Friday, February 01, 2019

Friday's Forgotten Books, February 1, 2019

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
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
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
TracyK, THE CASE OF THE WEIRD SISTERS, Charlotte Armstrong


Todd Mason said...

Thanks, Patti. Blogspot is being Difficult again, this morning, at least for me. Anyone else having troubles?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Having all sorts of issues.

Mathew Paust said...

I've gotten used to Blogspot's quirkiness. I start to mumble curses, then catch myself and shrug. Sometimes the shrugging is almost aerobic, but this morning, thus far, things seem to be interfering with this exercise.

Todd Mason said...

Yeah, small things don't usually throw me too hard after all these years, but some days the damned thing doesn't want to work well at all. I suspect some engineer is Attempting Improvement, if it isn't just having some sort of Denial of Service attack or its equivalent.

Todd Mason said...

Interesting question, what was the last novel so compelling I had to keep reading it. I certainly remember reading Fritz Leiber's CONJURE WIFE the first time, I was so wrapped up I read it too quickly, and zipped right by a major turning point, and was halfway down the first page of the next chapter before it sank in...WHAT?

THE CASE AGAINST SATAN, Ray Russell, the last novel I read for FFB a few back, falls into this category. It usually helps, I think, if its a short novel, since it needs to be pared down if it intends to have any substance.

Rick Robinson said...

Patti, there is no link for my entry. Fix, please? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for including my post, Patti. And thanks for suggesting Willeford's work. This is an author I don't know, but it sounds as though I should.

Rick Robinson said...

Thank you, Patti!

TracyK said...

Thanks for including my post and thanks for pulling this together.

I have not read anything by Willeford, but plan to. The books I have are the later Hoke Moseley books.

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