spirit and pure escapism of the thousands of books written during the heyday of "men’s action adventure."

The series is about Matthew Cahill, an ordinary man leading a simple life...until a shocking accident changes everything. Now he can see a nightmarish netherworld that nobody else does, making each day a journey...and an adventure.

New books in The Dead Man series will appear every month or so, just like they used to in paperback in the old days. Our other experienced Dead Man authors come from a wide cross-section of genres – mystery, westerns, horror, science fiction, thrillers, and cozies. And some of them also lead double-lives as Emmy award winning writer/producers of hit network TV series.

The Dead Man gives us the thrilling opportunity to indulge our great affection for the genre and hopefully get you hooked on it, too. -- Lee Goldberg & William Rabkin

The story races by at a brisk rate of knots, each twist and turn, and shift in time providing another revelation [...] I was enjoying it so much, I didn't want it to end. --Permission to Kill Blog

The Dead Man: Face of Evil is a tight, well written, supernatural thriller [that] satisfies all on it's own, while being a terrific opener that promises an epic tale to come. I'm excited for the next book. --Man Eating Bookworm Blog

The Dead Man Face of Evil reminds me of Stephen King and Dean Koontz.[...]a fascinating horror story that leaves you wanting more, more, more! --Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine

"I'm hopeful they continue with this character since it's set up so well. I've not seen a writing tandem like this since the glory days of Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy" --Bookgasm

"Buckle up! The Dead Man: Face of Evil starts at full-speed and never lets up. This is big-ticket horror with characters you care about who are driven to the very edge. Highly recommended!" -New York Times bestseller Jonathan Maberry, author of Dead of Night

Big News From Mysterious Press

Dear friends and colleagues,
Please forgive me if this is of no interest to you, but I'm pretty jazzed right now. After two years of hard and often frustrating work, the website of my electronic publishing company is up and running. Click this link -- ; -- if you'd like to see it and the terrific array of books and authors we're offering. It's the first day, so only about 40 books are up, but we'll be adding hundreds more over the next few months. Thanks go to Jane Friedman and her fabulous team at Open Road Integrated Media and my brilliant website administrator, Rob Hart.
Yours sincerely, Otto


Bergman, Andrew
Blake, James Carlos
Brand, Christianna
Bruen, Ken
Bunker, Edward
Cook, Thomas H.
Coxe, George Harmon
Ellroy, James
English, T.J.
Garfield, Brian
Grady, James
Hall, Adam
Harvey, John
Hornsby, Wendy
Housewright, David
Kaminsky, Stuart
Klavan, Andrew
McCarry, Charles
McShane, Mark
O'Connell, Jack

Monday, October 24, 2011

“The Dead Man” Series $0.99 on Kindle

“The Dead Man” Series $0.99 on Kindle
by Kindle Editors on 10/24/2011
Author Spotlight: Lee Goldberg on “The Dead Man” Series

The Dead Man series is the continuing story of Matt Cahill, an ordinary man who survives a terrible accident with a horrific side effect: he can see the evil in people as a rotting, festering, physical decay, one that's spread like a plague by a mysterious supernatural figure known as Mr. Dark. Now Matt is pursuing Mr. Dark and trying to stop the evil from spreading.

William Rabkin and I are both experienced authors but we've also spent twenty years writing & producing network TV series together. Writing books is a lonely profession, involving a single writer facing a blank screen.

But writing television is a collaborative experience, with a room full of writers plotting stories together, then going off to write their individual episodes under the "showrunners" hands-on, creative supervision.

Now we are bringing that episodic TV approach to The Dead Man novels, which is not only making it possible for us to publish a new book every month, but also to capitalize on the creativity, experience, and unique voices of a dozen successful authors representing a wide variety of genres.

The two of us wrote the first book and twelve story-lines, then invited writers we admired, or who we loved to read, and or who we were dying to work with, to write episodes, or in this case novels, in the world of The Dead Man.

We were surprised and delighted by the enthusiastic response that we got. It turns out there are many novelists who crave the creative interaction that's common place in TV...but while also ending up with a work they can still feel is uniquely their own. And that's the case with each monthly Dead Man tale.

As the "showrunners" of The Dead Man, William Rabkin and I still shape every story and manuscript to maintain the consistency of the character, the world, and the story-telling, just as we would on a TV series.

But unlike a TV episode, each book is still very much a reflection of each individual author's point-of-view and told in their unmistakable voice.–Lee Goldberg

Dead Man Series, $0.99 each for a limited time

Face of Evil (Dead Man #1)
Matt Cahill survives a shocking accident...and discovers that he now can see a nightmarish netherworld that exists within our own.

Ring of Knives (Dead Man #2)
Matt infiltrates a lunatic asylum to speak to a madman who may hold the secret to defeating Mr. Dark...and ends up fighting for both his sanity and his life.

Hell in Heaven (Dead Man #3)
Matt wanders into a bizarre town seemingly trapped in the past and tormented by an unspeakable horror.

The Dead Woman (Dead Man #4)
Matt meets a woman who may see the same dark world that he does…and who may be able to reveal the secrets behind his mysterious rebirth.

The Blood Mesa (Dead Man #5)
Matt must save a group of archeologists and graduate students who dig up a Native American ruin...and awaken an ancient evil.

Kill Them All (Dead Man #6)
Matt is pursued by a well-armed, ruthless mercenaries into a dying, western town...where he has to make a last stand and prevent a slaughter. (Pre-order, Nov. 22)

Each book in “The Dead Man” series is just $0.99 on Kindle for a limited time.

“The Dead Man” Series $0.99 on Kindle
Posted in Books, Mystery & Thrillers View blog reactions | Email this post |

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Berkley/NAL to Launch E-book Imprint, InterMix

Berkley/NAL to Launch E-book Imprint, InterMix (From Locus)

Oct 19, 2011|

With demand for mass market paperbacks withering, Berkley/NAL, the mass market paperback division of Penguin, will launch a new e-book imprint in January that will operate much like a mass market paperback publisher. InterMix will focus on titles in traditional mass market genres—women’s fiction, romance, mystery/thriller and science fiction/fantasy—and will release a mix of reprints and titles from new authors.

For its January launch, InterMix will publish 11 Nora Roberts’s titles for the first time as e-books. The titles, which originally had been published by Silhouette, will be priced at a mass-market like $6.99. In February, InterMix will bring back to life an old mass market line, Signet Regency, releasing six books as e-books for the first time. Three additional Regency-set romances will be released each month throughout 2012. While Berkley/NAL will publish new authors under the InterMix imprint, no new authors were announced. It also wasn’t clear how many titles InterMix will release over the course of 2012. Additional titles signed for 2012 are seven more Roberts’s titles and four Jayne Ann Krentz-writing-as-Jayne Castle novels in the Guinevere Jones series.

Berkley said that all InterMix titles will be completely repackaged with new cover art and interior designs as well as “creative marketing, publicity, and advertising campaigns.” Leslie Gelbman, president of Berkley Publishing, said she sees InterMix as “an extension of what we’ve been doing, providing a way for original voices to reach readers.” Berkley/NAL, Gelbman stressed, is “fully committed” to its print program and noted that some of InterMix’s original e-book authors could be republished in any or the three print formats.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Mathesons shop massive genre library

From Variety:

Mathesons shop massive genre library
'Real Steel,' 'I Am Legend' author looking for studios to partner on creative vision

“Real Steel” is based on a 1956 short story by Richard Matheson.

Sixty years after Hollywood started adapting his sci-fi, fantasy and horror tales into movies and TV shows, Richard Matheson is ready for a comeback.
The author, now 85, has teamed up with his screenwriting son, Richard Christian Matheson, and former William Morris literary agent Alan Gasmer to shop Matheson's library of 150 short stories, books, plays and scripts around town -- with one caveat: that he has a say in what winds up onscreen.

"Steel," a short story published in 1956, is the basis for DreamWorks' robot boxing pic "Real Steel," which stars Hugh Jackman and bows Friday through Disney's Touchstone banner.

His ghost story "Earthbound" already is set up at DreamWorks, with Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald producing. And negotiations are under way with 20th Century Fox and Shawn Levy's 21 Laps shingle for the film rights to his 1963 short "Deus Ex Machina," about a man who discovers he's mechanical when he cuts himself and bleeds oil. Levy helmed "Real Steel."

Matheson may not be a household name in the same vein as a Stephen King or even Stephenie Meyer,but his work is certainly recognizable.

His vampire tale "I Am Legend" has spawned three pics, with Will Smith starring in WB's most recent version, while "What Dreams May Come," "The Incredible Shrinking Man," "A Stir of Echoes" "Somewhere in Time" and "The Legend of Hell House" are based on his novels.

Steven Spielberg turned "Duel" into a telepic, while "Button, Button" and "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" were adapted as "Twilight Zone" and "Night Gallery" episodes, which then became pics like "The Box."

"People are not necessarily aware of who I am but they're aware of the things that I've written," Matheson told Variety.

fir the rest go here:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Kris Rusch's FIERY attack on editors

Ed here: Kristine Kathryn Rusch has long been one of my favorite writers. And editors. And savvy commentators on the lives of freelance writers. Kris and her husband (and writer) Dean Wesley Smith are also well-known for their writing workshops. Now I had assumed with all of Kris' street cred that she would never be treated by NYC the way some or many of us have been over the years. Not so. Kris blog is mandatory reading for writers. Here's an example.

Crank up the Aretha Franklin as you read this. Because her classic “R*E*S*P*E*C*T” is blaring as I write this.

I am fed up.

This is the kind of mood I get into when I tell bosses to go screw themselves, when I walk off the job, when I say, “That’s it, no one treats me like this. Not a soul.”

In the past two days, two different editors have told me that I don’t know how publishing works. One deigned to explain to me how something in book production worked when I questioned a scheduling problem in the publishing house. The other told me I had no idea how to write a good book in my genre.

Excuse me, children?

And I do mean children. Both are younger than me, both have been in the business less than ten years, neither is anything more than an editor. Not a senior editor, not a vice-president, not the owner of the damn company. Editors. Employees way down the food chain.

I know. I was one, long before these two were out of frickin’ school. I have taught copy editors, for god’s sake. I have designed publishing schedules. I have run publishing offices. I have managed managing editors. I have more knowledge about publishing in my little finger than either of these two.

for the rest go here:

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Sam McCain hits #15 on the Baker & Taylor list

#1: Feast Day of Fools
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Feast Day of Fools
Simon & Schuster
By: Burke, James Lee
Pub Date: 9/27/2011
ISBN: 9781451643114
Binding: Cloth

#2: The Night Strangers: A Novel
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The Night Strangers: A Novel
Crown Pub
By: Bohjalian, Christopher A.
Pub Date: 10/4/2011
ISBN: 9780307394996
Binding: Cloth

#3: Murder Unleashed: A Novel
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Murder Unleashed: A Novel
Ballantine Books
By: Brown, Rita Mae
Pub Date: 10/4/2011
ISBN: 9780345511836
Binding: Cloth

#4: Heat Rises
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Heat Rises
By: Castle, Richard
Pub Date: 9/20/2011
ISBN: 9781401324438
Binding: Cloth

#5: City of Whispers
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

City of Whispers
Grand Central Pub
By: Muller, Marcia
Pub Date: 10/26/2011
ISBN: 9780446573337
Binding: Cloth

#6: Skeleton Letters
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Skeleton Letters
Berkley Pub Group
By: Childs, Laura
Pub Date: 10/4/2011
ISBN: 9780425243893
Binding: Cloth

#7: Headstone
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Grove Press
By: Bruen, Ken
Pub Date: 10/4/2011
ISBN: 9780802126009
Binding: Cloth

#8: The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The End of the Wasp Season: A Novel
Reagan Arthur Books
By: Mina, Denise
Pub Date: 9/26/2011
ISBN: 9780316069335
Binding: Cloth

#9: The Dark at the End
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The Dark at the End
Tor Books
By: Wilson, F. Paul
Pub Date: 10/11/2011
ISBN: 9780765322838
Binding: Cloth

#10: The Chocolate Castle Clue: A Chocoholic Mystery
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The Chocolate Castle Clue: A Chocoholic Mystery
New American Library
By: Carl, Joanna
Pub Date: 10/4/2011
ISBN: 9780451234742
Binding: Cloth

#11: The Blood Red Indian Summer
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The Blood Red Indian Summer
Minotaur Books
By: Handler, David
Pub Date: 10/11/2011
ISBN: 9780312648350
Binding: Cloth

#12: A Double Death on the Black Isle: A Novel
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

A Double Death on the Black Isle: A Novel
Atria Books
By: Scott, A. D.
Pub Date: 9/27/2011
ISBN: 9781439154946
Binding: Paper

#13: The Vault
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

The Vault
By: Rendell, Ruth
Pub Date: 9/13/2011
ISBN: 9781451624083
Binding: Cloth

#14: Trick of the Dark
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Trick of the Dark
Bywater Books
By: McDermid, Val
Pub Date: 9/6/2011
ISBN: 9781932859959
Binding: Cloth

#15: Bad Moon Rising: A Sam Mccain Mystery
Posted: 19 Oct 2011 08:03 AM PDT

Bad Moon Rising: A Sam Mccain Mystery
Pegasus Books
By: Gorman, Ed
Pub Date: 10/12/2011
ISBN: 9781605982601
Binding: Cloth

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Forgotten Books: Baby Moll by John Farris

Baby Moll by John Farris

John Farris was my generation's first literary rock star. When his novel Harrison High was published it quickly became controversial because of its honest depiction of life among American teenagers. This was 1959. America still believed that if teens weren't exactly like Ricky and David Nelson they certainly weren't like Elvis. Given the fact that many of these teens would be in the streets protesting the Viet Nam war only a few years later, you can see how badly books such as Pat Boone's Twixt Twelve and Twenty misjudged them.

The paperback edition became a companion to Peyton Place, published a few years earlier, both Great Reads and both purveyors of unpopular truths.

Mr. Farris, now famous, was all of twenty-three when the book was published. But he was no beginner. Born in 1936 he could already claim the following novels in print:

* The Corpse Next Door (Graphic Books, 1956) (as John Farris)
* The Body on the Beach (Bouregy & Curl, 1957, hc) (as Steve Brackeen)
* Baby Moll (Crest, 1958, pb) (as Steve Brackeen)
* Danger in My Blood (Crest, 1958, pb) (as Steve Brackeen)

He was writing and publishing before he could legally buy beer.

Hard Case Crime has now given us a chance to look at some of Farris' early work with Baby Moll appearing this month. And fine work it is.

"Six years after quitting the Florida Mob, Peter Mallory is about to be dragged back in.

"Stalked by a vicious killer and losing his hold on power, Mallory’s old boss needs help—the kind of help only a man like Mallory can provide. But behind the walls of the fenced-in island compound he once called home, Mallory is about to find himself surrounded by beautiful women, by temptation, and by danger—and one wrong step could trigger a bloodbath."

If you have any doubt about Farris' writing skills open the book and read the first chapter. It is both lyrical and ominous, an unlikely combination in a paperback crime novel. This establishes the way Farris even then managed to take some of the familiar tropes of genre fiction and make them entirely his own.

The set-up itself is unique. Mallory called back to save the life of a boss he despises but a man he owes his life. The boss got him off the bottle.

The story, as it plays out, is also all Farris. While parts of the first act brought Peter Rabe to mind Farris takes the gangster novel in a different direction. Given the relationship of the people on the island the book becomes almost Gothic in its entanglements and ambience.

Farris of course went on to write numerous bestsellers, a number of them staples of modern dark suspense and horror, but even here, early on, he was a cunning storyteller fascinated by the perplexity and perversity of the human soul.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


From The New York Times
Mad About Her: Pauline Kael, Loved and Loathed

Robin Holland/Corbis Outline
Pauline Kael, the longtime New Yorker critic, in 1986. She is the subject of a new biography, “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark.”
Published: October 14, 2011

THE longtime New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael didn’t just write about movies — she made it seem as if they were worth fighting about. Nearly 20 years after her retirement and a decade after her death, she remains an often polarizing figure. On Oct. 27, the Library of America will publish “The Age of Movies: Selected Writings of Pauline Kael,” followed four days later by the publication of “Pauline Kael: A Life in the Dark,” a sometimes surprising biography by Brian Kellow, from Viking. A. O. Scott and Manohla Dargis discuss her work and its legacy.

MANOHLA DARGIS I was talking to a critic friend recently who, with a sigh of regret, mentioned what he characterized as the assault on critical authority. This isn’t a new topic for professional opinionators like us: in the age of Rotten Tomatoes, with its hundreds of reviewers weighing in on new movies, and Yelp, where nonprofessionals thrust their thumbs up or down, the idea that critics don’t have the say they once had has been much discussed during the Great Decline (of critical influence, the publishing industry, the economy). The notion that critics once had power is certainly one of the selling points on the jacket for the Kael biography, which states that during her time at The New Yorker (1968-91) she “became the most widely read, the most influential, the most powerful, and, often enough, the most provocative critic in America.”

for the rest go here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal

From The New York Times

October 16, 2011
Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal
SEATTLE — has taught readers that they do not need bookstores. Now it is encouraging writers to cast aside their publishers.

Amazon will publish 122 books this fall in an array of genres, in both physical and e-book form. It is a striking acceleration of the retailer’s fledging publishing program that will place Amazon squarely in competition with the New York houses that are also its most prominent suppliers.

It has set up a flagship line run by a publishing veteran, Laurence Kirshbaum, to bring out brand-name fiction and nonfiction. It signed its first deal with the self-help author Tim Ferriss. Last week it announced a memoir by the actress and director Penny Marshall, for which it paid $800,000, a person with direct knowledge of the deal said.

Publishers say Amazon is aggressively wooing some of their top authors. And the company is gnawing away at the services that publishers, critics and agents used to provide.

Several large publishers declined to speak on the record about Amazon’s efforts. “Publishers are terrified and don’t know what to do,” said Dennis Loy Johnson of Melville House, who is known for speaking his mind.

for the rest go here:

Sunday, October 16, 2011

King, Kubrick and the most expensive f**k-off note in history by Stephen Gallgher.

Ed here: I've mentioned Stephen Gallagher several times over the years. To me he's one of the most original, compelling writers of our time. His books, stories, screenplays and television work are as finely wrought and darkly moving as only real literature can be. He's a bestseller in the UK and while many of his books have been published here he's never been promoted well enough to give him the wider audience he deserves. And it's no surprise that his website is packed with a whole lot of cool stuff, too. Here's an older piece that's well worth the read.

King, Kubrick and the most expensive f**k-off note in history by Stephen Gallagher.

I've watched Channel Five's airing of the miniseries based on THE SHINING, and a very thought-provoking experience it's been. With Stephen King as screenwriter and executive producer, it comes a full eighteen years after Stanley Kubrick's feature adaptation of the novel. King disliked the earlier adaptation, and used to say so. He can't say so any more because in order to get hold of the remake rights he had to undertake not to.

I love THE SHINING. I think it's the definitive haunted-place book and it would have been my favourite King novel if he hadn't gone on and written THE DEAD ZONE. The night I finished reading it for the first time - actually at around two o'clock in the morning - I had to walk around the house putting all the lights on. The next day I started it again, something that I'd rarely done with a book before and never since.

When Kubrick's feature adaptation came out in 1980 my feelings about it were mixed, and continue to change over time. I probably like it better now than I used to. On a first viewing I remember my reaction being a big disappointment that he simply hadn't managed to get it, and that what we had before us was a magnificent toolkit for a SHINING movie but not the movie itself. Now I suppose it's merged with the book in my mind, and I find myself supplying the missing elements to make it work. It has an intellectual elegance, and it's made with enormous craft and skill. As cinema, it's still state-of-the-art nearly two decades later. All it lacks is the narrative integrity that sets THE SHINING apart as material and made it worth tackling in the first place.

for the rest go here:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Dave Zeltserman-free Julius; Nightmare Noir: Nightmare Alley

I've made Julius Katz Mysteries free on Smashwords.

Julius Katz Mysteries with 2 award-winning stories (including last years Shamus) now free #ebook #free #mystery


-------------------From The Los Angeles Times:

Paperback Writers: Nightmare noir

William Lindsay Gresham's novel 'Nightmare Alley' draws deeply on autobiographical sources to tell the story of a doomed carnival hustler.

March 28, 2010|By Richard Rayner
William Lindsay Gresham's novel "Nightmare Alley" (NYRB Classics: 288 pp., $16) tells the rise-and-fall story of Stan Carlisle, a hustling carnival wanna-be who transforms himself into the Great Stanton, a big-time stage magician, and then into a fake psychic, running a "spook racket" before reaching too far and engineering his own catastrophe.

In the end, Carlisle is torn apart by the very same emotional disturbances that have driven him, let down by a woman who loves him and betrayed by another who is even more ruthless than he. The "nightmare" of the title rings true, for this delirious and unstoppable novel -- first published in 1946, famously filmed starring Tyrone Power in 1947 and only now re-issued by NYRB Classics in its full, uncensored version with a new introduction by Nick Tosches -- inverts the American dream. The plot turns the Horatio Alger myth on its head and the psychology leans on Freud, but the torment, the pervading sense that the human creature lives in a trap he or she is doomed never to escape, comes from the heart and mind of the author. Never was noir more autobiographical than here.
"Baptized an Episcopalian, raised an agnostic, in turns a Unitarian, a hedonist, a stoic, a Communist, a self-made mystic, and an eclectic grabber after truth, I had at last come home," wrote William Lindsay Gresham after his reconversion to the Christian faith in the early 1950s.

Friday, October 14, 2011

David Thomson on The Third Man-an ironic take on bad guys

Ed here: The Third Man was on TCM this morning so of course I watched it. I wouldn't change a single frame. As much as I admire Graham Greene's other screenplays, this is the masterpiece. And Carol Reed, the director and Greene's close collaborator, was every bit as good as Greene.

Here's Thomson's ironic take on the career of Harry Lime. As I watched this I saw Lime as all the Wall Streeters who destroyed a good part of the world. And also on bad guys in general.

The Third Man
Production year: 1949

Directors: Carol Reed
Cast: Alida Valli, Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard

How bad is bad? Good enough to make a sequel. In Vienna, just after the war, there was a shortage of penicillin that led to a racket. In The Third Man, this fellow, Harry Lime, cornered the market in penicillin. He was selling it for 70 quid a tube. Then logic occurred to him: he could dilute the stuff but put the price up. It was a kind of murder. "Men with gangrened legs, women in childbirth. And there were children, too. They used some of this diluted penicillin against meningitis. The lucky children died, the unlucky ones went off their heads."

They could be your children. Calloway, the policeman, shows the results to Holly Martins to break that fool's friendship with Lime. In 1949, such scenes were too grim to put in the film itself. But no one stinted on the charm of Lime. He's talked about for three-quarters of the picture, and there he is, like a little boy in a grown-up's coat, hiding in a doorway, with a cat on his polished shoes, and giving that sweet, seductive Orson Welles smile into the camera. Would he smile to see the children in the hospital, or just pop another indigestion tablet to kill the acid? Those kids, he tells Holly, they're like dots on the ground. He offers Holly £20,000, "free of income tax, old man", for every dot that stops moving. It is a Satanic proposition, and The Third Man is a film where Satan has most of the best lines - like the one about Italy under the Borgias and good old Switzerland with centuries of brotherly love and only the cuckoo clock as its prize.

Everyone loved Harry Lime in 1949, even if he had to die, so it was hardly a surprise that after the movie, Lime was back, on radio first - as a hero, a kind of modern-day Robin Hood, a bit of a rogue but a fellow who righted wrongs, someone the poor benighted mugs of the world could rely on.

for the rest go here:

Thursday, October 13, 2011

A remarkable movie about men who are terrified of women.

David Thomson on Films: ‘Sweet Smell of Success’
A remarkable movie about men who are terrified of women.
David ThomsonApril 1, 2011 | 7:24 pm 2 comments

Ed here: Yes I watched The Sweet Smell of Success again (I'm addicted to it) and so here's the David Thomson piece on it.


Nobody had seen or heard anything like the first half of Sweet Smell of Success in 1957. It wasn’t just the way the picture went out onto the streets and into the bars of Manhattan, letting cameraman James Wong Howe get his best stuff at dawn and twilight. Film noir had made hay with darkness for ten years, but still, you didn’t get a lot of real night in American pictures. Here it was, and here were the nocturnal creatures who thrived on it: Sidney and J.J., a new kind of double act in an age famous for Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.

The picture was a disaster when it opened: It did no business; it got no nominations—not even for Howe, let alone Tony Curtis or Burt Lancaster, or the gang of writers who found a way for them to talk. The production had been painful. Director Alexander Mackendrick (born in Boston but raised in Glasgow and the British film business) was a stylist and a perfectionist, brave enough to challenge Lancaster (whose company, Hecht-Hill-Lancaster, was making the picture). Ernest Lehman had supplied the basic material and some script, but the very famous or nearly washed up Clifford Odets had been kept in a trailer on the streets at night, typing out dialogue for the guys to use as poison darts.

It’s a celebrated picture now, so I hardly have to tell you the set-up: J.J. Hunsecker is a powerful New York gossip columnist. The legend says he’s based on Walter Winchell, but I think he comes largely out of the writing, Burt’s urge to intimidate everyone, and the strange chemistry he got going with Tony. Curtis is the freelance press agent, Sidney Falco. Today, we see handsome snakes in the grass in every media garden (indeed, they are the grass), but truly, this smiling wickedness was quite novel in 1957, and it showed Curtis’s reckless ambition that he wanted the part. Their scenes together changed film. It wasn’t just the wise-cracking chat, “the cookie dipped in arsenic” stuff. It was their intimacy in evil and the power game they played. It was the sado-masochistic trip they were on and the subtle ways in which loathing and contempt veiled need.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I dunno...Robert Downey, Jr. to play Perry Mason

Ed here: It's my age I'm sure. But I think Perry Mason I think Raymond Burr. This might work if Downey, a very good actor, plays him hard-boiled as Mason was in the early books. Maybe.

Warner Bros., Downey team for 'Perry Mason'
Duo to relaunch franchise as a feature film

'Perry Mason'

Previous “Perry Mason” adaptations include the long-running TV series, B movies and telepics.

Warner Bros. and Team Downey are pairing to adapt the Perry Mason property as a feature film, with Robert Downey Jr. eyeing the project as a potential starring vehicle.
Like the original series of books by Erle Stanley Gardner about the irrepressible defense attorney, "Perry Mason" will be set in the rough-and-tumble world of early 1930s L.A. and feature Mason's secretary, Della Street, private investigator Paul Drake and Mason's longtime courtroom nemesis, Hamilton Burger.

Team Downey principals Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey will produce with Robert Cort, while David Gambino, Eric Hetzel and Joe Horacek will exec produce with Susan Feiles and Chris Darling. The producers are looking for a writer; script will be based on an original story by Downey Jr. and Gambino.Warner Bros. exec Jon Berg will oversee the project for the studio.

Cort and his Robert Cort Prods. exec Hetzel teamed with Darling and Feiles of Action Entertainment to bring the idea for the feature relaunch of "Perry Mason" to Team Downey. Estate attorney Horacek negotiated the rights deal on behalf of Paisano Prods.

Gardner's 82 "Perry Mason" novels and dozens of short stories have been published in 37 languages, with book sales exceeding 425 million. Gardner mentored both Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett but surpassed them both in sales -- combined. At the height of his popularity, Gardner sold an average of 26,000 "Perry Mason" books per day.

A "Perry Mason" radio series began in 1937, running 3,257 episodes, and there were six feature films beginning in the 1930s from Warners. But the character is perhaps best known as the protag of the popular TV show starring Raymond Burr, which ran on CBS from 1957-66 and featured memorable theme music composed by Fred Steiner. The series still plays in 87 languages around the world, and Burr also starred in a series of "Perry Mason" telepics in the 1980s and '90s.

Robert Downey Jr., who next stars in "Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows," is currently reprising his role as Iron Man in Marvel's "The Avengers." He is repped by CAA.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Amazon's latest big announcement

Amazon Launches SF/Fantasy Imprint: 47North

— posted Tuesday 11 October 2011 @ 10:05 am PDT’s publishing division has announced a new SF/fantasy/horror imprint, 47North.

The imprint has announced their first 15 titles, to be released in late 2011 and early 2012. Upcoming books include Against the Light by Dave Duncan (January 2012); The Mongoliad: Book One by Neal Stephenson & Greg Bear (April 2012); and Further: Beyond the Threshold by Chris Roberson (May 2012).

Titles will be available in Kindle, print, and audio formats at, “as well as at national and independent booksellers.” They plan to publish original work, reprints, and out-of-print titles.

47North is the seventh imprint from Amazon Publishing, and joins other genre lines including Montlake Romance and mystery/thriller imprint Thomas & Mercer. For more details, see

Category: Publishing.

Please don't bring “Arrested Development” back

Ed here: I reluctantly agree with this piece. Man, I loved this show. Bought all the DVDs and watched them over and over. But the odds against producing new ones that would do justice to the originals...Plus I agree that in the last season and a half some of the story arcs were pretty lame. Even some of the performance felt tired.

Please don't bring “Arrested Development” back FROM SALON
Once again, rumors of a movie are swirling. Can't we leave a great show alone?


Anyone who’s ever watched a zombie movie — or either of the “Sex and the City” features — knows that bringing something once-beloved back from the dead rarely works out well. Why then, nearly six years after it left the air, do wekeep getting our hopes up about bringing back “Arrested Development“?

The justly beloved Fox sitcom recalibrated America’s “cult classic” meter virtually from the moment it debuted in 2003. Though it was never a ratings success, the farcical tribulations of the once-wealthy Bluth family scooped up Emmys and Golden Globes, launched Will Arnett and Michael Cera, made Jason Bateman a bona fide leading man, and gave that kid from “Happy Days” a nice narrating gig for a while there. Its cancellation in 2006 was both inevitable and a total heartbreaker. And when it happened, viewers, perhaps spoiled by “Buffy” — a show so violently adored that it survived its final two seasons on a different network – hoped for a similar fate. Surely some other savvy network would pick up one of the slyest, most original television series ever aired? Showtime? HBO? Anybody? How about a movie, then?


But not enough. Some things only come along once in a while for a reason. “Arrested Development” existed in a particular moment in pop culture, and the exploits of its family remain comfortably frozen in a time when Bush was president and Michael Cera was a gawky teen. And let’s just say it, fellow diehards, that last season, with the whole Charlize Theron stuff and the confusion over adoptions and long-lost family members, was pretty scattershot. It’s not that Hurwitz and company couldn’t still spin gold from their characters. But after an absence of what would be at least seven years, would audiences really want to know what Buster and Tobias were up to?

for the rest go here:

Mary Elizabeth Williams is a staff writer for Salon and the author of "Gimme Shelter: My Three Years Searching for the American Dream." Follow her on Twitter: @embeedub.More Mary Elizabeth Williams

Monday, October 10, 2011

On sale today BAD MOON RISING

Ed here: Amazon is selling the hardcover for ten dollars off the published price and the Kindle version goes on sale tomorrow.

Amazon Price New from
Kindle Edition $9.99
Hardcover $15.99

Some of the reviews:

"The real crime, as Sam eventually realizes, is how one generation exploits the next—while the younger generation devours itself. In turn mellow and melancholy, this book grapples with problems that are too complex for any detective to untangle".
Starred Review Publisher's Weekly

"The hippies, the animosity between Vietnam hawks and doves, the drugs, and the music all provide rich background for a cleverly plotted, fast-paced mystery. Those who lived through the sixties will field a rush of memories; younger generations will find the novel a telling guidebook to the era."

"Another knockout mystery from Gorman, with the right balance of suspense, characterization, and humor....The McCain books are some of the best-written portrayals of the complexities of small-town America, like Winesburg, Ohio with a noir twist. This isn’t a nostalgic view of the good old days. Gorman’s 1950s and 1960s are as politically diverse and socially complex as today. Even though it is a small town, the crimes are anything but quaint. Gorman reveals the dark undercurrents, seething anger, and boiled-up oppression of mid-century Middle America. There might not be any fedoras or rain-slicked dark alleys, but Gorman’s world is 100% noir. His work embodies the compromised decisions characters have to make in order to survive in a compromised world."
Pulp Serenade"

"Plots, characters, setting, and attitude. This series has it all,,,There's a hippie commune just outside Black River Falls, and when the daughter of one of the town's prominent citizens is murdered there, McCain is drawn into the case. Everyone except McCain seems to believe it's an open-and-shut case, especially Cliffie, the town's police chief, who doesn't figure as much in this story as in previous books. McCain begins his own investigation, and things prove to be a lot more complicated than anyone thought. Ugly secrets are uncovered, but Gorman, as usual, is wonderfully even-handed at presenting the human beings involved. Nobody's painted in one color here. Even the worst have redeeming qualities, no matter how small. And even the best have their flaws."
--Bill Crider

"Gorman manages to collapse every chaotic problem that America faced in 1968 into one tight, small-town story. While unwinding a complex mystery, Sam McCain blends pathos and humor with his edgy social commentary and makes us all take a long look at ourselves back when."
Criminal Element

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Cinema Retro #21 Available Now

Ed here: I'm not exaggerating. This is the single best issue of Cinema Retro I've ever read. This is only to say that every piece in the issue appealed to my own tastes. But honestly it is packed with so many goodies it's impossible to exaggerate.t

Cinema Retro issue #21 is now shipping in worldwide. All subscribers should have the issue in their hands any day. It's our most provocative issue ever, covering some of the most ground-breaking, censor-shattering films in history. Among the highlights:

Raymond Benson examines the legacy of A Clockwork Orange and interviews Malcolm McDowell and Jan Harlan, Stanley Kubrick's assistant and future producer of his films.
John Exshaw looks into the making of Ken Russell's controversial The Devils and explores how the film has been cut and censored around the world since its initial release- and why it may never be released in America or the UK on DVD.
Stephanie Callas celebrates Bertolucci's X-rated classic Last Tango in Paris
Ian Brown looks into Don Siegel's kinky remake of The Killers- the final film of Ronald Reagan.
Mark Cerulli gives us the inside story on the making of John Carpenter's horror classic Halloween
Adrian Smith interviews "The British Marilyn Monroe", Vera Day and attends the reunion of The Avengers cast and crew.
Matthew Field gets personal with directors Michael Winner, Mike Hodges and Ken Russell
Mark Mawston attends the St. Trinian's reunion
Tom Lisanti covers the bizarre story behind the two competing 1965 big screen biopics of Jean Harlow
Dave Worrall takes a sentimental journey and attends the family memorial service for producer Elliott Kastner
Raymond Benson's 10 best films of 1980
Plus the story behind Cinema Sex Sirens, Cinema Retro publishers Dave Worrall and Lee Pfeiffer's new book that pays tribute to the screen goddesses of the 60s and 70s.
Plus the latest DVD, soundtrack and film book reviews
If you are a subscriber, this is your last issue of the season. Please renew your subscriptions ASAP to make sure you don't miss a single issue of the new season, which begins in December. Cinema Retro back issues are fast becoming expensive collector's items- so don't miss any of the excitement. If you haven't subscribed, do so today and get all three issues of Season & (#'s 19, 20 and 21).

We appreciate the support of all of our subscribers, but to ensure that we keep Cinema Retro "pure" and largely devoid of advertisements, please renew your subscription for season 8 (issues #22, 23 and 24) right away! This will ensure that you will not miss an issue. As you may know, out of print copies of back issues are selling for up to $150 each on the collector's circuit. Your prompt support and renewal is much appreciated- and will help us keep the price stable. (We have not raised our cover price in eight years, despite soaring production and postage costs.)

We will still be filling subscriptions for season 7 until issue #22 comes out in December. If you are renewing, just specify your payment is for season 8.

David Thomson on Films: The Lonely Legacy of Nicholas Ray

David Thomson on Films: The Lonely Legacy of Nicholas Ray
David ThomsonAugust 4, 2011 | 12:00 am THE NEW REPUBLIC

He died well short of his own centenary, and some who knew film director Nicholas Ray (and who tried to save him from his richly endowed self-destructiveness) were amazed he got as far as 67. But, this August 7, he would have been 100. And now, for a moment, the world seems ready to take notice and offer the chronic vagrant a home. Not that “home” has much reliability in his case. What made Nick Ray valuable and important was his living forever by night, on dangerous ground, in a lonely place. I’m playing with the titles of some of his films, to which I should add his last, unfinished problematic film—an untidy picture about picture-making on its own existential borders—We Can’t Go Home Again.

This was a project that grew out of a college teaching job in upstate New York in the early ’70s, a psychodrama in which Ray and his own students played themselves, working in every film or video format they could find. When Ray died in 1979, he was
struggling to complete it, though it was apparent that death was the most likely closure. Now, decades later, Ray’s fourth wife, Susan, after valiant efforts to find funding, to keep the faith, and discover a form for the film, has produced a version that may be definitive. To mark Ray’s centenary, it will play at the Venice Film Festival. Will it seem like a masterpiece, or a footnote to a history so few people know now? I can’t say, but I would guess that the film raised from the dead must renew the potent but frightening legend of Nicholas Ray. There’s no doubt that Ray embodied the idea that, in the mid and late
twentieth century, the place to look for America’s tragic heroes was among its film-makers.

At the same time, July saw the publication of Patrick McGilligan’s Nicholas Ray: The Glorious Failure of an American Director. This is the first attempt at a Ray biography written in English (and researched by someone raised in Ray’s Midwest). The earliest work on Ray came from France and England, and a lot of it was written in the vibrant but not always helpful vein of Jean-Luc Godard’s comment, “Nicholas Ray is the cinema.” McGilligan is more down-to-earth and much more interested in research. So he is more valuable on the failure and the mess in this handsome but very insecure figure. He admits the bisexuality that some hero-worshippers preferred to overlook. He keeps a steady eye on the sheer chaos of the life: Nick Ray found his son Tony in bed with his third wife, actress Gloria Grahame, when the son was just thirteen!

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Drugs, Sex, Girls: Being Directed by Peckinpah on the His 'Killer Elite'

From The Wrap

Drugs, Sex, Girls: Being Directed by Peckinpah on the His 'Killer Elite'
Published: October 07, 2011 @ 10:35 am

By Carole Mallory

With both “Straw Dogs” and “Killer Elite” playing in theaters, I feel it’s the moment to tell what it felt like to be directed by Sam Peckinpah. The new “Killer Elite” is not the same script as Peckinpah's, but it is the same title.

In 1975 he cast me in the original. For the audition I was told to look sexy. I wore a blue suede dress from St. Tropez that had a Tarzan’s Jane look to it. It was cut low. It had a Native American feel, and I thought Sam -- who claimed to be part Native American -- would “cotton” to it.

When I walked into his office, he was seated and wearing a blue and white paisley bandana covering his forehead. He had a deep tan, wrinkled skin and sparkling mischievous eyes. “Walk around for me?” he said, sternly. Like a good obedient actress on an audition, I did as I was told. Minutes later I was told I could leave.

Leaving, I passed my competition a stunning Veronica Hamel, who had starred in “Hill Street Blues.” She was wearing a suit. Why, I wondered!

Later that day, my agent called to say I had been cast, Sam had liked the dress I had worn on the audition so much that he asked me to wear it for the filming. Great, I thought!

for the rest go here:

Friday, October 07, 2011

New Books:The Consummata by Max Allan Collins


Compared to the $40 million the cops think he stole, seventy-five thousand dollars may not sound like much. But it's all the money in the world to the struggling Cuban exiles of Miami who rescued Morgan the Raider. So when it's snatched by a man the Cubans trusted, Morgan sets out to get it back. A simple favor—but as the bodies pile up...dead men and beautiful women...the Raider wonders what kind of Latin hell he's gotten himself into, and just who or what is the mysterious Consummata?

Begun by mystery master MICKEY SPILLANE in the late 1960s and completed four decades later by his buddy MAX ALLAN COLLINS (Road to Perdition), The Consummata is the long-awaited follow-up to Spillane's bestseller The Delta Factor—a breathtaking tale of treachery, sensuality, and violence, showcasing two giants of crime fiction at their pulse-pounding, two-fisted best.



Publishers Weekly: "There are ample servings of the sex and violence Spillane fans have come to expect, and it’s impossible to tell where Spillane’s work stops and Collins’s begins."

The Library Journal: "The men are tough, the women are sexy, and the pages turn faster than the bodies pile up—what else could you ask for in a hard-boiled thriller?"

Pulp Fiction Reviews: "zips along at a fast, gut tightening pace filled with lots of sexy and dangerous women and a true exotic mix of colorful supporting characters from both sides of the law." "[THE CONSUMMATA] is a seamless adventure that moves smoothly from chapter to chapter with one clear and exciting voice, echoing the bullet-blasting tales of a true Mystery Grandmaster."

Thursday, October 06, 2011


THE GUNSMITH IS BACK! by Robert J. Randisi

Okay, he never left, but it was January of 1980 when GUNSMITH #1: MACKLIN’S WOMEN was first published. That same month was my first month as a full time free lance writer. I’m tempted to say here, “And the rest is history,” but there’s more to it than that. It has taken a lot of hard work to produce a Gunsmith novel a month since then, while also writing other series, and other genres. I am presently working on Gunsmith #368. Add to that 15 Giant Gunsmith novels over the years, and we’re sitting at 383 book about good ol’ Clint Adams. There have been more an 10 million copies in print (the publisher says 5 million on the books, but it has been saying that for a long time).

You can go to the Penguin website for the action western page to read up on the series:

There is also a Gunsmith Facebook page:

But the more amazing thing that is happening now is that The Gunsmith #1 is back., after being out of print for many years. In fact. Speaking Volumes LLC ( will be bringing the first 200 Gunsmiths out as ebooks and POD trade paperbacks, publishing them over the next five years. In addition, they are bring Gunsmith 1 & 2 out on audio, with more possible.

Book #2: THE CHINESE GUNMAN will be published next month.

In addition, all my other Adult Western series, which came out under different names during the 1980’s, will receive the same treatment, so look for The TRACKER series, the ANGEL EYES series and the MOUNTAIN JACK PIKE series, all of which will be published as by “Robert J. Randisi writing as . . .” each pseudonym.

The Gunsmith books will continue to appear as by J.R. Roberts.

It’s exciting to see old series making a comeback.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

I agree with Seth McFarlane on this one...

Ed here: I'm a big fan of Seth McFarlane's work but when I see on TV he's a little smirky for my taste. Too hip for the room. However I agree with him about Jon Stewart here. I never could figure out the point of that big event Stewart had in Washington a few years ago. I pretty much felt he was celebrating himself and his status as a pundit. At least Colbert had the horse sense to mock it all with that ridiculous costume. Bill Maher and Keith Olbermann dared to say the same thing--what was the point? Stewart claimed that both sides were holding up progress in congress and they needed to get together. My ass. The GOP was holding it up per MItch McConnell's statement that his most important goal was to make sure that Obama was a one term president. So when Maher and Olbermann spoke up Stewart took shots at them. I dont know if they got phone calls from him but McFarlane sure did.

From Pop Eater/Huffington Post

Seth MacFarlane has a feud with Jon Stewart?
by Lanford Beard
Categories: Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane, The Daily Show

During the taping for tonight’s Piers Morgan, the muckraking Brit sprang questions about a never-revealed war of war of words between guest Seth MacFarlane and The Daily Show anchor Jon Stewart. According to Morgan’s crack investigators, Stewart called the Family Guy creator up in 2008 after MacFarlane lampooned Stewart for continuing to air The Daily Show during the 2007 Writers Guild strike. MacFarlane described Stewart as “angry” and himself both “shocked” and “frustrated” during the hour-long the telephonic ambush. He explained, “I think [Jon’s] response was ‘Who the hell made you the moral arbiter of Hollywood?’”

When Morgan noted, “There’s a certain irony in Jon Stewart ringing up and haranguing you for mocking him, isn’t there?” MacFarlane responded, “If I say yes, he’ll crucify me on his show for a year.” MacFarlane, who admitted he was outmatched by Stewart’s phenomenal debate skills, was surprised Morgan even knew about the altercation, saying, “My publicist has forbidden me to talk about this ever since it happened.”

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

New Books: If The Woodsman is Late by Matthew Paust

Dear Friends - Another literary egg has popped out of this rooster's butt. This one is a collection of stories, some fiction but most of them of them true. There's a gun theme in many of them. The title refers to one of the stories, which reflects on what might have happened to Red Riding Hood had the woodsman who rescues her from the wolf in the fairytale gotten distracted or sidetracked or for whatever reason couldn't get to her in time to kill the wolf. The link below will take you to an announcement I posted on my Open Salon blog. I'm also attaching a photo here of the book's front and back cover. I trust all of you are well. Fall has finally arrived here with its cooler, friendlier weather. We're enjoying the change. Cheers and love. - Matt

If the Woodsman is Late


Despite impressions you might have taken from the title and cover of this book that it is devoted solely to guns, please know that while guns do play a role in most of the stories – a mix of fiction and true – many are completely gun free. If you like the way I tell stories but don't like guns there's plenty for you here. In truth, guns have played a significant role in my life from as far back as I remember. In today's world this would be unusual. Today a boy can be expelled from school for drawing a picture of a gun. When I was a boy my best friend brought a real gun to school for show and tell. While an adult eyebrow or two might have been raised, no one called the police. He carried the German Luger openly from home several blocks away, dazzled his classmates with his uncle's war trophy, and carried it home again.

It is this contrast between yesterday and today that interests me, and I hope will interest you, as well. Although my biases may be obvious, I will do my best not to batter you with them. One of the first rules of good writing is not to tell but to show. I have attempted to follow that rule in these stories. I don't consider it my job to try to change your mind on anything, but I can't deny I'd be delighted if my stories helped you to see and understand a point of view that might be different from one you already hold.

I've included the gun-free stories to help you gain a more rounded perspective of a man who otherwise might be seen only in the glaring light of what has become a highly adversarial issue. To those at one extreme of this spectrum, who might see someone like me as a stereotypical gun nut, unstable and dangerous, I hope to reveal a gentle, good-humored family man who shares most of the same fundamental values as they. Folks at the spectrum's other extreme might find me lacking sufficient militant fiber to carry the Second Amendment battle flag into the enemy camp, at any cost. They may be right. I don't know.

Carl von Clausewitz defined war as “the extension of politics by other means.” From this view, the politics of gun ownership is still in play. At stake are hearts and minds. To this and to life I write.

I've arranged these stories in no particular order, although I have grouped several of them by subject. The newspaper stories are together, if not in any particular sequence, as are those reminiscences of my Army days. I've dropped in a whimsical piece here and there for variety. The fiction should be readily identifiable, but to avoid any confusion I've indicated in the table of contents those that came entirely from my imagination.

Gorman Interview - 1999

Ed here: This is from a 1999 interview on a Stephen King website. Stephen Booth is giving my website a new look so he wants me to find quotes. While doing so I stumbled across this interview on the King page. Here's what I was saying eleven years ago.

Ed Gorman is the Shamus-award winning author of over thirty novels. He’s won a Shamus award for best detective story (for his short story "Turn Away"), been nominated for a Stoker and an Edgar, and continues to write with such fecundity he rivals Stephen King in terms of sheer output. Gorman's new novel Voodoo Moon (St. Martin's Press $22.95) just appeared. Fangoria said " simple but incredibly compelling prose...Gorman gives us a mess of semi-inbred monsters of the human kind, dark secrets locked away in the attic and a general nastiness that make this a very unsettling ride. It's his portayl of a dark and damning world that cements his place as an entertaining writer and Voodoo Moon a worthwhile read." Masters of Terror said "The story is a powerhouse...adrenaline-stirring entertainment...and atmosphere that is more sinister than in most horror novels." A writer of many styles and many genres, Ed Gorman seems to have mastered them all. Recently, he took some time out of his busy schedule to answer a few of my questions.

First off, congratulations on "Out There in the Darkness" being selected for 1999’s Best American Mystery Stories (even though, oddly, "Darkness" was originally published in 1996.) Working mainly in genre fiction for most of your career, is it odd to suddenly have your work anthologized with such "mainstream" writers as Joyce Carol Oates and John Updike?

Believe it or not I was recently asked to introduce John Updike when he spoke at a local college. I declined. I told the woman booking the evening that it'd be like having Lawrence Olivier and Bobcat Goldthwaite on the same stage.. I don't belong in the company of Oates and Updike. I'm a pulp writer and know my place. This isn't aw, shucks self-effacement. Just the simple truth.
I would have been embarrassed and I'm sure Updike would have been, too.

-In your most recent "Gormania" column (Cemetery Dance, Issue #33) you discuss the future of e-book publishing. With the number of downloads of Stephen King’s "Riding the Bullet" and The Plant, it seems that e-books are becoming more popular. Is this just a case of name-driven success, or are e-books about to take the publishing world by storm?

There has been a rush to judgement (in my opinion) on e-books. Certainly, they'll play a major role in future publishing but I think we're still a few years away from that. My grandkids will grow up with e-books. They'll be a natural form to them. Downloading books is still alien to Boomers like me.

-Your earlier books (from 1985’s Daddy’s Little Girl to 1992’s The Serpent’s Kiss) were all published under the name Daniel Ransom. Pseudonyms have a long history of giving authors freedom to write on subjects they wouldn’t under their own name; do you have a similar story?

Except for The Fugitive Stars, which is an adequate Fifties invasion-type novel; Zone Soldiers, which is my OK Keith Laumer sf adventure novel; and The Serpents Kiss, which I think is a good, solid horror novel, all the Ransoms (I'm not even sure how many there are) are crap and not worth reading. I didn't know any better/desperately needed the money.

-Your recent short story "Angie," (in the anthology 999) scared the crap out of me. This story seems to confirm the Jerry Springer mentality of the late 1990’s – a lot of glittery surface, with no moral fiber to back it up. This type of horror story is becoming more and more prevalent, the terror of dire actions without remorse. Any idea why?

Very perceptive. Jerry Springer exactly. That kind of floating sociopathy endemic in our society today. We know that serial killers are secretly proud of their bloody work; I think if I was humping my first cousin, I'd probably keep it to myself. I wouldn't go on Springer and have a fist fight with my other first cousin, who was also humping her. Even perverts should show some discretion for God's sake.

-Your fiction often focuses on small town America, especially in Iowa and the surrounding states. Is this a case of "write where you live," or is there something more intrinsically magical or mysterious about small towns?

Writing what I know. I'm one of those folks who live in little Midwestern burgs and pass through life pretty much without notice (except for my drinking days when I attracted far too much notice). I think small, I dream small, I don't want fame or fortune, I just want some kind of peace of mind and when my time comes to pass, to pass over without undue terror. My favorite noir isn't Bogart or Mithcum but Robert Ryan--that kind of gnawing Catholic sorrow.. There are millions and millions of me and I write about us because, if I don't always admire us, I think I at least understand us. My loved ones are my utmost concern. They give me joy and solace. Kissing my wife, holding my grandkids, making my mother laugh--those are my true pleasures. The rest of life is largely abstract and bullshit.

-The story you won the Shamus award for, "Turn Away," isn’t your typical detective story. It’s not often the tough-talking P.I. is allowed to grow old, let alone face questions of slow mortality. What prompted you to write this unique and moving story?

I've written my share of "typical" detective stories, I suppose, but I try not to. Old men have always fascinated me, especially the tough working-class old men of the various neighborhoods I grew up in. My Dad had a lot of factory friends like that and in the early Fifties they'd sit on our porch at night and drink Falstaff and swat mosquitos and catch fireflies in their hands and tell all kinds of stories about women and the big war they'd all been in and the things that scared them and the things they held dear. I'd sit on the porch and listen and long years later a lot of those tales found their way into my fiction. "Turn Away" could easily have been a porch story. I also worked for a year as a railroad yard clerk. Long winter nights I'd hear a lot of the old guys tell great tales.

-You've been successful in so many genres (mystery writer, horror writer, anthology editor … the list goes on and on), is it difficult to secure a place in the literary world? Is it better or worse to be a "brand name?"

I've mismanaged my career from the start--I should have concentrated on one type of book--but I've done a number of things I'm proud of so fuck it.

-Your Sam McCain series has been referred to as "a Bob Greene newspaper column set inside a mystery" (Publisher’s Weekly). Much of your fiction takes place in "bygone days." Is it difficult to capture a sense of nostalgia in this type of fiction without sounding stodgy?
'm not sure most of my fiction takes place in bygone days unless you mean my westerns. The McCains I write just because now, in my Fifties, the emotional truths of my youth (and I mean small truths, nothing cosmic) have come clear to me. I don't think of it as nostalgia so much as a kind of retroactive therapy.

As the editorial director of Mystery Scene magazine, you must constantly see new and exciting talent emerge (my newest favorites are Dennis Lehane and Harlan Coben.) Any standout writers you’d recommend?

-I never answer this question. I'd leave somebody out and hurt his/her feelings.

-Okay, because this is a Stephen King web site, I have to give you the requisite Stephen King question: name your top three favorite works by King, in any category.

Night Shift, The Shining, Pet Sematary/Misery. Plus all kinds of other stuff. The funny thing was, I didn't care much for him at first and made a negative comment in Twentieth Century writers that I've always regretted--to the degree that I literally cringe every time I think about it. Then my then-girlfriend was reading Salem's Lot and I picked it up one night and stayed up all night reading it (literally) and it proved to be one of the two or three most influential books I've ever read--like Graham Greene's Brighton Rock. It changed my whole approach to writing. I re-read King now constantly.

Monday, October 03, 2011

American Writers - too insular?

Ed here: I don't agree with everything Mr. Nazaryan says here but I do take his point about the insularity and narcissism of American literary writers. My agreement may simple be due to my age. When I was growing up literary writers such as Theodore Dreiser and James T. Farrell and John Dos Passos and John Steinbeck and Nelson Algren were still read and mainstream writers such as John O'Hara and Budd Schulberg and Jerome Weidman and (early) Herman Wouk were on the bestseller lists. These were writers whose works celebrated and critiqued the nation in addition to telling personal stories. For all intents and purposes they are forgotten and unread today. I think they disappeared after Formalism began to infect various college writing workshops. I remember a professor ridiculing Dreiser and calling him "an readable hack." Implicit in Mr. Nazaryan's piece is the question of Formalism's influence.

MONDAY, OCT 3, 2011 12:04 PM CDT
Why American novelists don't deserve the Nobel Prize
An American hasn't won in 20 years. The Academy finds our writers insular and self-involved -- and they're right

America wants a Nobel Prize in literature. America demands it! America doesn’t understand why those superannuated Swedes haven’t given one to an American since Toni Morrison in 1993. America wonders what they’re waiting for with Philip Roth and Thomas Pynchon. America wonders how you say “clueless” in Swedish.

Okay, enough. But the literature Nobel will be announced this Thursday and if an American doesn’t win yet again, there will be the usual entitled whining — the sound of which has been especially piercing since 2008, when Nobel Academy permanent secretary Horace Engdahl deemed American fiction “too isolated, too insular” and declared Europe “the centre of the literary world.”

Boy, were we upset. Over at Slate, Adam Kirsch penned a scathing essay declaring that “the Nobel committee has no clue about American literature,” arguing that Philip Roth should have won the prize. New Yorker editor David Remnick said, “You would think that the permanent secretary of an academy that pretends to wisdom but has historically overlooked Proust, Joyce and Nabokov, to name just a few non-Nobelists, would spare us the categorical lecture.” He added John Updike (then living) and Don DeLillo to the mix of worthy laureates.

It’s true that the Academy, like any body of judges, has made some ill-informed decisions. And they’ve not done themselves any favors with some George W. Bush-era selections that plainly had more to do with politics than literature.

In 2005, British playwright Harold Pinter fulminated during his Nobel lecture about “the crimes of the United States” with all the embarrassing authority of a college freshman who just discovered Howard Zinn. In 2007, the prize was given to South African novelist Doris Lessing, who called 9/11 “neither as terrible nor extraordinary as [Americans] think.”

That only fed the vitriol directed at Stockholm, obscuring a valid point about American letters: we’ve become an Oldsmobile in a world yearning for a Prius. Our paint is flaking. Nobody wants our clunkers.

for the rest go here: