I love nonfiction books that talk about my favorite subjects: books, movies, tv. The three here are three of my favorites. What books have you enjoyed about your favorite subjects.
Check out my review of THE TRIP TO ITALY on CRIMESPREE MAGAZINE.
Boston Noir. edited by Dennis Lehane, 2009
Rather than trying to talk about the entire collection, let me mentiont three of the stories I liked most.
Animal Shelter by Lehane, is the original source fot the current movie THE DROP. In this story, a bartender at a drop bar in Dorchester comes across an abused dog left in a trash can. This leads him to Nadia, who lives close by. They form an attachment brought about by caring for the dog. Also in the action is Marv, Bob's boss at the bar, a man yearning to move up in the organization now run by Chechens, and Nadia's former boyfriend, a crazed sociopath. This is a terrific story and I think I prefer it to the script Lehane produced for the movie. It is lean and beautifully told. A gem
Oddly enough The Reward, by Stewart O'Nan also concerns an abandoned dog. In this case, a young woman, barely surviving on her salary as a taxi driver, hopes her rescue of the dog will reap her a reward. She is also in care of and bullied by her father. O'Nan is not a crime writer and in this one noir is more implied that explained. A very fine story though.
Lastly Femme Sole by Dana Cameron concerns the attempts of a woman to hold onto the bar in Boston's north end that her father has willed her. She runs up against a bunch of tough men, not least of them her abusive husband. She outfoxes them. Until...
I have read at or read entirely a lot of this series. Because they attempt to include local writers, some of the stories are by people who really don't have much experience writing short stories. Or local celebrities that may help sell copies. This means their quality varies considerably. This seemed like one of the better collections. Patti Abbott
Sergio Angelini, SHOOTING STAR, Robert Bloch
Joe Barone, SHELTER, Harlan Coben
Brian Busby, A Look at FFB from our Canadian contributor
Casual Debris, THE UNDERPAINTER, Jane Urquhart
Bill Crider, NIGHTMARES AND GEEZENSTACKS, Fredric Brown
Martin Edwards, MURDER IN KENSINGTON COURT, Phillip MacDonald
Curt Evans, DOUBLE, DOUBLE,TOIL AND TROUBLE, Emma Lathen
Ed Gorman, SUSPENSE PATROL, Philip Macdonald
Rich Horton, TIME AND THE GODS, Lord Dunsany
Jerry House, THREE PHANTOM BOOKS
Randy Johnson, FEATURING THE SAINT, Leslie Charteris
Nick Jones, THE BLUNDERER, Patricia Highsmith
George Kelley, SMOKE AND MIRRORS, Neil Gaiman
Margot Kinberg, A BEAUTIFUL PLACE TO DIE, Malla Nunn
B.V. Lawson, THE OXFORD BOOK OF AMERICAN DETECTIVE STORIES, ed. Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert
Evan Lewis, THE PROUD RIDERS, Brian Wynne (Garfield)
Steve Lewis, DARK PLANET, John Rackam
Heath Lowrance, Four Elmore Leonard Westerns
Todd Mason, Some Suspense-Fiction Anthologies and Fantasy Fiction: Beyond and Alongside Tolkien: Among His PeerNeer, THE HAND IN THE DARK, Arthur J. Rees
J.F. Norris, ACT OF FEAR, Michael Collins
James Reasoner, THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE, Bill Pronzini
Richard Robinson, STAKEOUT ON PAGE STREET, Joe Gores
Gerard Saylor, I, SNIPER Stephen Hunter, CRASHED, Timothy Hallinan
Ron Scheer, BRONCO BILLY AND THE SCHOOL MISTRESS, G.M Anderson; THE PORTABLE WESTERN READER, William Kittredge
Kevin Tipple, A VAMPIRE NAMED FRED, Bill Crider
TracyK, THE WINE OF ANGELS, Phil Rickman
But there were a few shows that bore watching for me: THE AVENGERS, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE M,A.N FROM U.N.C.L.E, THE SAINT, THE FUGITIVE, and perhaps PEYTON PLACE as the first try at a multi-night soap.
Middling show for me included MY THREE SONS and BEN CASEY. And a couple good westerns still saddled up: BONANZA and GUNSMOKE.
Was it the death of a President that made us so sensitive to anything more demanding? Did we need foolishness to get past it?
U.S. TV attempted to produce a version of the satirical British show THIS WAS THE WEEK THAT WAS in 1964, but Americans were in no mood to watch political satire. In a few years, the war in Vietnam probably changed that.
The Top Ten for the year were: BONANZA, BEWITCHED, GOMER PYLE, THE ANDY GRIFFITH SHOW, THE FUGITIVE, THE RED SKELTON SHOW, THE DICK VAN DYKE SHOW, THE LUCY SHOW, PEYTON PLACE, COMBAT.
Any of these resonate for you guys?