Monday, January 09, 2006

"I ain't no spandexbutt..."

Stephen wrote:

"I saw a screening of A Dangerous Female about 10 years ago. Amazing, and a little disturbing what they were doing before the movie codes."

And I say:

Disturbing? I dunno. Sometimes you have to (sorry, in advance) call a Spade a Spade -- and it wasn't really any racier than the book, was it? By the way, I think the film only became "A Dangerous Female" when the Huston version came out -- although I could be -- and frequently am -- mistaken.

"Spade comes off as an asshole. Bogart really added a lot of humanity to the character that Cortez just couldn't begin to muster."

Granted, the Huston version did have better actors, and there was something a little too slimy about Spade, but many of the performances were carbon copies of the earlier film, right down to the emphasis on certain syllables and camera angles. It would be interesting to see a point-by-point comparison. Maybe someone will do one at Bouchercon or something, one day...

And Guyot? Yep, biking. Although I ain't no spandexbutt... Sure, I wrote a column for the local sports gimme on biking for a while, but the truth is: I just like to ride. Even in the bikophobic Antelope Valley where he-man SUV drivers feel threatened by little ol' bikers despise me for daring to be on THEIR roads, to the point where they throw things or crawl up right behind me and give me a long, loud blast of their airhorns...Ah, the hilarity and playfulness of the rednecked mouthbreather in his natural habitat...

I used to do Montreal's Tour de l'Ile (now there's a bike-friendly town) and once upon a time, I convinced a wife to join me in bike camping around the Maritimes, but these days I just bike (weather permitting) to work and back, and try to do ten miles a day (again, weather permitting),

a) to keep in some kind of shape (these days, possibly pear);

and

b) because it's fun.

And maybe this year, I'll do a little solo bike camping (no way THIS wife will ever be conned into it).

And J.J. said:

"... your write-up on Scott Wolven is dead nuts on."

While I'm disturbed at your casual dismissal of my testicular vitality, I am relieved (I think) that someone else thought CONTROLLED BURN was something special. THRILLING DETECTIVE must have been one of the first e-zines to run a Wolven piece, and I'd read a few pieces since then, but CONTROLLED BURN was something else again, one of the best collections I've read in a long time -- powerful and literate (but never pretentious) blue collar noir that works its way into your gut like a splinter.

It's one of the things I love about writing reviews for JANUARY and THE RAP SHEET (possibly my favourite crime mag, even if I didn't occasionally toss in a few pieces) -- how crime fic editor Jeff Pierce lets me blither on about not just all these books that everybody is talking about, but also how he lets me cut loose on more obscure books I think they SHOULD be talking about (or avoiding like the plague).

Like, I think Brad Smith's BUSTED FLUSH was a real keeper, a warm, good-natured romp (imagine Hiaasen without the occasional meanness) about a ne'er-do-well carpenter who discovers a horde of Civil War memorabilia and a possible actual recording of Lincoln giving the Gettysburg address.

Not that everything I listed in JANUARY's Year-End lists was obscure -- I also really liked stuff by Stephen King (am I the only one who liked the sheer ballsy audacity of THE COLORADO KID and the way King deliberately -- and with malice aforethought -- fucked with us?), Robert Parker, Laura Lippman and Elmore Leonard.

And right now, I'm reading a few gay Canadian P.I. mysteries for a possible column or review (or maybe I'll just spray paint it on a wall somewhere), a couple of titles suggested by a pal/client of mine, Josh Lanyon, who has a new book, THE HELL YOU SAY, the third in his Aidrian English series, coming out soon himself. (By the way, Josh is not Canadian.)

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah... gay P.I. mysteries. So far, Joseph Hansen's tough, terse Dave Brandstetter series is still the one to beat, but it's good, as always, to see other writers still assaulting the citadel.

Ooops, there's the Bat Signal.. gotta go. Alfred, where are my tights?

3 Comments:

Blogger Aldo said...

I love THE RAP SHEET. I only wish Jeff had more time to put it out a monthly basis...

What's all this nonsense about spandex and thighs. Let's talk about beer and books or some of the new writers on the block.

2:53 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger R.J. Baker said...

How exactly did Steven King fuck with us with Colorado kid????

7:33 PM, January 10, 2006  
Blogger Stephen Blackmoore said...

I bow to your greater knowledge of all things thrilling and detective.

Wait... that didn't come out right.

3:33 PM, January 11, 2006  

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