At Ransom Notes, I'm throwing out a few recommendations for what to choose for your next read, but I'm gonna jump the gun and letcha know that Lynn Kostoff's The Long Fall is on that list. Jumping the gun because there's a time-sensitive element to his pick as the otherwise out of print The Long Fall is available as an eBook for free this week only. If you read them eThings I strongly suggest you avail yourself of this opportunity to become familiar with Kostoff. Thankfully, I've got my own paper copy of The Long Fall and Adrian McKinty's latest The Cold, Cold Ground (which also makes tomorrow's list) though it's an Australian edition and only available in the states as an audio book so far... I'm confident this will change. It's too good not to be published in print here. I suspect that as McKinty's proposed trilogy continues, some US publisher will get tired of the view from inside their corporate rectal cavity and put this book in reader's hands.
You know who else aint? Down and Out Books. They've just released their very first print title, Scoundrels, an anthology of greed, murder and financial crimes edited by Gary Phillips and featuring badass mutherfuckery like David Corbett, Bob Truluck, Seth Harwood, SJ Rozan and Reed Farrel Coleman. Flood of interviews with Phillips popping up to raise awareness for this one, including one by me. I posted this interview with Gary at Ransom Notes last week. Here's a snippet from that conversation that didn't make the posted bit:
What was the origin of the Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail project?
This would have been, I think, 2008 and Ramsey Kanaan, PM Press’ publisher and Andrea Gibbons, an editor for the press until recently and I were at the American Library Association conference out here in Anaheim in Orange County. For those not from the Southland, that’s where Disneyland is located. Anyway, we’re having lunch and talking about launching the then new Switchblade imprint for the press, a way to re-issue crime novels (in my case my football noir novel The Jook) as well as do new works like Ben Whitmer’s Pike and Barry Graham’s The Wrong Thing.
We’re chatting away and the idea for an anthology doing stories revolving around crime, riots and rebellion came up – bearing in mind that three of us have backgrounds in community activism and organizing, and PM is a lefty outfit. Ramsey, who once was also a member of a punk band, mentioned this song by a UK punk band called the Flys, “Send My Love and a Molotov Cocktail.” We laughed and after that, we knew we had the hook for the book.
Have you achieved a balance you're pleased with between, what I take to be, your serious-mindedness and the pulp fiction that you express yourself through?
Good question. Pulp versus noir versus a crime novel and so on require not only attention to structural differences, but does require that balance as you say in terms of dialogue and narrative. For instance if you’re not careful, a hardboiled story can become a parody quite easily as you try to out-tough Hammett and Chandler, or Elmore Leonard for that matter, in your descriptions and terse dialogue, the fancy patter and so forth. You can do a little of that but not too much. Reading what you’ve wrote aloud really helps.
Pulp as we know from the ‘30s had a lot of cheesy, cornball qualities to it. “He was the most sinister and vile of villains…she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen…”
You ever wonder why you don't see blurbs from Lawrence Block more often? Well, Block posted this piece over the weekend regarding the issue. So, if you really needed another reason to get yur mitts on your own copy of Noir at the Bar - the book - now you've got one. Block's blurb "I've told you repeatedly that I do not give blurbs and in any event, I wouldn't dream of giving one for this piece of crap. Don't even think of using my name or any words of mine to promote this drivel." pretty much makes this thing an invaluable collector's item - hell you prolly need at least two copies. Speaking of two... I'm wondering how great the demand out there would be for a second Noir at the Bar book. Noirier. Barrier. Helluva line up I think we could get together...
Noir Nation and the new Bare Knuckle Press) can't get themselves enough of Les. I just read Edgerton's The Bitch and if there were any room to wonder why before there aint any more. Edgerton's name belongs in the ranks of convict fiction alongside Eddie Bunker and Scott Wolven (who will have novellas coming soon from Bare Knuckle Press - ssssssso esssssited).
And Keaton? You don't know? DJK mainlines mayhem and his live delivery system will infect a city block in ten minutes. You've been warned.