(Read in 2007)
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?
Sergio Angelini, OMNIBUS, Carter Brown
Yvette Banek, THE PALE HORSE, Agatha Christie
Elgin Bleecker, WOLFSHEAD, Robert E. Howard
Brian Busby, THE NEW APOCALYPSE, John Daniel Logan
Bill Crider, FOUR UGLY GUNS, Ralph Hayes
Martin Edwards, TIME TO CHANGE HATS, Margot Bennett
Curt Evans THE SECOND SICKLE, Ursala Curtiss; THE STAIRWAY, Ursula Curtiss
Elisabeth Grace Foley, UNDER FIRE, Charles King
Richard Horton, Times Without Number, by John Brunner/Destiny's Orbit, by David Grinnell
Jerry House, THORKOL, LORD OF THE UNKNOWN, Edmond Hamilton
George Kelley, COLLECTED MILLAR
Margot Kinberg, THE MASK OF DIMITRIOS, Eric AmblerRob Kitchin, FLASHMAN'S LADY, George Macdonald Fraser
B.V. Lawson, THE CHINK IN THE ARMOR, Marie Belloc Lowndes
Evan Lewis, THE DESPERADO, Clifton Lewis
Steve Lewis/Dan Stumpf. THE GHOST OF OLD MOVIES,
Todd Mason, Various short story publications
Neer, THE INHERITANCE, Tom Savage
Matt Paust, THE LAST DAYS OF BLACKBEARD, THE PIRATE, Kevin Duffuss
James Reasoner, THIRST OF THE LIVING DEAD, Arthur Leo Zagat
Gerard Saylor, WARLORDS OF MARS, Edgar Rice Burroughs
TomCat, GROANING SPINNEY, Gladys Mitchell
Kerrie Smith, HARBOUR STREET, Ann Cleves
TracyK, CLOSE QUARTERS, Michael Gilbert
Westlake Review, ASK THE PARROT
Zybahn, THE LAMP OF GOD, Ellery Queen