August 22, 2006

Woman Chaser

woman chaser

I forgot a book that I’d read in my last three. An actual novel. Ruled. Not really about a womanizer. It’s about a used car salesman who becomes a movie director, falls apart. I’d never read Charles Willeford. At one time, I was reading nothing but noir writers. David Goodis, Jim Thompson, Cornell Woolrich, James Cain and so on, read everything I could get. I always liked Jim Thompson more than Chandler. In Chandler, the main characters always win their fights, in Jim Thompson, the main characters always lose.

If this was 100 pages longer, fleshed out, it could be one of the great American novels. Same goes for some Philip K. Dick books, other science fiction. The premise is so great, the plotting, some of the writing, he should have put just a little more time into it. Still, so much more honest than most other writing.

Also, larvae.


Nat said...

Hey Henry
Yeah, Chandler is lots of fun, but too much with the fantasyland machismo.
Do you like Patricia Highsmith? She kind of slays all these hard-boiled crime guys. She was doing "suspense fiction" but crime and mystery are generally beside the point in her books. Quite penetrating psychologically, she goes deep into the irrational.She gets relegated to the "mystery" sections, but I think she's closer to Dostoevsky than Chandler. "Cry of the Owl" is a personal favorite---

Henry Baum said...

I've read a couple Ripley books. Liked them. Never read a non-Ripley book.

max said...

I also think The Way We Die Now bu Willeford is a good one also. he deserves more attention.

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