Friday, August 01, 2008

Summer Reading

After a summer of putting off reading Ulysses (what the hell is wrong with me?), I finally read Wicked Game last week, and it's even sharper than I remembered -- and you might remember that I expected really, really good. What I wrote about it a couple months ago still stands -- it's exciting and funny in all the right places, and is a rollicking good yarn. The dialogue is sharp, the protagonist is likable (and hey, everyone likes con artists; she muses about this herself), and it builds to an exciting climax. Plus there's a host of groovy, distinctive vampires and shout-outs to great rock 'n' roll. And the sequel, Bad to the Bone, is forthcoming. Jeri Smith-Ready's blog is the place to go for updates.

So yesterday saw me haunting a bookstore once again. I was looking for one of Donald E. Westlake's Parker novels (written as Richard Stark; the first one is The Hunter, which Mel Gibson's Payback and Lee Marvin's Point Blank are based on). I wanted murder, and I wanted it in large quantities. And I wanted it Now.

Problem is, those books are out of print, and are being re-released next month. Which is fine for Future Rob, but what about me?

I went with Little Girl Lost, by Richard Aleas (Hard Case Crime publisher Charles Ardai's contender for Best Pen Name Ever), which starts out with a murder and ladles on the guilt and noir atmosphere. I've wanted top read it since Greg pointed out Ardai's interview on Fresh Air a few months back. I also picked up The Way Some People Die, by Ross MacDonald. (Man, there are titles and there are titles.) I've never read any MacDonald (always confusing him with John D. MacDonald, whose Travis McGee books I love), but I've heard great things. So it looks like I've got a week full of sex and murder.

Sounds like a vacation to me!

(Kathy sez: "Can you limit the sex to just me?" Will do. "And the murder?" Only drifters, honey. Only drifters, and I'll bury them deep.)


Travis said...

I have been tempted many times to pick up a book to read, but I knew if I did I would just leave Ulysses to gather dust. I have fought that urge so far. We need out leader though

Rob S. said...

I'll bring Ulysses along on vacation too. I'll at least put one chapter in, so I have something more to say on the blog. (Actually, I've read Chap. 3 twice so far, and Chap 4 once, but the lag between reading and blogging became so long that I want to go back and reread.)

Jeri said...

Thanks, Rob!

*stomps on James Joyce's grave* Faced!

MarkSullivan said...

I love this quote:

(Kathy sez: "Can you limit the sex to just me?" Will do. "And the murder?" Only drifters, honey. Only drifters, and I'll bury them deep.)

I really enjoyed Ulysses, but I read it when I had just finished my undergrad studies and was enjoying being single with time on my hands. Plus, I was a Serious Young Man who wanted to tangle with High Art, so you could say I was predisposed.