Wednesday, August 01, 2007

A Killer Can Die by Brad Cordell; My disappointment in Daniel Woodrell

In the last day of my holiday, I read another Australian western paperback, A Killer Can Die by Brad Cordell (published in 1980 in Finnish with a misleading title Preerian painajainen). Brad Cordell was actually Gordon Clive Bleeck, who was one of the most prominent Australian paperbackers and pulpsters. It shows here: the story moves on swiftly and economically, even though there are no big surprises. Some of the plot points seemed a bit arbitrary, though. Still a pretty enjoyable and unpretentious yarn. Bleeck died already in 1971 and had given up writing in the fifties, so this must be from that era. It seems, though, from the Australian National Library's website, that some of Bleeck's stuff under the Bard Cordell byline was reprinted as late as 1984.

I almost forgot to mention that I tried to read Daniel Woodrell's Give Us a Kiss. Emphasis on "tried": I dropped the book somewhere in the middle. Woodrell's been one of the best reviewed new (or newish) American crime writers and he seemed just like my man. But no. The book was very well written, but there wasn't much plot to attach to and I didn't believe in the main character, a macho prison guy who's written four novels and who reads Carson McCullers and John McGahern. Woodrell's other books have seemed very interesting, but I don't think I'll be trying them very soon.

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