Friday, February 16, 2007

Nutjob of The Day; Richard S. Prather

Nutjob of The Day Award:
From Josh Marshall's Talking Points memo:

It's amazing what it's come down to. On the senate floor this afternoon, Sen. Sessions (R-AL), in arguing against the surge resolution, gave an entirely new rationale for the invasion of Iraq: We invaded Iraq to prevent Saddam Hussein from being able to say that he'd won the 1991 Gulf War.

Ed here: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Richard S. Prather's death has special meaning for people my age who grew up reading paperback originals. Even kids who hated reading read Prather because he was just so damned much fun. His creation Shell Scott was as iconic in his way as all the hardboiled private eyes he spoofed. Was there an LA lass that Shell didn't get to eventually?

He was a better writer than he generally got credit for, every once in a while he'd slip in a Scott that was darker than the general run and he'd surprise you with how skillfully he coud turn from parody to realism. Hard Case recently published The Peddler, which is a nasty little mob novel. If you haven't read it, pick it up.

I talked with him several times on the phone and the conversation always got around to him leaving Gold Medal for Pocketbooks and a lot more money. Or what promised to be a lot more money. Pocket coud never figure out how to sell him. Remember that ridiculous male model with the ridiculous spray-painted white hair? Contrast that with the great GM illustration of a grinning Shell. Acrimony ensued. Prather sued Pocket and his career, for all practical purposes, was over Michael Seidman brought him back for a few Tor books, and damned good ones they were, but time had passed for the Prather approach to crime fiction.

So long, Richard. And good night, Shell.

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