Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dino Update

Dinosaur trackways uncovered in Canada suggest tyrannosaurs hunted in packs

I Miss the Old Days

News from The Associated Press: OLDEST GOLF MAGAZINE IN COUNTRY GOES ALL DIGITAL

Strangers -- Bill Pronzini

Bill Pronzini's formerly nameless detective was first named (I think) way back in 1978 in Twospot, a collaborative novel with Collin Wilcox, a forgotten writer worth rediscovery.  I could be wrong about that, but that's the way I remember it.  Which means that it was about 7 years after the first "Nameless" book that the name appeared (it's Bill, by the way).  It's been 36 years, but some of us still think of him as "Nameless."   Or maybe I'm just making all this up.  Anyway, I read The Snatch, the first book in the series, when it came out in paperback in the early '70s, and here I am, still reading the series today.  It's certainly one of the best p.i. series ever, and the latest entry is a good example of why.

Over the years, Nameless has aged and gone through all sorts of things.  He's an old guy now, but he's still as honest, as tough, as devoted to his job as ever.  In Strangers, we have a classic situation, the stranger (that would be Nameless) rides into a little western town. He's there to help out an old friend (and lover) whose son has been accused of three rapes.  His mother's convinced he's not guilty.  Everyone else in town is convinced that he is, including the sheriff.  Nobody likes it that Nameless is there.  People insult him, key his car, shoot at him, and try other ways to get him to leave.  He doesn't.  He controls his temper (mostly) and goes about his investigation in his quiet, competent way.  Pretty soon he's uncovered things that the local law has missed.

This is a pretty bleak novel to begin with, and just when things appear to be all wrapped up, Pronzini throws in several more twists, like little bombs going off, boom, boom, boom, and each one of them deepens the darkness.  Forty-three years after The Snatch, MWA Gand Master Pronzini's still showing us how it's done.  Check it out.


First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

Woman Trashed Salon Over Botched Hairdo 

Song of the Day (Released on this date in 1955)

Chuck Berry - Maybellene - YouTube:

The 10 Ugliest Movie Posters of All Time

Flavorwire: The 10 Ugliest Movie Posters of All Time

Today's Vintage Ad


PaperBack



Luke Short (Frederick Dilley Glidden), Station West, Bantam, 1948

“My Owen Keane Moment” (by Terence Faherty)

“My Owen Keane Moment” (by Terence Faherty) | SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN

How to Write Fat Books

How to Write Fat Books: Walter Benjamin’s Principles of the Weighty Tome 

Here's What A Bestseller Looked Like In The 1920s

Here's What A Bestseller Looked Like In The 1920s

14 Fantastic Stories From The New Yorker Archive You Should Read This Summer

14 Fantastic Stories From The New Yorker Archive You Should Read This Summer

This Beautiful Library Used to Be a Prison

This Beautiful Library Used to Be a Prison

Robert Newhouse, R. I. P.

ESPN Dallas: Robert Newhouse, responsible for one of the most iconic plays in Dallas Cowboys history, died Tuesday after a long illness. He was 64.

Uh-Oh

Dear God In Heaven, Will Ferrell Is Making A Manimal Movie

Or Maybe You Have

11 Terrifying Female Serial Killers You've Never Heard Of

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

And once again Texas leads the way.

Reports: Durst accused of urinating on candy 

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Hitler's Madman

1943 HITLER'S MADMAN TRAILER JOHN CARRADINE - YouTube:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

PimPage: An Occasional Feature in Which I Call Attention to Books of Possible Interest

Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Dawn of Planet of the Apes: The Art of the Films: Matt Hurwitz, Sharon Gosling, Adam Newell: 9781783291977: Amazon.com: Books

The perfect companion for Planets of the Apes(TM) fans tying in in with the release ofDawn of the Planet of the Apes, revealing the production photography and concept art behind Rise of the Planet of the Apes(TM) and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes(TM).

If you're at all interested in motion capture and how these films were planned, this is the book for you.  Good stuff.

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

WYFF Home: Police say the woman who bit a tow truck driver and smashed the windows out of her SUV during a repossession previously drove a vehicle off a tow truck while only wearing a towel.  

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

I Miss the Old Days

12 Vintage Pictures of Farm Stands   

Link via The Presurfer.

Song of the Day

Johnny Otis - Crazy Country Hop - YouTube:

Yes, the Livermore Light Bulb Is Included

10 Fascinating Old Things that Still Work 

Today's Vintage Ad


My Friend Thinks I Don't Work Because I'm a Writer

My Friend Thinks I Don't Work Because I'm a Writer

PaperBack



Isaac Asimov, The Wellsprings of Life, Mentor Books, 1961

Subversive French Crime Fiction

Flavorwire: The Subversive French Crime Fiction of Jean-Patrick Manchette

They Really Are Everywhere

Roaming 4-foot alligator caught by police in Sheboygan  

Mention my name in Sheboygan
It's the greatest little town in the world
Just tell them you're an old friend of mine
And every door in town will have a big welcome sign
So mention my name in Sheboygan
And if you ever get in a jam
Just mention name, I said mention my name
But please don't them where I am

Hat tip to Gerard Saylor.

Ernest Hemingway and Other Writers on WWI

Ernest Hemingway and Other Writers on WWI 

26 Iconic Book Covers Changing Over Time

26 Iconic Book Covers Changing Over Time

I Think I'd Learned to Tie My Shoes by 6th Grade

Sixth-Grader's Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists

Once Again Texas Leads the Way

TX man shoots self hitching up shorts in store: ‘It’s dangerous to stick a gun in your pants’

Who Made That Scotch Tape?

Who Made That Scotch Tape?

Overlooked Movies: Marlowe

James Garner's death last week was a sad occasion for me because I'd enjoyed his work over the years in so many movies and TV series. There's a lot of Garner in Sheriff Dan Rhodes, and Judy and I have always thought that Garner would've been perfect to play Rhodes in the movies at just about any time between the ages of 50 and 70.  

Back in 1969 Garner played another character that I thought he was right for, Philip Marlowe, in a movie based on Raymond Chandler's The Little Sister.  Most people don't regard this as one of Chadler's better novels, but I like it a lot.  Most people don't regard Marlowe as one of the better film adaptations of Chandler's work, so it won't surprise you to learn that I like it a lot, too.

The movie follows the plot of the novel fairly closely, and if you check out the trailer below, you can see that the toupee removal scene even looks a lot like it was lifted from the cover of the first paperback edition of the book.  Stirling Silliphant wrote the script, and he lifted some of Marlowe's snappy patter from the book, too.  However, the movie was given a contemporary setting, and it's very much a late '60s item.  Maybe that's one reason I like it.

Garner's very good as Marlowe, and Carol O'Connor is dandy at the tough cop.  Rita Moreno almost steals the picture.  Bruce Lee shows up, as you can see in the trailer, but I didn't really think his part suited the movie.  You might not agree. Anyway, it's a lot of fun, and Garner's performance foreshadows Jim Rockford in ways you'll recognize.  Check it out.

UPDATE: The movie will be part of the TCM Garner marathon.  I believe the time is 4 A.M. on 7/29 CDT.  Check your local listings.

Marlowe

MARLOWE (Original Theatrical trailer) - YouTube:

Monday, July 21, 2014

Thomas Berger, R. I. P.

NYTimes.com: Thomas Berger, the reclusive and bitingly satirical novelist who explored the myths of the American West in “Little Big Man” and the mores of 20th-century middle-class society in a shelf of other well-received books, died on July 13 in Nyack, N.Y. He was 89.

A Blog Post of Interest (To Me, Anyway)

Eric Beetner: Giants among us

Keep Off Her Lawn . . .Mower!

And once again Texas leads the way.

Grandma fights off lawn mower thieves   

Auto-start video.

Hat tip to Jeff Meyerson.

Well Read, Then Dead -- Terrie Farley Moran

Upfront statement:  It's true that Terrie Farley Moran has occasionally reviewed one of my books and said good things.  It's also true that in Well Read, Then Dead, one of those books is mentioned by name, and my work is mentioned in a favorable way.  So should I be reviewing this book?  Sure.  Why not?  For the most part, I review only books I like.  If I don't like 'em, I don't comment.  You might be surprised at how many don't make it to the blog.  But when I like one, I feel like I should go ahead and say something.  So I will.

The setting is Estero Island off the southwest coast of Florida, where two young women from Brooklyn, Sassy (short for Sassafras; her mother was a flower child) and Bridgy (short for, well, you know) have fled to open up their dream business, a combination cafe and bookstore.  It's called the Read 'em and Eat.  Things are going well.  The cafe is filled with customers, and the bookstore is doing fine, too.  The cover to the left shows one of the nice little reading nooks, where book clubs meet.

Things start to go wrong quickly, though.  Manuel, the cook, falls in the kitchen and breaks his leg.  A crisis, but one that can be averted by calling in Bridgy's aunt to cook.  Then one of the regular customers and book club members is murdered.  That's something you can't repair by calling an aunt.  Sassy decides to look into the murder, with a little help from Bridgy and from Cady Stanton, a reporter for the local paper with whom Sassy is somewhat involved.  Though not too involved to be mindful of the good looks of the new deputy assigned to the case.

Lots of Southern cooking, lots references to books and writers, and a whole community of readers and restaurant patrons.  Excellent small-town southern setting, too.  I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of murders there, and that's good news (for readers, not the victims).  If you like a cozy now and then, this is a dandy.

Texas Rangers name first woman lieutenant

Texas Rangers names its first woman lieutenant

Song of the Day

The Chordettes - Lay Down Your Arms - YouTube:

Why Stephen King Can't Write

Why Stephen King Can't Write

Or Maybe Not

20 Wonderful Films Set In NYC That You Should Definitely See

Today's Vintage Ad


Nonfiction Books About America’s 50 States

Nonfiction Books About America’s 50 States

New Poem at the 5-2

The Five-Two: Robert Cooperman INCIDENT AT A POLLING PLACE, AFTER THE SUPREME COURT RULING AGAINST THE VOTING RIGHTS ACT

PaperBack



Deal Greggsen, Sisterhood of the Flesh, Domino, 1966

First It Was the Thin Mints Melee

PA man on summertime snowmobile rampage crashes into cars on Main St., shoots gun at wife

10 Languages Lost To Time

10 Languages Lost To Time

Short Sharp Interview: Mav Skye

Short Sharp Interview: Mav Skye | PAUL D. BRAZILL

I Miss the Old Days

Summer of '69 Rewind: The Moon Landing, Woodstock & More

Kasey Lansdale Interview

GINGER NUTS TALKS TO KASEY LANSDALE - Ginger Nuts of Horror

And Keep Off His Lawn!

Cut off in traffic, 83-year-old Florida man goes on gun rampage until stopped by a drawbridge

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

QUIZ: Which Of These State Fair Foods Are Faux?

Black Mama, White Mama

1973 BLACK MAMA WHITE MAMA TRAILER PAM GRIER - YouTube: