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"We need to make books cool again. If you go home with someone & they don't have books, don't fuck 'em."--John Waters

I'm the author of more than twenty novels including SHADOW SEASON, THE COLD SPOT, THE COLDEST MILE, THE MIDNIGHT ROAD, THE DEAD LETTERS, and A CHOIR OF ILL CHILDREN. Look for my next one THE LAST KIND WORDS due out May '12 from Bantam Books. Contact: PicSelf1@aol.com

Friday, November 21, 2008

Readers Wanna Know


I see that B&N.com, Amazon.Ca and Amazon.uk. are all listing a new hardcover from Cemetery Dance to be called FUTILE EFFORTS. I’ve checked your blog and your website and even the CD website, but I can find no information about this.–Junior Slappy, Indianapolis IN

Yep, this is an as-yet-to-be-announced collection from CD. At your prompting I contacted the offices at Cemetery Dance and just received word that they’re aiming to get this one out by mid to late January, according to Brian Freeman.

The book received a starred review from Publishers Weekly back in June. You can read PW’s very generous comments here to learn a bit more about the collection: http://www.publishersweekly.com/article/CA6573428.html

Although the book is signed only by me, it features introductions to each of the stories by the likes of our good friends Jack Ketchum, Edward Lee, Brian Keene, Tom Monteleone, TM Wright, Michael Laimo, Ray Garton, Simon Clark, James Moore, Tim Lebbon, Gary Braunbeck, and Christopher Golden.

Whatcha readin'?--Francis "the Decimator" Francino

I just finished up Craig McDonald's second Hector Lassiter novel TOROS & TORSOS following his Edgar-nominated HEAD GAMES. This one has it all folks. It's a historical crime novel that somehow manages to tie in a serial killer, Hemingway, the Spanish Revolution, the Surrealist artistic movement, John Dos Passos, the Black Dahlia murder, Orson Welles, Rita Hayworth, The Lady from Shanghai, Vincent Price and a whole hell of a lot more. McDonald knows how to make these elements come together in an organic and pulse-pounding fashion. If you're not already a fan, get cracking.

Also, my hetero love affair with Don Winslow continues after finishing THE DEATH AND LIFE OF BOBBY Z, which is hilarious and suspenseful and will give your fingertips flashburns from flipping the pages so quickly. Ran out and picked up THE WINTER OF FRANKIE MACHINE and THE DAWN PATROL, which I'm maybe 50 pages into and loving. I still think it was a conspiracy of some sort to hide this guy from me for so long, but thankfully the scales have finally fallen from my eyes.

Quick! Give me a list of three crime films in any sub-genre (i.e., noir, thriller, adventure) I should check out.--Megan Porterhouse

I'll give you the last three I've rewatched and loved to bits all over again:

THE SILENT PARTNER--excellent crime picture about a bank teller (Elliott Gould) who decides to snatch some cash himself when a psycho thief (Christopher Plummer) robs the place. You've heard the term "a game of cat and mouse" to describe way too many movies, but believe it or not it fits this one perfectly. You'll be surprised how tight your nerves will get by the end of this flick.

M--Fritz Lang's genuine classic about a child murderer (Peter Lorre) who is not only hunted by the cops but also by the criminal under-society who want to hold a trial...and execution, natch...of their own. Lorre's performance is breathtaking as he plays a full range of human emotion from wilful evil to horrified guilt and terror in order to define such an inhuman monster. Definitely get the Criterion edition and check out all the many fascinating extras on the two-disc set.

I WAKE UP SCREAMING--my wife thinks this is just a mediocre film noir because it's got a few significant flaws (including an awful "score" made up mostly of two songs, one being "Somewhere Over the Rainbow"). But I love it anyway thanks to stalwart figures Victor Mature and Laird Cregar. When sports promoter Vic Mature meets up with a cutie white trash waitress, he bets his buddies he can transform her into the talk of the town. Once she's a hot property, though, she cuts Vic loose and immediately winds up dead on her living room floor. Vic is innocent, but brutal and possibly psychopathic homicide cop Laird Cregar wants to hang the murder on him and will stop at nothing to harangue and torment Vic. Cregar is a little known B-movie actor but he should be famous for this role alone. He's loathsome, creepy, vicious, and yet he still manages to wring sympathy for the character.

3 comments:

Vince said...

Laird Cregar is one of the great unsung talents of the movies, Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet combined. Shocking to think he was only 31 when he died. He looks older than that in I Wake Up Screaming.

Tom Piccirilli said...

It's even more shocking to know that it was going on a diet that killed him. Cregar always wanted to be a leading man and decided to go on a crash diet. He lost an enormous amount of weight but the shock to his system was so great that he had a massive heart attack. Unbelievable.

I use Cregar's story as a valuable life lesson on why I continue to eat buttered bagels, McDonald's fries, entire bags of candy and other junk food. It's just too dangerous to lose weight!

Logan Lamech said...

I'm with you, I'm going to stay pleasant and plump. Eating healthy is just no worth the risk.

Logan Lamech
www.eloquentbooks.com/LingeringPoets.html