Thursday, June 05, 2008


I don't like to brag on the enormous influence I have on the publishing world but I do think it's fair to point out that Mr. Bantam obviously not only reads my blog but follows my suggestions.

A few nights ago I noted that none of Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels were in print. Well Mr. Bantam went right to work. In less than four working days he printed and shipped a fine handsome trade paperback of Stout's famous novels Fer-De-Lance and The League of Frightened Men. These belong in every mystery library of any scope.

After I mentioned Stout, I got a few letters off line asking for recommendatios on where to start with his body of work. This trade pb is a good place to start. To follow up I'd recommend the other pair of Nero Wolfes Mr. Bantam also rushed into print at my request--Some Buried Caesar and The Golden Spiders.

As for my favorite Stout novel...the fantasy writer Robert Jordan (Jim Rigney) and I used to swap e mails trying to decide which was his best book. We went with Double for Death which is not a Wolfe. It's a hoot.


(from Galleycat today)

Is a New Generation Taking Over Big Publishing?

"Did you notice that the new CEO at Random House [Markus Dohle] is 39, and Brian Murray is 41?" a reader emails this morning, upon the news that Murray's replacing Jane Friedman at HarperCollins. "What happened to 50 as the minimium age for a CEO? I guess you need one more for an official trend."

If there was a third to come, who would it be? And what are the implications? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


Reading Forgotten Books

(These two were originally chosen by Bill Crider and Daniel Hatadi and happened to already be in my TBR pile)

The Night Remembers by Ed Gorman.

Published originally in 1991 and reissued now, The Night Remembers (Ramble House) is the poignant story of a private investigator that may have helped send the wrong man to prison.

What knocks me out about this novel is the ease in which you slip into its pages, how quickly the character of Jack Walsh becomes someone you want to spend time with, how easily the story presents itself. Gorman perfectly integrates Walsh’s personal story with his investigation of the case. This is a rare trait nowadays when jockeying story lines and characters often distance you from any real sense of character. A joy to read. (Order on line from Ramble House)

Gun in Cheek (Mysterious Press) by Bill Prozini made me laugh more than any recent book by David Sedaris. Oh, to be a writer in the 1930s. You could say anything without fear of reprisal. Heck, the writers didn't even know how offensive they were. Any notion of political correctness was absent. Every group, save that of the white man, is ruthlessly pillaged in the novels Pronzini examines. Bad writing, sexist writing, racist writing, stereotypical writing, boring writing abound. “She swayed toward me, a sob swelling her perky pretty-pretties.” What more is there to say about this comprehensive look at the worse in crime fiction writing. Try it.

Posted by pattinase (abbott) at 8:16 AM 7 comments


Anonymous said...

What I like about Gun in Cheek is that instead of coming off as pompous or holier-than-thou you just KNOW that Pronzini likes these books and wants to share the fun. It made me enjoy the books more and made me seek out more Pronzini books --- i'm not sorry for either action.

mybillcrider said...

I think my favorite Wolfe is THE DOORBELL RANG.

Randy Johnson said...

Thanks for the heads-up, Ed, on the Rex Stouts. I need those for my collection.
I've already ordered them.