Friday, July 13, 2007

Better reading

I had a chance to read some other books as well during our cabin trip. They were all better than Paul Malmont's Chinatown book.

I had two short Australian paperback westerns with me. I don't have Clay Anthony's book with me right now and I already forgot the original title, but the Finnish title for it was Oman köyden oikeus (meaning Rope Justice). Clay Anthony was really Don Haring whom someone might recognize as the writer of the Larry Kent series and even though there seems to be a consensus that Larry Kent was bottom of the barrel, I actually enjoyed Don Haring's western quite a bit. It's a fast-moving story of two young men who end up in the both sides of the law and have to duel to death in the end.

The other I read only when we got back from the trip - Cord McCabe's Kostajan ase ei kylmene/Trail to Eternity (the Finnish year is 1974; I don't know when the original was published, but it must've been by Cleveland). It wasn't as good as Anthony's - the plotline was too thin and the narrative too loose. Cord McCabe is (was?) really an Australian writer called R.J. Fittock who also wrote as Walt Beaumont and Lou Donovan. The Finnish title means The Revenger's Gun Won't Get Cold. The McCabe book was published in the Arizona series, Anthony's book in the Colt series. Both were long-lived digest-sized paperback series.


I started Paul Hamill's The Deadly Piece (1979) and finished it when we got back to Turku. Hamill's hero is Sam Briscoe, a tough newspaperman who seems to get into trouble and resolves them with his fists and wit. There's a melancholy feel to the book even though it's strictly hardboiled. I liked this quite a bit and could read more of Hamill's Sam Briscoe novels. Hard Case Crime reprinted recently one of Hamill's other Briscoes, The Guns of Heaven. I haven't really seen any reports on the book, but I remember stepping upon a negative comment. Wouldn't really be so harsh based on The Deadly Piece.

I also read Jennifer Lynch's Twin Peaks tie-in, The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer. You may remember (I mentioned this only in passing, though) that I watched the reruns of Twin Peaks on the Finnish television couple months back and was captivated once again. I remembered that I'd never read the two Twin Peaks novelizations (well, they are not really novelizations). Lynch's book on Laura Palmer's life doesn't really work as an independent work of art (I find it difficult to fathom what a reader who hasn't seen any episode of Twin Peaks would get out of the book), but I enjoyed it nevertheless. I forgot to bring the biography of Dale Cooper with me, but I intend to read it nevertheless in the near future.

1 comment:

Bill Crider said...

I read all the Sam Briscoe books when they appeared, and I liked them.