Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Duane Swierczynski about Goodis

As I said earlier, I was writing an article about David Goodis, the quintessential noir writer of the fourties and fifties. For a side article, I asked Duane Swierczynski why he likes Goodis. I'll post his questions here as well:

>What makes Goodis so important?

Well, I'm not sure about important--I mean, reading a David Goodis novel has not been known to cure impotence and/or mild skin conditions. But he is special, because his novels are the blackest comedies you'll ever read. So black, in fact, you can barely detect the comedy.

>What made you pick up Goodis in the first place?

I sought him out because he was writing books set in the Philly neighborhoods I knew; that was a mindblower for me. And he was writing about Phialdelphia about 20 years before I was born; reading his novels are kind of like stepping into a local time machine.

>What's your favourite amongst Goodis's books?

It's a toss-up between BLACK FRIDAY and DOWN THERE (SHOOT THE PIANO PLAYER), the ultimate in little-guy-get-screwed noir novels.

1 comment:

Peter Rozovsky said...

My experience with Goodis is limited to the short story "Black Pudding" and Shoot the Piano Player, which is a disgrace considering the city I live in. But Duane Swierczynski's comment about Goodis and comedy seems perceptive. There is a decided glimpse of hope at the end of the story.

Hmmm, I know that I had some distant relatives named Goodis. Do you think ...
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"