PICKUP, Charles Willeford (from the archives)
When was the last time you read a book so compelling you couldn't put it down? What was it?
For me, it was this novel. It takes a long time in Pick-Up for the reader to understand the protagonist and what he's all about. Why he's in the fix he's in. Maybe you won't understand the full story until the last line. And yet, Willeford is able to tell his story lucidly, making even the most mundane details riveting.
This is basically a story about two drunks. Why does it work so well? Better for me even than Kennedy's drunks in Albany. Because the characters are interesting, the narrative pull inescapable, the writing excellent.
Even when the plot turns a bit unlikely in the last third--the characters remain true to themselves, so you go along with it.
What turned you on this much?
Les Blatt, THE COLOUR OF MURDER, Julian Symons
Elgin Bleecker, A RAGE IN HARLEM, Chester Himes
Crossexaminingcrime, MURDER EVERY MONDAY, Pamela Branch
Martin Edwards, DREADFUL SUMMIT, Stanley Ellin
Curt Evans, Elizabeth Fenwick
Aubrey Hamilton, CURIOSITY KILLED A CAT, Anne Rowe
Richard Horton, THE TRANSLATOR, John Crowley
Jerry House, THE BOOK OF IOD, Henry Kuttner
Margot Kinberg, THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL SOCIETY, Shafer and Barrows
George Kelley, THE GREAT SCIENCE FICTION SERIES, ed. Pohl, Greenberg,Olander
Rob Kitchin, FROM DOON WITH DEATH, Ruth Rendell
B.V. Lawson, LONELY HEART 4122, Colin Watson
Evan Lewis, ONE WHO WALKED ALONE: Robert E. Howard, the Final Years, Novalyne Price Ellis
Steve Lewis/David Vineyard, "Guns of Cyrano" Raymond Chandler
Todd Mason, WORLDS TO COME edited by Damon Knight, FOURTEEN FOR NOW edited by John Simon
J.F. Norris, JOURNEY DOWNSTAIRS, R. Philmore
ONLY DETECT, LADY IN THE LAKE, Raymond Chandler
Matt Paust, MURDER BEGETS MURDER, Roderic Jeffries
James Reasoner, BUZ SAWYER, Vol 1, Roy Crane
Richard Robinson, ISLANDS IN THE SKY, Arthur C. Clarke
Kevin Tipple/Barry Ergang, THE REMAKE: AS TIME GOES BY, Stephen Humphrey Bogart
TomCat, THE KUBIKIRI CYCLE, Nisio Isin
TracyK, THE CASE OF THE WEIRD SISTERS, Charlotte Armstrong