I blame Marko and the Thanksgiving in Hell show for putting this in my head since Thursday, so I’m working to exorcise it. A song of fake nostalgia, written by Brits pretending to be Californians (seriously, who gets excited about driving to San Jose?) for a band that didn’t exist. The tune that kicked off that K-Tel LP you had which also had ‘Life is a Rock’ that I listened to over an over to figure out all the lyrics though nobody cared about it. Faux nostalgia but we’d stay up all night listening to that pop music on the record player and talking about things like how miserable we were and if it were worth going on and whether things would ever get better, if we’d be stuck in that piddly town forever and marry the stupid guys we knew and have kids and die never having gone anywhere ever or living fabulous lives that we knew we ought to have — but we have survived and we remember those old dumb songs with a fondness and we’re still here so somehow fake nostalgia has become real memories, and I hear that in this silly song even though it’s no better than it was, but I am — and I got out. So I salute you, my friend.
Get it on your local Amazon for nowt all this week (just change .com to whatever your region is): a twisty-turny noir tale of dishonour among thieves in a small city.
Two stories just out this month, both inspired by my travels in Slovenia. ‘These Toys Are For Tough Boys’ was the title Renato Bratkovič gave me as I was treated with great food, Lasko Noir and Alibi wine at Bar Grega and Gora pod lipo. Want a story from me? Fly me to an alpine location and give me good stuff to eat and drink. Boom! 6K story in a day.
‘Somewhere in Slovenia’ over at Near to the Knuckle looks at the potential problems of being unilingual in post-Brexit EU. Footie fans beware 😉 heh. Also a song by Slovenia’s premiere punk band, Res Nullius.
BUILD MY GALLOWS HIGH
Geoffrey Homes (1946)
Probably best known as the text for Out of the Past, the classic noir film with Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer and Kirk Douglas (and how much better a title is the book than that?), this novel written under a pseudonym by screenwriter Daniel Mainwaring, who also worked on the script for Invasion of the Body Snatchers and dozens of others, has much less cultural currency than the film it led to (I’d forgotten Against All Odds was a remake: I just cringe automatically on hearing in my head the Phil Collins theme song).
It’s a tight little book that feels very much like an adapted screenplay. There’s no wasted words in this slim volume though it fleshes out the backstory of the novel quite a bit more. The action pretty much hurls through the events non-stop. Nonetheless Homes/Mainwaring offers some moments worth lingering over, throwing in scraps of poetry (‘When I am dead and over me bright April shakes down her rain-drenched hair’) and some description that offers a bit of poetry of its own:
Lloyd Eels was a tall man who hadn’t come off the assembly line.Somebody had found some spare parts lying around and had put them together carelessly, not bothering to get the bolts tight so that they seemed almost ready to come apart. He had black, sad eyes and a black mustache like an untrimmed hedge. No amount of combing would help his shock of hair.
‘You’re getting fat,’ Red said. ‘It doesn’t become you.’
‘You come up here to tell me that?’
‘No, I hate to see a man let himself go. They’ll get you back in shape in Alcatraz.’
‘Always the jester,’ Whit said acidly.
‘But the cap is getting pretty shabby and the bells lose their merry tinkle.’
Jim Caldwell’s eyes saw nothing in the drab domestic scene to wonder at, nothing to make him consider even momentarily the thought that people got old and people took each other for granted and presently there was no magic in the world. Jesus, she was beautiful standing under the hard, white light, her head tilted a little, her cheeks flushed, her dark eyes full of stars.
See all the overlooked books over at Patti’s blog.
Those devilish girls of Sigma Tau Nu — here’s a few portraits of ones who are new!
Many thanks to the multi-talented Chloë Yates who swings a fine pen herself: check out her many publications here.
This Halloween pledge Sigma Tau Nu! Never mind black cats — you don’t want once of these sisters to cross your path. Sexy, violent and a little bit mad, this racy crime novella is for adults only!
See this #AmazonGiveaway for a chance to win: Satan’s Sorority. https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/98596c22807400fd NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Ends the earlier of Oct 25, 2016 11:59 PM PDT, or when all prizes are claimed. See Official Rules http://amzn.to/GArules.