Friday, December 19, 2014

Vintage Treasures: The Alien Upstairs by Pamela Sargeant

Vintage Treasures: The Alien Upstairs by Pamela Sargeant

Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1952: A Retro-Review

Galaxy Science Fiction, April 1952: A Retro-Review

FFB: Shoot the President? Are You Mad? -- Frank McAuliffe

This is a repost from May 14, 2010.  I'm sad to say that what was a new book then is a forgotten book now, and that's a shame.

Okay, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, this is a new book. How can it be forgotten? Crider's finally lost it. You're probably right, as much as I hate to admit it. But here's my thinking.

Frank McAuliffe wrote some of my favorite crime novels, a three-book series featuring Augustus Mandrell, a professional assassin. When I picked up the first book, Of all the Bloody Cheek back in 1965, I don't know what I expected, but it sure wasn't what I got, which was one of the most original crime novels I'd read up to that time. 45 years later, it still is. (See my earlier post here.) Sort of. In 1968 and 1971 McAuliffe published two sequels. But they're not exactly sequels. All three books are made up of a series of linked novellas that play off each other and intertwine in ways that still amaze me after all these years. Taken together, they're really one big, hilarious, incredible book. You should find all three, which besides Of all the Bloody Cheek include Rather a Vicious Gentleman and For Murder I Charge More.

In 1975, McAuliffe submitted another novel to Ballantine books. The Ballantines thought it was too soon after the Kennedy assassination for a comedy crime caper about presidential assassination, and the book was turned down. It took another 35 years for it to appear in print. So it was forgotten for a long, long time.

I'm afraid it might be forgotten again, since it's been published by a small press called The Outfit, which as far as I can tell doesn't even mention the book on its website. You can order it from Amazon, though.

What you'll get is a book unlike any other you've ever read, unless you've read the earlier three. This one's more conventional than they are. It's not a series of linked novellas, but one caper. It's narrated by Mandrell in his usual style, which, let's say, is a unique form of stream-of-consciousness with snarky asides, comments addressed to the reader, and lots more. It's full of narrow escapes, sometimes one after another, and at times it's almost like watching a Marx Brothers movie. Maybe I'm the only one who likes stuff like this now. Others might not get it at all, but it connects with me just like it did in 1965. It's great to have this book in print. I hope it's not forgotten.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Blog Will Be Closed Today

The memorial service for Judy will be held today, so the blog will be dark.  It will return in a limited way tomorrow.  Thanks to everyone for all the kind thoughts, prayers, and support over the last several weeks. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Richard C. Hottelet, R. I. P. Richard C. Hottelet, who covered the D-Day invasion of Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge for CBS and became the last survivor of the “Murrow Boys,” the network’s pioneering World War II radio newsmen who worked under Edward R. Murrow, died on Wednesday at his home in Wilton, Conn. He was 97.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Criminal Genius Duo of the Day

Duo's Phony Heart Attack Scheme Foiled 

Here's the Plot for Your Next Bank Robbery Comedy

Man Dressed As St. Nick Robs Downtown San Francisco Bank During SantaCon 

Shakespeare Update

Shakespeare's Curtain theatre unearthed in east London

Song of the Day

The Rays - Mediterranean Moon - YouTube:

Comic Book Christmas Covers

The Golden Age: Comic Book Christmas Covers

Today's Vintage Ad

A Review of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Kevin's Corner: Review: "Raining Willie & Cranked: Two Texas Tales" by Bill Crider


Richard Orth, Girl in a Go-Go Cage, Softcover Library, 1967

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine's Year in Review


2014’s Most Underrated Films

2014’s Most Underrated Films

10 Most Bizarre Calendars for 2015

10 Most Bizarre Calendars for 2015

Nicolas Cage Leads the Way (Again)

The 20 worst films of 2014

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Teen charged with pushing grandma who took his candy   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Paris Hilton Update

Paris Hilton braves the chilly London weather as she heads to DJ gig in grey mini dress   

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Or Maybe You Do

20 Things You Might Not Know About 'Galaxy Quest'

New Poem at the Five-Two

The Five-Two: Bill Baber: THE LATE SHOW

Goodbye, Columbus

New evidence confirms Vikings beat him to America by 500 years: According to the report, “Although less than 400 km separated the Norse Greenlandic colonies from the coasts of Arctic Canada, and explorations to the west of Greenland are described in Icelandic sagas, surprisingly little is known of ventures to North America. The archaeological site at L’Anse aux Meadows in northern Newfoundland confirms saga accounts that the Norse established a short-lived station in Atlantic Canada at some time around A.D. 1000.”