Monday, August 13, 2012

Ride the High Country

Charlie Stella's Rough Riders is out now - a ten year sequel (or continuance) to his early novel Eddie's World - and damn, it's just got so many great moments between characters - generally bad people doing generally bad things - who can't stop being genuine even (or especially) when the moment calls for them to be robotic and divorced from their personalities. I'm thinking of the guy who can't hide his sexual arousal while negotiating with the killer he's contracting to bump off his wife, or the college kid caught in a drug sting who shits his pants and the policeman chagrined that he's got to tell the kids' parents about it. Or how about the black guy doing a big deal with a big scary white gang leader and can't stop himself from addressing the dude's casual racism? These are the moments that sell this crime novel - and bring to mind the best of Elmore Leonard or George V. Higgins. Lovely.  Recently at Ransom Notes I was looking at Rough Riders and a few more crime books taking place in the northern plains. In that piece, I also listed some books that sprang to mind, fitting the mood, but not the geography of the post - one of them being Rusty Barnes' excellent collection Mostly Redneck from last year. I mentioned somewhere that I'd love to see a novel from mister Barnes and received the gift of this link to an excerpt from his recently completed novel. Hey big important publishers - take notice of this guy - he's the real thing.

Y'know who else is? You don't need me to tell you it's Kyle Minor. But you may not've heard that his next book of short stories (after In the Devil's Territory) is on its way. Titled Praying Drunk, it's not available till 2014, but glad to hear it's coming.

Also at Ransom Notes I listed my big book-to-film adaptation anticipations for the rest of 2012 (which didn't include Lee Daniels' The Paperboy from Pete Dexter's book because it'd made the first half of 2012's list - but hey there's a trailer out now).

Buuuut - what about crime films not based on books? Well, shit howdy, let's just take a look. How 'bout David Ayer's End of Watch?

or Craig Zobel's Compliance?

Can't decide whether Dax Shepard's co-directorial effort with David Palmer, Hit & Run Looks good or terrible, but I'm rooting for it. Reeaaaallly hard to find that yuck yuck comic tone that works with a crime story the way say Martin Brest's Midnight Run did or Peter Hyams' Running Scared (Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal have got to be the unlikeliest pair of tough urban cops to ever work in a movie) did, but that appears to be the kind of tone they're shooting for... don't hate me if this movie sucks. I just hope it doesn't.

But fuckin Looper looks to be the shit. Rian Johnson has got my attention anyway - Brick was brilliant and The Brothers Bloom a fine distraction if not a particularly memorable flick, but this looks like it could make Johnson the next big thing.

One more Ransom Notes link today and it's all about sex. I enjoyed writing the memorable prison-sex list a few months back and decided to write 'bout sex in crime books for B&N. I'd like to think I've contributed a couple memorable sex scenes to paper - Hoosier Daddy (which first appeared in Beat to a Pulp: Round One), and Viscosity (originally in Out of the Gutter #6) - both available in A F*ckload of Shorts BTW, ahem, come to mind. Anyway, I'm sure I've left off your favorite sticky passages, so let me know what they are.

Y'know whose got some sickly sexy bits in Noir at the Bar Volume 2? Hmmm, how 'bout Jane Bradley, Robert J. Randisi & Christine Matthews, Hilary Davidson, Nic Young and more. Y'know what else N@B2 has? Pretty, pretty pictures. After Matt Kindt's cover and sweet-ass illustrations for David Cirillo's story in the first antho, this time around, we're upping the ante with Spike, the graphic story by Tim Lane. If you know not Matt - check out his brand new monthly comic Mind MGMT, and if you don't know Tim, get a copy of Abandoned Cars right the hell now.

'Course if you likey the graphics, don't forget to pick up a copy of Julian Grant's graphic adaptation of his own film F*ckload of Scotch Tape for free. Also, the film is now available to rent or purchase for cheaps right here.

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