Friday, May 27, 2011


Goodness, gracious, but panties twist sharp-like over at the Spinetingler and a review of James Reasoner's story The Conversion of Carne Muerto in the Ed Gorman, Martin Greenberg & Dave Zeltserman edited On Dangerous Ground: Stories of Western Noir. Yes, Brian Lindenmuth set up another monster anthology review project wherein each individual entry of a collection gets its very own critique. I was happy to participate and drew Bently Little's Hell to look over. You can read my thoughts on that one right here. You could also check out Nik Korpon being exposed to Ken Bruen for the very first time, (turn in your cool-kid-card right now, sir) or Charlie Stella's thoughts on the Robert Randisi piece, but the one everybody is getting snarky over is the Reasoner review by Benjamin Whitmer. Yeah, it's like 3,000 words long and that's before the epic comment section which is - well, it deserves a read too. The book also has entries from Terry Tanner, Steve Hockensmith, Desmond Barry, Bill Crider, Trey R. Barker, Harry Shannon, Jan Christensen, Jerry Raine, Jon L. Breen, Norman Partidge, T. L. Wolf, Jeremiah Healy, Gary Lovisi, Patrick J. Lambe and Terence Butler and each one is covered by the likes of Elizabeth White, Cullen Gallagher, Nick Mamatas, Steve Weddle, Russel McLean, Chris Rhatigan, Ben Springer, Chris F. Holm, Matthew C. Funk, Patti Abbott, S. McDonald and Jen Forbus.

Over at Ransom Notes, I'm sticking with the western noir theme (loosely) and listing some of my favorites in that vein. Some big nerd somewhere is bound to call me out on my usage of the term noir as applied to some of these choices, (like Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers) but y'know, why don't you go ahead and kiss my ass. Basically, I'm just going with non-black-or-white-hat westerns with a dark streak and I'll be the first to tell you that I am woefully under read in this area. I'd actually welcome being shown up a little in the comments section over there, so if you've got some suggestions for me (and can watch yur fuckin language) go ahead and leave me some picks of your own... 'course if you can't mind yur tongue, go ahead and leave 'em here. 

And that goes for movies too - I'd love to have gone on about some films over on the B&N site, but I try to stick to books as much as possible there. One film out right now that I'm realllllly anxious to see is Kelly Reichardt's Meek's Cutoff. Man, after Wendy & Lucy, I'm signed up to check out whatever the hell she wants to try her hand at... I reserve the right to hate it, but I'll give it a shot. This one stars Michelle Williams too and she's somebody whose attachment to a project is beginning to mean more to me all the time. Plus great supporting actors like Will Patton and Bruce Greenwood (doesn't matter how many utterly shitty movies that guy is in - I like him - and we'll always have Exotica) round out my interest. Hope, hope, hope I can catch it on the big screen. 

While we're on movies, lemme say I was excited to see the announcement from Canne that Nicolas Winding Refn took home the best director honors for his new film Drive. Looks, frankly, more mainstream than anything he's yet done and I am not using that term as a pejorative. He's the man to thank for the incredible Pusher trilogy as well as last year's Valhalla Rising (like the greatest heavy metal video ever, just without any actual y'know metal), the much ballyhooed Bronson and a quiet, eerie little thriller in a decidedly non-wanky-Lynchian vein Fear X (co-written by Hubert Selby Jr.) The new film, about a Hollywood stunt driver who's a getaway man by night, is based on the novella of the same name by James Sallis. So, a big movie and a new novel, The Killer is Dying, for Sallis this summer - that's what I call timing. 

Sallis also penned an introduction to On Dangerous Ground. But who buys a book for the introduction? Really. Alright, alright, my hand is raised. I've done that before. Hell, I may even buy an e-book for the introduction. I may find it within my budget to purchase Matthew McBride's Frank Sinatra in a Blender just so I can cut and paste my own name over McBride's and send it out to agents as a glowing recommendation from Ken Bruen. Seems like yesterday he was giving his first public reading for Noir at the Bar and now he's all growed up with a book deal and everything. Yeah, those are tears of pride. We at N@B do our best with the time we're given and then we have to let them walk on their own. And it's been a good little stretch for our kids - Dennis Tafoya just got some exciting movie action on The Wolves of Fairmount Park and Frank Bill'Crimes in Southern Indiana is racking up some awful solid remarks pre-release.

And if you wanna catch Mr. Bill before he's just a huge A-list name and a total prick, your absolute last chance before he sells out is Saturday, June 11 when he'll join Aaron Michael Morales, John Hornor Jacobs and Fred Venturini for a N@B to fucking remember. And please do remember it, 'cause I think I'm gonna have some issues with recall Sunday morning. Please note that we're setting up an August event too. Jesus Angel Garcia brings his wild, sexed-up verve to St. Louis on August 6 in support of his book badbadbad.  The N@B anthology is coming together quick-like and I can't wait for you to have a gander. Should be available for the August event. Definitely by Bouchercon if you're coming through for that. Are you?

Next week, I'm headed to Colorado. I used to live there. Ten years ago I wrote a couple PI novels about a Denver dick with an office on Colfax and a yen for all-nite diners. I hope you haven't read them. They are not the reason I've been asked to come back to the bosom of the Rockies (they weren't officially why I was asked to leave either). But hey, I'm going to be there and a cheap date too as the altitude will most likely play with my otherwise formidable substance tolerance. So, if you're there and wanna get me drunk and you aren't scared of my wife...


Cullen Gallagher said...

Dude, if you liked Valhalla Rising, have you ever seen Severed Ways: The Norse Discovery of Ameriac? It's even better, with lots of metal on the soundtrack. Viking wilderness survival epic.

jedidiah ayres said...

sahweet - thanks Cullen. I owe you