Saturday, April 20, 2013

Your Favorite Bill Pronzini Novel?

I have never read a book by Bill Pronzini although I have read several novels by his wife.

What is the best one in your opinion?

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

You've never read a book by Bill Pronzini? Now that surprises me. I've read 69 (and 45 by Marcia Muller). Obviously that makes it a little difficult to pick out one. Many consider SHACKLES the peak of his Nameless series. You might try THE RUNNING OF BEASTS, one of his collaborations with Barry Malzberg. Or perhaps you'd prefer the 19th Century stories featuring San Francisco private detectives John Quincannon and Sabina Carpenter. (CARPENTER AND QUINCANNON was the Crippen & Landru short story collection. He and Marcia Muller are now collaborating on novels about the duo.) Or lastly, how about GUN IN CHEEK: A Study of Alternative Crime Fiction?

Jeff M.

(Believe it or not, to prove I'm not a robot I had to type 'cialis')

pattinase (abbott) said...

Can I jump into Shackles without having read earlier ones?

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I actually like Pronzini's short stories as much as anything else. He's also edited several collections that I like. I know it's weird, but that's what I think of first when I think of Pronzini.

Bill Crider said...

Jeff and I are on the same page here. SHACKLES is great, and you can read it without having read the earlier books in the series.

Charles R. Rutledge said...

Here's a third vote for Shackles.

George said...

I've always been fond of Bill Pronzini's excellent caper novel, SNOWBOUND (1974).

Anonymous said...

That is a good one, George, and I second Margot's vote for the short stories. He's written locked room stories, short shorts and lots of others and they are all worth reading.

The only book of his I've read that I would really recommend you avoid was MASQUES, which I wanted to read because it was set in New Orleans. I thought it was bad.


Jeff M.

Thomas Pluck said...

Shackles was great. Blowback lingers with me as well.

pattinase (abbott) said...

SHACKLES is on it way.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've mostly read his westerns and short stories. Liked 'em all.

Richard R. said...

Yes, Shackles is good, but I wouldn't want to read it uninitiated in Nameless and his business. I like these a lot and they are earlier in the series: LABYRINTH (1980),
HOODWINK (1981), and SCATTERSHOT (1982). They are three in a row in the series, # 6, 7 and 8.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes , but I will only read one so I may try this one! If I were 30 I might try!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes , but I will only read one so I may try this one! If I were 30 I might try!

Ed Gorman said...

So many, many fine ones. The entire Nameless series is important and lasting. Blue Lonesome, if you'd prefer a one-off, is a true masterpiece.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Seeing you here made my week!!!

Jerry House said...

Almost any Pronzini is worth your time, certainly any of the Nameless series and certainly SHACKLES.

I also like one of his westerns very much, the quirky THE LAST DAYS OF HORSE-SHY HALLORAN.

James Reasoner said...

My favorite is PROSE BOWL, a science fiction novel he wrote with Barry Malzberg. A lot of fun for writers.

RJR said...

Shamus winner HOODWINK. Also enjoyed SNOWBOUND. And I have a soft spot for UNDERCURRENT.

RJR

pattinase (abbott) said...

The guy has his fans!

Anonymous said...

Undercurrent
Blue Lonesome

both excellent choices


Jeff M.

Cap'n Bob said...

What, no one said THREE'S A SANDWICH? Seriously, you can't go wrong with any of his books, but I have a soft spot for the Nameless book EPITAPHS.

James Reasoner said...

The one time I met Bill, I gushed like a fanboy about his Man From U.N.C.L.E. novella "The Pillars of Salt Affair", which ran in the U.N.C.L.E. digest magazine under the Robert Hart Davis house-name. It was my favorite of all the stories from that magazine when I read it in high school. The funny part was there I was telling Bill about something of his that I read when I was a kid, and he looked younger than I did. I'm not sure he knew quite what to make of me.

Todd Mason said...

Sorry about Cort McMeel.

If you haven't read GRAVEYARD PLOTS, that collection, you should (and THE BEST WESTERN STORIES OF BILL PRONZINI). Aside from all the good suggestions so far, I have a sneaking fondness for DOUBLE, the first with Muller.

I remember liking BINDLESTIFF a lot, and am racking my brain to recall if it was BLUE LONESOME that Pronzini cited as his personal favorite of his own novels.

Todd Mason said...

THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE was the Pronzini he himself cited as his best novel. Dunno if he still might think so. I suppose I could ask him.

Graham Powell said...

I love all his work but it's tough to pick out the best. UNDERCURRENT was really the one where he found his distinctive voice, but my favorite is probably one of DEMONS or EPITAPHS, or the more recent MOURNERS.

Bill Pronzini said...

Wow. All the glowing comments greatly appreciated, the more so since I have now officially reached geezerhood. It's good to know Nameless and I have so many loyal readers. Couldn't prove it by my royalty statements, so you're all among the select few.

For the record, these are what I consider my best -- or at least my favorite --novels, in no particular order:

THE CRIMES OF JORDAN WISE
BLUE LONESOME
THE RUNNING OF BEASTS
SHACKLES
MOURNERS
FEVER

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am reading SHACKLED as we speak and is very hard to imagine a better crime novel. Thanks for stopping by!

pattinase (abbott) said...

SHACKLES. These fingers are old too. Will review it on Friday for Friday's Forgotten Books.