Friday, May 25, 2012

Friday's Forgotten Books, May 25, 2012

Next Week: Margaret Millar Week

Ed Gorman is the author of the Dev Conrad series and the Sam McCain books. You can find him here.

For what to me are obvious reasons I've never been a particular fan of the famous Jacques Barzun mystery list. I find his writing pedantic and his selection of books sometimes questionable. I'm sorry--it's just the reaction I've always had to it. I'll take H.R.F. Keating's 100 Mystery novels any day.

So I've had to look elsewhere for lists to help rubes like me find treasures I'd never come across otherwise. My favorite book is 1001 Midnights edited by Bill Pronzini and Marcia Muller. I've read at least forty of the novels recommended in this massive compendium. And sometimes for pleasure I just pick it up to read it.

Every genre is covered here. So are writers great and small. And who are some of the reviewers recommending books? How about Max Collins, Crider, George Kelly, John Lutz, Barry Malzberg, Robert Randisi, Art Scott and Julie Smith? Among many, many others including the Mulzinis themselves. (I have two reviews in here myself.) You can share the pleasure they have in touting overlooked books. And in a few cases downgrading a book that was so fashionable a few decades back.

God I love this book and you will too.

Patti Abbott: Montana, 1948, Larry Watson

Montana 1948, Larry Watson. I’d be hard pressed to think of a short novel that captured so vividly a summer in the life of a twelve year old boy. David’s father is a small town sheriff who lives under the shadow of the father that once held his office and the brother who came home a war hero. When the housekeeper, a Sioux woman, becomes ill, that brother, now the town doctor is called on for help despite protestations from the ill woman. Is it native lore that makes her fearful? What happens next splinters both the family and the town. This is a gem: lucid and long-lasting.

SergioAngelini, Blood on the Mink, Robert Silverberg
Joe Barone, Sins of the Father, Lawrence Block
Brian Busby, Thinking the Unthinkable: Armageddon, John Wesley White
Bill Crider, Best of Damon Runyon, ed. E.C. Bentley
Scott Cupp, Star Well, Alexi Panshin
Martin Edwards, The Grindle Nightmare, Quentin Patrick
Curt Evans, Todmanhawe Grange, J. S. Fletcher and Torquemada
Elisabeth Grace Foley, Skyrider, B.M. Bower
Jerry House, The Woman Suffrage Cookbook (second edition), edited by Mrs. Hattie A. Burr
Randy Johnson, One Endless Hour, Dan J. Marlowe
Nick Jones, Undertow, Desmond Cory
George Kelley, THE DEVIL WEARS WINGS By Harry Whittington
Margot Kinberg, Never Apologise, Never Explain, James Craig
Kate Laity. The Fall: Lyrics by Mark E. Smith; John Hodgson's A Hard Road to Nowhere: The Blitzkrieg Bop Story
B.V. Lawson, Murder in the Borough Library, John Austwick
Evan Lewis, Flash Casey, George Harmon Coxe
Steve Lewis/Allen J. Hubin
Todd Mason
J.F. Norris
David Rachels
James Reasoner
Richard Robinson
Gerard Saylor
Ron Scheer
Bill Selnes
Michael Slind
Kerrie Smith
Kevin Tipple
Prashant Trikannad


Anonymous said...

Thanks for recommending the Watson when you were here, Patti. I really enjoyed it. I now have JUSTICE, the "prequel" series of short stories about the same family, on hand.

1,001 Midnights is indeed a gem, though I did also enjoy reading A CATALOGUE OF CRIME despite Barzun & Taylor's snobbiness.

Jeff M.

Gerard said...

"Mulzinis" Hah!

Elisabeth Grace Foley said...

I've got one this week:

Charles Gramlich said...

Montana sounds intersting.

Todd Mason said...

Kate Laity's in with two music appreciations:

Ron Scheer said...

Glad you enjoyed this one. The prequel JUSTICE is similarly good. Watson writes well about small-town western sheriffs. His WHITE CROSSES is especially powerful.

Anonymous said...

I just ordered a copy of 1001 MIDNIGHTS for about ten books including shipping.

Jeff M.

J F Norris said...

I share Ed's peference for 1001 MIDNIGHTS over COC. The variety of viewpoints is one of the book's strengths. So many different tastes, so many different insights. Steve Lewis does a great service in reprinting many of the reviews from that book at his Mystery*File blog.

Barzun picked some real winners for me notably SUCH FRIENDS ARE DANGEROUS and MURDER ON THE MOOR both of which I've reviewed on the 'net. But for the most part I can't abide his condescension.

Todd Mason said...

And don't miss Ed's endorsement (with which I concur) of the Keating 100 Best...but, I too, am an appreciator of the reprints of 1001 in Mystery*File...and am glad to have two endorsements of the Watson, which does look interesting.

Gerard said...

Keep in mind that Watson is a literary guy, not a genre guy. His writing is top-end for quality but not action and excitement.

I hired Watson to come to my Library this past November and had about 10 people show up. My wife booked him to visit her library in April and no one showed.

I understand authors fear low turnouts or unresponsive audiences but librarians equally dislike it. If the library paid for the author visit they are definitely more disappointed.

Todd Mason said...

Gerard: Plenty of action in those supposedly "non-genre" guys such as McCarthy and Clark...and I certainly didn't like it much more than Marcia Muller did when essentially no one showed at the Borders I worked at for her tour stop (it didn't help that even as the back-office manager I hadn't been told she was coming by our publicist, much less our customers). None of our events in that DC suburbs store worked, unless the guest was a politician (Barney Frank did best) or, perhaps not so oddly, Madeliene L'engle...

pattinase (abbott) said...

Todd I will get this up tomorrow. Has to improve. Take care of yourself!

Todd Mason said...

You, too, Patti; thanks. Evan Lewis is in:

K. A. Laity said...

Thanks for sending my link in, Todd, as I didn't think of it until now. Another list to search through here.

Anonymous said...

Ten bucks, obviously, not books.

Some day I will remember to proofread.

Jeff M.

WutheringWillow @ A Paperback Life said...

Hi! My Wordpress post scheduler is obviously not working as it failed to post my Friday's Forgotten Books review again! Here it is and hope I'm not too late,

Anonymous said...

You are so kind to include my post :-) Thanks!