Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Keikkakuski ei kenties luo kovan dekkarin perinteeseen mitään uutta, mutta tyylipastissina se on niin täydellinen, että sen soisi herättävän vaikkapa Tarantinon huomion. Virheetön suoritus, kerrassaan.
I might be making more posts on this topic to help Sipilä out. And I'd really like to see people spreading the word. If someone's interested in obtaining a review copy, I'm sure you can contact Sipilä through me, in a comment or an e-mail.
Monday, June 22, 2009
The American Linda Barnes. Tried Snake Tattoo, one of her Carlotta Carlyle novels, but it was pretty boring and nothing hooked me. Second-rate Paretsky or Grafton, both of whom I haven't cared much for, so...
But I just started Stephen Greenleaf's Beyond Blame from 1985, which I found earlier today at a library remainder sale, and I'm really enjoying it.
Edit: here's a link to an earlier post about Greenleaf.
And what's with Åsa Larsson, in a list for best paperback originals? It's not an original novel in any sense, since it's a translation.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I'll try to get some more details from Sipilä himself.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Both books would make great movies, by the way.
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
Avon, 1956. "Blondes and Bullets in the Spillane manner." There seems also to be a pirated Priory paperback, supposedly from Israel, but I can't find a cover for it.
So, who he? you ask. Tedd Thomey wrote some crime paperbacks in the fifties and the sixties, one of them being the excellent Killer in White (1956), a very Jim Thompson -like foray into a psychotic mind, this time working as a fake doctor. Pulp, paperback and film historian Lee Server has said good things about Thomey's hardback crime novel, And Dream of Evil (1954). His other crime novels, according to an early edition of Hubin's bibliography, are Flight to Takla-Ma (Monarch 1962) and I Want Out (Ace 1959; I think this was an Ace Double). There's also The Sadist (Berkley 1961), about which the Abebooks seller says thusly: "Mystery about the kidnapping of a guy's three-day bride by a man with a twisted criminal mind."
This seems to be the only complete bibliography of him in the web, and it leaves out the publishers and the years - but it's interesting to read about Thomey's early career!
Watched Sam Raimi's CRIMEWAVE last night. Friend's VHS, with Greek subtitles! Just too much stuff blowing up, too many wisecracks, too many funny sounds when something stupid happens, too long climax. Overall more like a bad Tex Avery cartoon. But the Coen brothers' handmark is visible, with quirky characters, weird neonoirism and bad taste. They did their brand of total craziness much, much better in RAISING ARIZONA. So, in my book, Raimi still very overrated.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Four Movies You Can See Over and Over
Steven Spielberg: Duel (USA 1971)
Orson Welles: Touch of Evil (USA 1958)
Andrei Tarkovsky: The Mirror (Soviet Union 1975)
Quentin Tarantino: Reservoir Dogs (USA 1992)
bubbling under: The Red Circle by Jean-Pierre Melville
Four Places You Have Lived (all in Finland)
Turku (and that's all)
Four TV Shows You Love to Watch
Four Places You Have Been on a Vacation
Cyprus (forgot what the town was called)
Nordkapp, Norway (for a brief moment, it's a long story)
Four of Your Favorite Foods
Pasta with tomato sauce and aubergine
Pasta with garlic, rosemary and chick beans in olive oil
My special brand of oatmeal with raisins, almonds and pineapple, mixed with yoghurt
Halva with vanilla (especially mixed with ice cream)
Four Websites You Visit Daily
The Finnish National Library's database
the Finnish Elonet movie database
Four Places You Would Rather Be
Right now? Maybe reading on a sofa or watching a movie and soon I will be. And then... nah, I'll stick with this.
Four Things You Hope to Do Before You Die
Publish a novel
Publish a novel
Publish a novel
Make my kids grow up decent, but also a bit bohemian and weirdish
Four Novels You Wish You Were Reading for the First Time (this question makes actually not much sense, because there are at least three ways to go about this: one, I could now get more out of a book if I were to read it now, with my adult understanding of themes and style; two, it's about a feeling of awe of how a writer has built the narrative and I don't as yet know I'm about to be tricked and fooled; three, I've forgotten a book so much that it's like I'm reading it now for the first time - so which should I go for? I think my choices have to do with the second option)
Richard Matheson: I Am Legend
Paul Auster: Music of Chance (or perhaps Leviathan, or perhaps City of Glass)
Kevin Wignall: Who Is Conrad Hirst?
Scott Phillips: The Ice Harvest
bubbling under: Fredric Brown: The Far Cry
bubbling under, No. 2: Alan Moore - Eddie Campbell: From Hell (from start to finish in one sitting; and I think I've done this once)
(and by the way, there are lots of books I'll be reading for the first time, since I haven't read them yet!)
Tag Four People You Believe Will Respond
No, I won't. These things move with enough speed as it is.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
I'll try to blog more about Kevin Wignall's visit in Finland tomorrow, and then I'll try to say something about books I read during my short vacation: Jonathan Valin's Day of Wrath, Anthony Neil Smith's Yellow Medicine and Jonathan Maberry's Patient Zero.
Sunday, June 07, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
I had a chance to pick up the No Exit edition from the Finnish Academic Bookstore at their sale for five euros and read it and fell in love with it and have been following Jason's career ever since. Then, some years later, I read somewhere that the original UK edition (for long there wasn't any other) is a collector's item and, sure enough, when I checked Abebooks, there was only one copy for something like 50 euros. (Or maybe even 80.) At the time I'm writing this, there are only the new Hard Case Crime copies in Abebooks. Which means: More power to Hard Case Crime! I think this is one of their most important books, reprint or original. And it's obviously been so rare that it's practically an original.
As some of the followers of this blog might remember, I've translated Fake I.D. and finally next Spring it will see its Finnish publication.
More later, with photos.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
I'm a bit slow in this wagon, but I've tried to keep a vacation. I had some fun reading books that don't have anything (or at least much) to do with my work, and James Reasoner's first Gabriel Hunt book was one of these.
Everyone knows by now almost everything about this series that's just started and that's the brainchild of Charles Ardai, better known for Hard Case Crime, so I won't go into there. Ardai himself and other writers, like Christa Faust, David Schow and Raymond Benson, are writing other books in the series, and I'm hoping James gets to do another gig with Gabriel Hunt.
And I'm hoping he does a better job than the first book. There's absolutely nothing fundamentally wrong about the book - it runs along smoothly and it's written fluently - but I found myself thinking that there could be - should be - more sex and violence. I know that one of the ideas in the Gabriel Hunt saga is to bring back some of the innocence of the old serials and old pulp magazine fiction set in South Seas or the deep jungles of Africa or whatever, but I don't think they were really this clean. I was hoping this would've been more dirty (and by that I don't mean lewd) and more cynical. For starters, Gabriel Hunt is just way too clean - he's not a badass I kind of hoped he was. In days of old, he would've been a scheming bastard with a scar on his face. That what I saw in my mind when I first heard about Gabriel Hunt.
But I have hope. I find it a bit hard to believe that writers like Christa Faust, the author of the admirable Money Shot, or David J. Schow, one of the original splattepunksters, would write this clean a story. So I'm hoping that James won't hold himself back in another Gabriel Hunt he'll be writing - and that he'll set some of the events in Finland!
One more thing: The book is set in the present times, as in the 2000's, and not in the 1930's, as it might've been, but actually the book feels like it takes place in the 1980's. I don't exactly know why this is (but I kept seeing Romancing the Stone in my mind), but at least the characters could use computers and the internet. These guys - Gabriel Hunt and his brother - go for a shelf of books when they want to find out about an old Confederate flag, when one thinks they'd go Googling first and only then check the reference shelf. (Or maybe James Reasoner checked first there's nothing in the web about that flag.)
Don't go by my word only: here's Bill Crider, here's Horror Drive-In, here's Not the Baseball Pitcher and here's Scott Parker. Here's Cullen Callagher talking with James about the book. And here's Charles Ardai's interview in which he talks about his parents who survived the Holocaust during WWII. I believe some of that shows in his own entry in the Hunt saga.
Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Kevin Wignall on nouseva brittikirjailija, joka on jo saavuttanut kulttimainetta ja kriitikoiden arvostuksen neljällä omaperäisellä rikosromaanillaan. Wignall on erikoistunut kirjoittamaan palkkatappajista, mutta hänen tappajansa ovat epävarmoja ja yksinäisiä ihmisiä, joiden uraa talouden ja politiikan horjahtelut heilauttavat.
Suomeksi nyt ilmestyvä Kuka on Conrad Hirst? kertoo palkkatappajasta, jonka ura alkoi Jugoslavian sisällissodan hämärissä. Hirst haluaa lopettaa hommansa ja päättää ottaa selville, keitä ovat hänen salaperäiset työnantajansa. Hirstillä on vain yksi vihje, mutta sen seuraaminen tuottaa tuloksia. Yksitellen palkkatappaja päästää työnantajat päiviltä vain huomatakseen, että häntä luullaan vastapuolen vakoojaksi.
Alun perin vuonna 2007 ilmestynyt Kuka on Conrad Hirst? tuo tuulahduksen 1930-luvulta ja Graham Greenen ja Eric Amblerin vakoiluromaaneista. Kevin Wignall päivittää lajityypin vastaamaan 2000-luvun monimutkaisia globaaleja kuvioita.
Wignall saapuu Suomeen julkistamaan suomennoksen ilmestymistä. Perjantaina 5.6. on julkistamis- ja signeeraustilaisuus Aleksanterinkadun Suomalaisessa Kirjakaupassa klo 16.30 ja lauantaina 6.6. Kampin Suomalaisessa Kirjakaupassa klo 15.00. Lisäksi hän esiintyy Kouvolan dekkaripäivillä lauantaina 6.6. klo 10.15. Kouvolan teatterissa.
Kuka on Conrad Hirst? on osa Arktisen Banaanin tänä keväänä aloittamaa pokkarisarjaa, jossa ilmestyy uutta amerikkalaista ja englantilaista kovaksikeitettyä dekkaria. Aiemmat kirjat sarjassa ovat Duane Swierczynskin Keikkakuski ja Allan Guthrien Viimeinen suudelma. Ensi syksynä ilmestyvät James Sallisin palkintoja kahminut Ajo (Drive) sekä Scott Phillipsin elokuvanakin tunnettu mestariteos Jäätävää satoa (The Ice Harvest). Sarjaa toimittaa dekkariasiantuntija Juri Nummelin.