Friday, December 30, 2005

Star Wars, Shanghai Style

Who says in The Revenge of the Sith: "They want to know him at fuck"?

Check it out.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Just a quick note

We got today back from Elina's parents where we spent three days. Kauto seemed to miss Matti and Karin later today when they had left and had a short relief only when we dug out some pictures of his granddad. Lots of presents, mainly for Kauto. Lots of booze, but not as much as during earlier Xmas parties, since Elina wasn't quite well. Lots of chocolate and ham. I have a massice case of dyspepsia. I'm eating Rennies like the guy in Ray Banks's The Big Blind.

Read most of James Michael Ullman's The Neon Haystack. Will report back on that.

Was shopping for Xmas in the university library duplicate sale - came back with over 20 books. Will report back. A snappy flea market tour in Toijala on Thursday on our way to Hämeenlinna. Nothing spectacular, though. Saw Tapani and his family briefly. Tapani gave me the Hard Case Crime and Point Blank Press books he had ordered me from Abebooks (I have no credit card). I'm looking to forward to reading them. Will report etc.

Tapani and his folks have a furless dog. Kauto was enthusiastic about it and even tried to say "koira/dog" when the thing vanished downstairs. Do we have to have a dog in the future?

Our mutual gifts with Elina received today. Lots of fun and stupid stuff, such as the Garfield playing cards from 1978, in an almost mint condition. Kauto got his hands on them and chewed bits off from some of them. I must be the only person in the world who got two old plastic freezer boxes for Christmas!

Isku came from the printers just on Wednesday. The jerks had done an earlier version that had some mistakes in it - one in my own story in which a map suddenly switches hands! Must ask for revisions.

Did some vanity google tonight. Found a negative review of The White Heat. Will report back on that, too (but perhaps only in Finnish).

Don't know when I'll post again, but in the meantime: have a nice after-Xmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy holidays

Heading off for holidays early tomorrow morning and pretty busy with shopping and family today, so:

May Santa protect us!

PS. Was Christmas shopping already yesterday and found Westlake's Two Much (a nice Crest edition), Fred Zackel's much-praised P.I. novel Cocaine and Blue Eyes and couple old Ellery Queen Mystery Magazines (in Finnish). I also purchased two paperback translations of Erle Stanley Gardner's A.A. Fair books that are being reprinted by Hard Case Crime. Am heading soon towards the duplicate shop of Åbo Akademi's (the Swedish-speaking university of Turku) library. They sell books for 20 cents! Yummy!

I also bought the seventies' (actually the only one) translation of Edgar Wallace's, Merian Cooper's and Delos Lovelace's (who he?) King Kong. Will scan the Matti Louhi cover when we return.

My holiday reading will consist of Allan Guthrie's Two-Way Split and James Michael Ullman's The Neon Haystack (1963). I remember liking it very much some 16-17 years ago.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Jurassic Park 4

I was looking up John Sayles's info on IMDb and noticed that he'll be writing Jurassic Park 4. While this was new to me, the thing that attracted me most was this rather nonsensical comment in the discussion board:


I've stay, since I found it: TOO SHOCKING, DESPERATLY WORRY AND SAD, AS TOO SCARED, AND TOO FURIOUS, ABOUT THIS HORRIBLY UNEXPECTED INFO, about wich I EXTREMLY BEG, that it only be, A AWFULL, JOKE. Because you know what it would means, for the so damage (but if are not make it that ANIQUILATINGS ideas, as NONE of that kind, is ABSOLUTLY POSIBLE BRINGING BACK AND WITHOUT DISSAPEAR, AND, BUT FOR THIS TIME, NEVER AGAIN, HIS, TOTALLY AND SO UNIQUE, MAESTRY), cuality of the history, of JURASSIC PARK if it happens ? This simply, CAN'T, happen.

Otherwise, Jurassic Park, as you, and I, we KNOW, WILL BE LOST, AND THIS TIME, WITHOUT, REPARATION, AT ALL, OBVIOUSLY. Because the complete, so exciting, beautiful, unique, escence, of Jurassic Park, that we all the real lovers and passionate of this unforgettable history franchise, this Master Piece, we love, and for the same, MISS SO MUCH!!!, couldnt come back again, and stay forever, wich NEVER did must gone. And wich COMPLETE, only posses it, the First Film, Jurassic Park, and talking about the films, and the books. The only master piece of this saga, and, if you aren´t note it yet, THE ONLY, wich posses the sense, the key, the brilliant formula, of this story, FOR ALWAYS, I mean, for ALL THE MOVIES OF THIS SAGA, and his books.

So CLEAR and SIMPLY, like that, just, analize the sense of the birth of this story, and you will, realize of it, of what I say. Sense, that only is communicate and showed, ONLY, IN THE FIRST FILM, JURASSIC PARK. And wich, can, COME BACK, AND STAY, FOREVER. But, about the info of the page that I did put you lols, up, the web page, ONLY WITHOUT, LIKE THAT, in that horribly web page info, SO INCONCIOUS AND STUPID ideas, wich in the case of that info in that page, part of the so frightning examples of it, are: The idea with Keira Knightley that appears there, wich is, SIMPLY, A DEVASTATING, IDEA, FOR OBVIOUS REASONS, OF COURSE!!!. But it wouldn't be, if the responsible of this, just DON'T DO IT!!!, and, ANYMORE!!!, AN, WE NEED MORE SOOO STUPID, AND, HORRYBLE,IDEA, but specially for in the case of this horryble info that I share with you guys up there(the web page), a it wouldn´t be IMPOSSIBLE, FIX IT, ONE, IDEA(S)!!! Please, if anyone knows about this, it CAN'T, BE TRUE, INFO, what is this, where it came from, and if theres jokers LIKE THIS. I PLEASE, ASK to you, that you answer me back on this board, or write me to my e-mail, if you want. To who, like me, wants the Real Best, for Jurassic Park, for his legacy, wich must be, not only in his first part, but, in ALL the films of this whole story in it, UNIQUE, BRILLIANT, UNFORGETTABLE, FASCINATING, AND, OBVIOUSLY, WONDERFULL, like the big mayor part, of his first film, deeply from my heart, THANK YOU, and NEVER, change that beautiful and perfect view, care, intention, hope, your TRULY, SENSITIVE, DEEP, SO CORRECT and WORRING, point of view, and DEVOTION, for THE ETERNAL SHINE, of Jurassic Park, like the MASTER PIECE that it is, and that shows to all, in his first film. And also, to you, the guys like that there: Take Care, Always, Please. And believe guys, when I tell you that you, KEEP YOUR FAITH about OUR BELOVED, JURASSIC PARK, the REAL story and escence of it, refering to the films one, that only we have known and felt, in his, first, part, because, it, WILL BACK!!!, THIS TIME, FOR STAY FOREVER, AND AS YOU'LL NEVER IMAGINE. YOUR EXPECTATIVES WILL STAY ON THE STARS. Wich about this story, I knew and it did stay and will be forever, in an eternaly special way, in my heart, and in all the rest of my being, giving me, later, much time later, a sign, a mission, in my so special, and because that, beloved, and, so unforgettable, 1993.

(If anyone could read this through, raise your right hand and say out aloud: I've also read Finnegan's Wake.)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Stuff done

Books read:

Ray Banks's The Big Blind (Point Blank 2004). Very nasty little book, in the vein of Irvine Welsh: Scottish lowdown people running scared and doing what's not supposed to be done. In this one, a guy gets beaten to death and dumped into water. It's about a salesman of my age, who's accomplished nothing in life, but amounting to the said event. Banks writes like he's boxing in an illegal match. The novel could have more plot, though. I was expecting more twists and turns. But I'm not complaining.

I'm currently reading Whiskey Sour by J.A. Konrath. I don't especially like serial killer novels, since I think they are only upgrades of the puzzle crime novels of Agatha Christie and others, with criminal masterminds planning the crime for so long it's a wonder they get it done.* I thought I'd give this a shot, since it's been compared to Elmore Leonard and other writers of my liking. And I really liked Konrath's short story "Whelp Wanted" that is available in PDF in his blog, hmm, umm.. yes, somewhere there. I can't seem to find anymore, but I downloaded it and have Konrath's kind permission to use the story in a forthcoming issue of Isku.

Konrath's humour is quite heavyhanded, though, and he overwrites some scenes and makes them feel pretty lousy. There are some quite nice ones, though, especially the one in which the serial killer stalks the hero, Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels, in her bedroom. Konrath seems to be hitting big in the US soon, so watch out. (And remember that you read it first here. I mean the Finnish folks.)

Movies seen:

For the first time in my life, I watched J. Lee Thompson's Cape Fear (1961), the original from which Scorsese later filmed his overhyped version. I liked that, when I saw it in, what, 1991, but it's clear Thompson's version is much better. You just gotta admire Robert Mitchum doing the quintessential baddie in the lead - you just don't want to meet him, never.

I haven't read the John D. MacDonald novel on which the movies are based, but if it's anything near this, I'll be liking it more than any other MacDonald I've ever read. (Saul Bass's credits in the Scorsese film are spectacular. If not anything else in the film, they are the reason for it to exist.)

I also had a chance to watch The Lady in Red by Lewis Teague. I mentioned this earlier, but with a wrong title. It's Teague's second or third feature film, but that's not important. It was John Sayles's second script, after Piranha in 1978, and it shows clearly: the film is very pro-feminist, pro-worker, very class-conscious and shows in the climax how a poor woman, a black man, an old man and a young guy who has no hope in life can work together. It's a film set in the late twenties' gangster world, with John Dillinger and Thompson machine guns and all that, but Sayles's script is what makes this important. (I think Sayles is one of the two bank clerks in the climax, but I'm not sure.) Teague directs really crisply, though. Later on he directed Romancing the Stone, if you remember that one.

Work done:

I've more or less stopped working for the year, but here's an update:

I'll finish the PI novel early next year. There's some 20 or 30 pages still to come and then I'll have to do the editing pretty fast, since it's going to a contest with the end of January as a deadline.

Then I'll possibly get back to my mainstream novel that's been in a hiatus this Fall. I'll be writing it in a train, on my way to shoot the TV show. (We actually shot an almost real one a week ago, a test pilot with three interviewees. It went quite well and I was very satisfied with how I looked on the tube!)

The pirate Isku is still coming out, but I don't know whether it will make it before Christmas. Here's hoping - they are quite busy at the printers.

I started writing another Joe Novak story. It came from remembering a line from a novel (which one, I forget) in which someone walks around a room and touches things. In this Novak is sitting in an empty hotel room, not knowing who really invited him there, and moving around and touching things he finds in there. It's set in the mid-sixties, so my hero is already past 40 in it.

* Luis Buñuel has a nice one on this in his fifties' film, Rehearsal for a Crime aka The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz. In this, a young guy, bored with his life, plans murders, but someone else always makes them before he has the nerve to do them.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Ken Bulmer is dead

British science fiction and action writer Kenneth Bulmer has died. Born in 1921 and starting out in fanzines in the early fourties, Bulmer had quite a long career. Mostly known for his SF, he also wrote westerns, war novels, sea stories, etc. Even a series about the Falkland war!

The novel on the left, Galactic Intrigue, was published by Panther in 1953 (that's the copyright year and only year I can find in the book). The copy on the book says:

When Brent, son of old-man Brent of the Galactic Press, leaves Earth for a holiday on the far planet of Luralye, he travels by Matter Transmitter - a sensational new means of interstellar travel which breaks its passengers down into atoms and re-assembles them at their destination.

But there are powerful groups in the Galaxy who do not intend the Matter Transmitter to succeed - particularly the huge spaceship concerns that still dominate the space-ways - and when Brent steps out of the Transmitter on Luralye, with a beautiful violet-eyed girl, he finds himself involved in this desperate struggle for power.

Ken Bulmer in Finnish

Here are covers for the only two series that have been translated from Ken Bulmer in Finnish: the Adam Hardy series for New English Library in the early seventies and the submarine series as by Bruno Krauss. In the latter the Germans are "heroes" or at least in the lead. I've read the Hardy book and can quite recommend it, if you like sea stories with strong heroes. At least it's more entertaining than the over-written stuff by Patrick O'Brian...

Early Henrik Tikkanen

Henrik Tikkanen was a legendary Finnish author and illustrator who started out in the years just after WWII. He made lots of illos for some small adventure, mystery and humour magazines, such as Ässä (= Ace). Here's a striking cover for Ässä 1/1950. Later on Tikkanen wrote some of the most revered books about living in a culturally inclined Swedish-speaking community in Finland.

The illustration was black & white already in the mag, the magazine's logo was colour, but I forget what it was. Some illustrations from the same mag below.

Tikkanen's action

Here's a great Tikkanen illustration for a story that was published in the Ässä magazine.

Another Tikkanen

Here's still another action illustration from Henrik Tikkanen.

Tikkanen's cartoon

Here's a very well drawn cartoon from Henrik Tikkanen. It looks like it's been drawn with single strokes!

She says: "If you keep looking at other girls, you'll soon have to find another girl!"

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I'm Jack Burton

You're Jack Burton.
The Pork Chop Express.

Which B-Movie Badass Are You?
brought to you by

M.A. Numminen remix

The legendary Finnish underground/children's artist M.A. Numminen with DJ Sane:

Grab it fast, since it won't be downloadable for long!

Bad Boys/Pahat pojat

I watched last night parts of one of the most popular Finnish films, Aleksi Mäkelä's Bad Boys. I didn't expect anything, but boy oh boy, was it crap! It's hard to understand why this one has been so popular.

Katsoin eilen illalla viimeiset puoli tuntia Aleksi Mäkelän Pahoista pojista. En odottanut paljoa, mutta tämä oli aivan kamala. Täysin motivoimatonta toimintaa - miksi poikien isä käyttäytyi kuin täysi idiootti, vaikka annettiin ymmärtää, että hän on älykäs ja manipuloiva (varsinkin lopun tohelointi sikarin kanssa oli täysin eri henkilöä) -, surkeata dialogia, käsittämättömän tyhjänpäiväistä tunnelmointia ja pyrkimystä male bondingiin ilman että käsikirjoittaja ja ohjaaja olivat ymmärtäneet, mikä poikia todella olisi yhdistänyt - kyse oli vain tyhjästä kuoresta, jostain josta Mäkelä ja Pekka Lehtosaari olivat lukeneet, että näin toimintaelokuvissa tehdään. Lisäksi he olivat käsittäneet, että aina kun jotakuta, vaikkapa koiraa, hakataan, pitää laukoa hauskuuksia. Kohtaus, jossa Vesa-Matti Loiri hakkaa koiran kuoliaaksi, oli ainoastaan typerä.

Lisäksi elokuvassa käytettiin täysin tarpeettomia jump cuteja ja zoomileikkauksia saman kuvan sisällä. En keksinyt, miksi ne olivat tarpeellisia. Tai no, keksinpä: Mäkelä halusi matkia ulkomaisia esikuviaan, mutta näillä on kyllä hallussaan rytmitys paljon paremmin kuin Mäkelän kaltaisella amatöörillä.

Taidan pysyä Vareksesta kaukana.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

My dream of Lee Goldberg

Lee Goldberg has found my post about the dream I had, with him and George W. Bush. Andy comments:

Having lived in Finland, I can vouch for the other guy that the long hours of winter darkness and the copious amounts of coping alcohol can make for all kinds of bizarre dreams.
Thankfully I was usually too drunk to remember any of them.

Mr. Goldberg makes a mistake, though, saying that I'm a screenwriter. Apart from some half dozen amateur movies in the late eighties, I haven't scripted anything. And some might argue that those things were not scripted.

James Reasoner's Texas Wind; my other blog

Now that Kauto is in daycare, I can concentrate more on my first love: books. I read James Reasoner's Texas Wind, the cult hardboiled private eye novel from 1980 that has been missing due to its original publisher's bankruptcy. It was reprinted last year by Point Blank Press (that's run by our very own Juha Lindroos).

It's a great and satisfying read. I started the book late last night and finished it today almost by noon (of course after having slept the night). It's very short - 142 trade paperback-sized pages - which is always an asset, but in those few pages ("few" by today's thriller industry standards) Reasoner creates a fully convincing world, convincing characters and a convincing mystery, with one or two nice twists at the end. This is the way things should be done, nice and tidy, and not just fill page after another.

Reasoner keeps his own blog Rough Edges here. I read it often and get a glimpse of an everyday of an extremely prolific writer. Reasoner must've written 180 novels by now. He also seems a very nice guy, just like his P.I. hero, Cody.

The cover on the right (or left?) is the original found in Reasoner's website . If you ever see the book on sale, grab it. There are two copies on sale in Abebooks - the cheaper one goes for 100 bucks.


Be sure to check my other blog: I've been posting there some short reviews of old and obscure films noirs. In Finnish, that is.

Sunday, December 11, 2005


I forgot to mention in my update that the pirate issue of Isku went finally to printers on Saturday and the Silverberg book will follow early next week!

Ultra Bra

(Sorry, this is in Finnish, see for English-speaking material below.)

Näin viime yönä unta, jossa soi useaan otteeseen Ultra Bran biisi, jota ei ole olemassa. Olen ennenkin ihmetellyt, miten on mahdollista, että unissaan onnistuu säveltämään, sanoittamaan, sovittamaan ja tuottamaan täydellisiä biisejä - tämä oli juuri sellainen tapaus. En enää muista, mistä biisissä oli kyse, mutta sen muistan, että lauloin kertosäettä mukana useaan otteeseen ja että lauluun yhtyi tyttäreni Ottilia (tai joku muu - tämä on äärimmäisen epäselvä muistikuva). Tärkeintä kuitenkin on, että biisi oli täydellistä Ultra Brata.

En ole koskaan ollut kovin kiinnostunut Ultra Brasta. Tai sanotaan näin: kun he aloittivat komissaarilaulullaan (joka sittemmin paljastui parodiaksi), olin innoissani. Olin innoissani, kun he esiintyivät Yo-talolla hetki tuon jälkeen, mutta sitten siitä tuli aivan liian suosittua. Biisit kuulostivat hyviltä, mutta joku "hipness" minussa sanoi, että minun pitää pysyä tästä kaukana. Ärsyttävät kokoomuslaisetkin pitivät bändistä - sehän tarkoitti sitä, että sitä ei voinut kuunnella. (Kokoomuslainenhan ei voi pitää Patti Smithistä tai Sonicsista.)

Mutta kun olin nähnyt mainitun unen, kaikki tietämäni Ultra Bra -fragmentit alkoivat soida päässä: "sinä lähdit pois", "joka ei lämmitä", "savanni nukahtaa"... herkeämättä. Samaan aikaan tunsin oloni oudon melankoliseksi. Muistan aiemmin päivällä katsoneeni Kautoa, joka leikki lattialla, ja tunteneeni kaihoa.

Olin aiemmin viikolla käynyt hierojalla. Tällä oli Turun Radio päällä ja siellä soitettiin Ultra Bran biisi, jossa lauletaan jotenkin sinne päin, että savanni nukahtaa. Se oli minusta hieno biisi. Tämä yhdistyi mielessäni siihen, että olin vajaa viikko sitten vakaasti sitä mieltä, että Anni Sinnemäki oli Linnan juhlien kuningatar, todella viehättävä ja kaunis mustassa yksinkertaisessa puvussaan. Eihän sillä ole mitään tekemistä asian kanssa, mutta silti... (Tämä kuva on pari vuotta vanha.)

Ehkä annoin lopulta periksi Ultra Bralle. Ehkä hierojalla maatessani - kun minulle tehtiin hyvää, autettiin elämään paremmin - pystyin kuuntelemaan bändiä puhtaasti, enkä antanut esimerkiksi sen häiritä, että entisen työkaverin, rasittavan määräilijän, kännykän soittoäänenä oli juuri Sinä lähdit pois.

Olen viime aikoina miettinyt, että minulla ei ole ollut sukupolvikokemuksia. Ultra Bra oli monille minun ikäisilleni juuri sellainen, ja olen aina enemmän tai vähemmän pyrkinyt pysyttelemään erossa sukupolvikokemuksista. Ainoa biisi, jonka tunnistan sukupolvibiisiksi, on Red Hot Chili Peppersien Knock Me Down - diggailimme sitä yhdessä parin muun jätkän kanssa lukiossa ja se muodostui eräänlaiseksi hymniksi vuosille 1989 ja 1990. Olen vain hiukan kasvanut pois Peppersien kaltaisesta musiikista, vaikka toki biisi tuo mieleeni valtaisan määrän muistoja.

Ehkä Ultra Bra -kokemukseni liittyykin juuri tähän. Ehkä kaipasinkin yllättäen sitä, että tuntisin olevani yhtä niiden kaikkien samanikäisten ja samannäköisten (!) ihmisten kanssa, jotka 90-luvun lopulla elivät Ultra Bran tahdissa, tunnistivat biisien sanoista omat tunteensa ja oman elämänsä. Voi olla, että tämä on jo liian myöhäistä. Biisit eivät tunnu kuuluvan maailmaan, jossa on lapsen unikoulu ja kohta alkava rasittava ja hiukan pelottava matkatyö ja keittiö, jota ei koskaan jaksa siivota ja joululahjastressi ja mitä vielä.

Muistan muuten, että Ampukaa komissaarit, nuo hullut koirat herätti minussa aikanaan samanlaisen nostalgisen sukupolvireaktion. En ollut itse ehtinyt mukaan 70-luvun vasemmistolaiseen toimintaan ja sain 80-luvun puolivälistä alkaen vain katsella kyllästyneenä sivusta, kun nuori vasemmisto kuihtui pois (nyt olen taas liian vanha ja väsynyt lähteäkseni uudestaan virinneeseen toimintaan mukaan). Ultra Bran voittobiisi SDNL:n järjestämässä poliittisten laulujen kilpailussa herätti minussa -94 tunteen: voisiko uusi nuoruus olla sittenkin mahdollinen?

Ehkä sitä juuri ajattelin uneni kautta: olisiko uusi nuoruus sittenkin mahdollinen?


As I said, it's been quite a week, amounting to a dream about Lee Goldberg and George W. Bush...

I've been to Helsinki talking about the TV show. The test pilot will be shot tomorrow and I don't know whether I'll be able to get any sleep.

Kauto went to the daycare on Wednesday. Everything went smoothly, but now he got sick with fever and cold. We've been giving him sleep school and slept badly ourselves. The last time we did this it seemed to go well, but then something happened and it went bonkers. It is stupid to restart it when Kauto is starting his daycare, but we just can't wait anymore - we want to sleep the night!

I've dug out some more old Finnish pulp stories from the archives for the anthology I've been editing all Fall, but I seem to be running out of steam. The authors are either too poor or too obscure. Some gems have sprung up even lately - for example Asser Harkima, who wrote tough private eye and gangster yarns in the late fifties. His endings are pretty poor, though. Maybe the book is done for my part (except for the introduction) and I should leave it rest.

I finally finished Joe Sacco's massive graphic novel/reportage Palestine today - I've had it from the library for four or five months now and can finally take it back. Vow, what a depressing read that was! It was easier when I was a kid and my parents told me that Jasser Arafat is the good guy, and that was that. Sacco makes clear that he thinks Israel is not the good guy here, but he makes also clear that the Palestinians are old-fashioned, bigoted and racist towards the Jews.* And sexist - even though this is not very clear, since Sacco has many women say that the hoods are good and the Quran tells them to wear them and what are they to say against the Good Book? It seems that there can be no solution. There should be, that much is evident, because the whole situation just raises hate and violence in the Arab world and may cause the World War III.

* How could not they be?

Friday, December 09, 2005

I dream of Lee

I had a most wonderful dream last night - or actually in the morning.

The American author and scriptwriter Lee Goldberg (whose blog I read frequently) was a performing magician and was giving a show at a stage somewhere. It was a big outdoor stage and there was quite a big audience. I was his apprentice. Lee Goldberg said he was going to do a big trick, but it required the presence of President George W. Bush. Lee said it was going to look very tricky, but was actually quite easy. It involved ropes and some cans of paint.

But when Bush came on stage, Lee vanished and left me to do the trick. At this point, I noticed that George W. Bush was a mess. He was like a total idiot, grinning to himself, mumbling and smiling stupidly. He was poorly dressed and hadn't shaved. The most curious thing was when I shook hands with him and noticed that half of his right hand thumb had been cut off. He looked actually quite ugly and disgusting.

Bush waited for me to do the trick about which I had no clue. I saw Lee Goldberg standing amongst the audience, but he gave me no tips about the trick. I looked at the cans of paint and ropes on the floor and had to admit to the smiling President that I don't know what to do. I simply had no idea what the trick was supposed to be about.

Now Bush started to laugh hysterically. He plunged down backwards from the stage and hit his head and everyone came to his aid. At this point I woke up.

(Sorry for not having written anything for a past few days. It's been quite a week.)

Monday, December 05, 2005

Just One Night, part 5

This is the final part of the crime story I wrote 20 years ago, as a teenager. I have translated it now and changed bits here and there, but all in all I thought it was a pretty good story for a 13-year old. (I don't know what you think.) The most striking thing is that I left the end without any explanations of what was to come. In this version I made it seem like Brougher got killed, which isn't actually hinted at the original. In the final part the original version was pretty straightforward and the dialogue was ridiculous ("Do something! I don't want to die!") and I rewrote some parts of it. I may rewrite this still and post it as a whole story.

In the lobby, Doc, a short, shabby man, who handled all the emergencies in the hotel, was putting bandages over Moose’s arm. Camaro was standing by the door.
”What was the shooting?” Moose asked.
”I had to kill one of Hersey’s guys”, Brougher said.
”Who?” Moose asked.
Brougher looked at Suzie. ”I think it was Taylor.”
Suzie said: ”You knew him?”
Brougher said: ”Yes” and went to the door. Camaro said: ”The Fury came back.”
Brougher saw the old Plymouth sitting and waiting some thirty meters away from the hotel door. He knew it was full of men waiting for a chance to kill Brougher and his men and get Suzie Terrell. To silence her.
Brougher didn’t want that to happen. He felt his stomach tighten when he thought about Suzie. He hadn’t felt this for years and at first he didn’t know what it meant.
”Let’s get on with this”, he said and opened the door. Camaro followed him out.
The Fury started. It almost jumped when it drove past the door. A machine gun flashed in the window.
”Down!” Brougher shouted as he ducked.
Camaro didn’t make it. He got hit in the arm, worse than Moose just ten minutes ago.
”Fuck!” Brougher heard Camaro say.
Brougher got up and saw Suzie hiding under a table. The clerks were behind the desk. They wouldn’t take any customers tonight. Suzie’s dad had paid the hotel enough money to take the potentially dangerous Suzie as their customer, but Brougher knew Terrell had lots to pay after this.
He took a peek through the door’s glass windows. The Fury had parked just fifty meters away. Brougher saw someone rise from the car. It wasn’t Hersey. He was probably in the backseat, enjoying the show.
Brougher lit a cigarette and checked his Luger. ”I’m going to finish this thing”, he said and went outside. In his mind he kissed Suzie Terrell on the cheek.
The street was empty. The Fury had driven away. Jack cursed and threw his cigarette away. He wouldn’t be able to get Hersey this time.
He heard a siren somewhere. Damn those coppers, always getting in the way, Brougher said to himself.
Suddenly a man came from behind the corner. He was holding a shotgun in his hands and he was firing at Brougher. One of the bullets scratched Brougher in the leg. Brougher fired twice, but didn’t hit. He put his back against the wall.
The man shot again. The ricochet sounded off the wall and Brougher felt blood run on his left cheek. Jack took two quick steps and aimed. He shot twice. The man coughed and his shotgun fell to the ground.
The siren was closer now.
Brougher heard a low rumble coming behind him. He turned around and fired point blank at the Plymouth. The big red car drove past him. It was fast. Brougher saw a revolver at the window and heard a shot. He thought he saw Hersey when he felt something hit his stomach. The Luger fell from his hands. He collapsed and reached for his gun, but the Fury was too far away.
Brougher took a pack of Kents from this shirt pocket. He heard sudden, nasty creaking sounds and someone was shouting: ”Put your hands on your heads, you fucks!” Jack laughed and blood came from his mouth as he lit one of the cigarettes.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A quote of the week

Since I'm tired (some fucktards who call themselves our neigbours had a party last night from 4 a.m. to 6.15 a.m. and kept me awake all that time), I'll post only a quote from the German philosopher Georg Lichtenberg. It illustrates my mood about other people quite well:

There can hardly be a stranger commodity in the world than books. Printed by people who don't understand them; sold by people who don't understand them; bound, criticized and read by people who don't understand them, and now even written by people who don't understand them.

(I could add: the houses are housed by people who don't understand them.)

Friday, December 02, 2005

Just One Night, part 4

(Part 4 of the crime story from 1985.)

Brougher and Camaro took their guns out of the holsters and went to the door. A big, red Fury had been parked near the hotel. A man stood beside it and seemed to be having a conversation with someone in the car.
Suddenly the car spurted into motion. When it was passing the hotel, a shotgun showed at the window and fires flashed. Moose got hit in the arm. Camaro and Brougher sent three bullets after the car, but missed.
”Are you okay?” he asked Moose.
”It’s a scratch”, Moose said.
Brougher nodded even though he could see that there was quite a lot of blood in Moose’s arm.
”Hey, where’s the guy?” Camaro shouted.
Brougher took a look. The man, who’d been talking to the driver of the Fury, was gone.
”Camaro, stay here. Moose, get Doc. I’m going to Suzie”, Brougher said and ran through the lobby and up the stairs. Brougher heard nothing and he knocked on the door. He felt excited and worried, even though he didn’t really know why. This was his job, after all.
Suzie came to the door. ”What was the shooting?” she asked. She was wearing a tight black skirt and a velvet blazer.
”It was Hersey. Get your bag and let’s get out of here”, Brougher said.
Then they heard a window breaking in the bedroom.
”Get down”, Brougher said and pulled Suzie down on the floor. Someone had come into the apartment.
”Stay there”, Brougher said and got up quietly. He backed against the wall. A man came from the bedroom with a sawed shotgun in his hands. It wasn’t Hersey. Of course it wasn’t.
Brougher shot a bullet through the man’s belly. The man twisted and blood came spurting from his stomach, but his hand rose up and he tried to shoot.
Brougher shot again. The man dropped the shotgun and fell on the floor.
”Get your bag”, Brougher said to Suzie, who looked terrified. Suzie rose from the floor and kept watching the corpse.
”It’s Hersey’s gang alright”, Brougher said. Who else would it be? He felt he had to calm Suzie down. It had been necessary to shoot the man.
Suzie gulped and nodded. She looked as she was about to burst into tears any minute.
”Do you know him?” Brougher asked.
Suzie nodded slowly and shakily.
”What’s his name?” Brougher felt he had to focus Suzie’s attention to something and not let the panic get over her. He knew the man and had seen him, but he wanted Suzie to have something to think about.
”I don’t know. I’ve just seen him once or twice…” Suzie’s voice was collapsing. ”He was some sort of a bodyguard.”
”Okay, it’s alright now. Get your bag.”
”Wouldn’t it be safer here?” Suzie said.
”No. Just go and don’t ask any questions”, Brougher said.
Suzie nodded and went to the bedroom. Brougher saw the broken window and felt a cold breeze coming through. Weird, he thought. It’s warm outside.
In the lobby, Doc, a short, shabby man, who handled all the emergencies in the hotel, was putting bandages over Moose’s arm. Camaro was standing by the door.
”What was the shooting?” Moose asked.
”I had to kill one of Hersey’s guys”, Brougher said.
”Who?” Moose asked.
Brougher looked at Suzie. ”I think it was Taylor.”
Suzie said: ”You knew him?”
Brougher said: ”Yes” and went to the door. Camaro said: ”Fury came back.”

(The dialogue after the shooting is new. In the original version they didn't say a word, which seemed a bit too hardboiled.)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Old magazine commercials

Mainoksia Seurasta 22/1962; ads from Seura magazine, 22/1962.

Petterit-alusvaatemainos; the Peter underwear ad.
Miehet liikkuvat, petterit istuvat; The men move, the Peters sit still.


Reumalääkemainos - lääke on saksalainen, mutta onko mainos kotimainen?

Ad for a rheumatism medicine.


Graafisesti hauska Kuvaposti-lehden mainos - harmi että kuvittaja ei ole signeerannut työtään. Hyvin julistemainen.

Very nice ad for the Kuvaposti/Picture Post magazine. It says: "Picture Post is different."

Mauri Sariola

Mauri Sariola was the first Finnish crime author to be translated into English and hit the American market (unless one wants to count Mika Waltari, but I don't think his three crime novels have been translated into English). Here's the early seventies paperback cover for The Helsinki Affair.

Photonovel à la Mauri Sariola

My dad found a photonovel based on Mauri Sariola's crime novel in the Seura magazine in the early sixties. The stills were taken from a film that was based on one of Sariola's novels. Ismo Kallio (the guy in the close-up) played the lead, inspector Susikoski.