Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Smooth Criminals

The Smooth Criminals challenge: You read 8 books next year in the categories specified, and review them. Here are my choices:

Hardboiled Classic
I, the Jury  by Mickey Spillane
I bought the paperback for a buck. Spillane gets a lot of love and a lot of hate... for a measly 150 pages I think I ought to make my own decision.
Noir Classic
The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
I've never read this. I saw the movie with Elliot Gould. Shame, shame. I've read The Big Sleep, though. I wanted to stick David Goodis in here, and I might read and review him instead.

Prison Book
Slammer by Allan Guthrie
I've heard so many good things about this, from so many trusted readers that it was the first to come to mind. And how can I resist that cover? One of my favorites in a long, long time. Allan is a fine writer and I look forward to this one.

Book by a Crook
Just Like That by Les Edgerton
Les has done time and he writes great fiction, so I'm jumping on his latest release. I recommend you read all you can by him. He's the real deal and has a broad and encompassing talent with stories.

Psychopathic Protagonist
By Reason of Insanity by Shane Stevens
Chad Eagleton is on a mission to find Shane Stevens or die trying. I performed some minor research for him at the local library, and became intrigued by the reclusive author. This is his most famous book, and involves a psychopathic killer. It is believed to have inspired Thomas Harris and thus the entire serial-killer book industry. I'm not terribly interested in psychopaths. After the initial discovery of what makes them tick and having read every FBI profiler's memoir, the fascination faded. They are banal. I was going to choose a Patricia Highsmith, but wanted to give Shane a shot.

Gothic
The Turn of the Screw, by Henry James
Another slim paperback that's languished on my shelves without being read, time to tackle this tiny classic.

Classic that Revolves Around a Crime

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Yup, English major hasn't read this either. Might as well go for a biggie.

Why the Hell Am I Reading This?

Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Totally cheating here. I'm 250 pages into this post-post-modern doorstop and really don't like it. But I will finish it for this challenge. I like DFW's essays but his fiction drives a spike through my head.

© 2011 Thomas Pluck

3 comments:

Les Edgerton said...

Wow, Tom, I am SO FRICKIN' HONORED! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for recommending my book. I'm sitting here in a daze, man!

Benoît Lelièvre said...

Well, that's consecration if I've ever seen it :) Congrat Les!

Les Edgerton said...

Thanks, Benoit! Now, I'm doubly blessed!

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