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]]> Comment on Memory, and a link roundup by Fred Fitch https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9282#comment-337567 Mon, 08 Oct 2018 00:53:38 +0000 /e59/?p=9282#comment-337567 I doubt anyone, ever, has written such a perceptive haunting story about memory loss. And you know, in crime/suspense fiction, amnesia is a constantly recurring plotline–“I don’t remember who I am, what I did–who are these people who seem to know something about me? What mystery to I have to solve? Who is this beautiful woman taking an interest in me?” There’s a terrific little noir in that vein–“The Crooked Way” with John Payne. But I could probably find scores of others, films, paperbacks, comics, etc.

Westlake takes that meme and subverts it–there’s nothing glamorous about memory loss. It’s the worst thing that can happen to you, and the most destructive blow life can strike at your sense of self. And it can be a lot more than just losing your past. You can lose your present and future too.

I think he put the book away because it scared even him.

Sorry about your mother in law. But at least she’s still got some good memories from the past, and with Alzheimer’s those are the last to go. Good luck with the walk.

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Comment on Killy – first edition (book club) (1963) by Matthew https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9277#comment-337566 Tue, 18 Sep 2018 23:52:19 +0000 /e59/?p=9277#comment-337566 I need to read Killy.

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Comment on Killy – first edition (book club) (1963) by Fred Fitch https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9277#comment-337565 Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:51:21 +0000 /e59/?p=9277#comment-337565 One of his grittier early works, without much of the patented Westlake humor, though it’s there, on the down low. Westlake was still drawing very heavily from Hammett, but had already developed his own individual approach to that kind of story.

Being a union man myself, I appreciate it. I’ve seen a bunch of reprint editions from the UK, and that tracks.

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Comment on Prayers for a friend and honorary founder by Trent https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9270#comment-337558 Sat, 11 Aug 2018 21:17:53 +0000 /e59/?p=9270#comment-337558 Make sure you get the second edition, which is not the one pictured, but is the one linked. Mark made substantial revisions.

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Comment on Prayers for a friend and honorary founder by Fred Fitch https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9270#comment-337557 Sat, 11 Aug 2018 20:49:43 +0000 /e59/?p=9270#comment-337557 As fate would have it, that’s a book I can use right about now, as I research an upcoming article. I shall comply forthwith. My best wishes to the Finns.

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Comment on News for week ending 2018-03-17 (open thread) by Trent https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9256#comment-337515 Mon, 19 Mar 2018 04:09:39 +0000 /e59/?p=9256#comment-337515 In a hurry today, I wrote, “I’ve linked the few pieces I’ve found on that subject.” (Spillane). I meant to write, “I’ve linked the best pieces I’ve found on that subject.” I read many more than what is linked.

FF: Cooper’s big enough and good enough to make a go of it, I think, and I doubt the product could be worse than the last 007 film. I’d like a straight interpretation, but I wouldn’t mind if they put in a sneaky musical reference to The Silencers somewhere.

On my Gold Medal Helm book covers, he looks late forties after a thirty year diet of cigarettes and whiskey.

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Comment on News for week ending 2018-03-17 (open thread) by Fred Fitch https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9256#comment-337513 Sun, 18 Mar 2018 23:41:06 +0000 /e59/?p=9256#comment-337513 Um–which Matt Helm? Hamilton’s or Dino’s? (googles) The former, it seems.

Not a lot of people read those nowadays. But spies are in again. Cooper doesn’t resemble the character from the book, who looks like an ordinary man in his late 30’s. He can’t sing, so he might as well try playing it straight. (Then again, he might enjoy taking bubble baths with the latest incarnation of Stella Stevens.)

Why do I think this is mainly a chance to take advantage of a 007 Interregnum?

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Comment on Book review: Help I Am Being Held Prisoner by Donald E. Westlake (HCC-132) by George Weaver https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9194#comment-337511 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 16:05:07 +0000 /e59/?p=9194#comment-337511 Being a french-speaking reader, let me apologize for my unaccurate writing, but did really nobody noticed that this Westlake’s one takes his roots in Richard Stark’s Lemons Never Lie (part II, ch. 3, the 2nd meeting with that awful Myers) ?

I’ve read this Kščnt story thanks to Fred Fitch, as well as A Likely Story, and I still wonder why it isn’t translated in French. Maybe because all the damn thing starts with the name of the main character, which for I cannot imagine a french translation.

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Comment on Westlake score: Philip by Fred Fitch https://www.google.com//e59/?p=9236#comment-337493 Fri, 09 Feb 2018 20:34:08 +0000 /e59/?p=9236#comment-337493 Coup de main, Trent! I think this beats all, in the field of Westlake collection mania.

I got my copy of Comfort Station in what I suspect were similar circumstances–see, as a joke, ten separate printings are listed opposite the title page–without dates–the joke being that this is a parody of a very bad author who sold untold millions of books. A tenth printing of any book is rarely any kind of collectible.

And, of course, the book is credited to the unknown (but vibrant!) J. Morgan Cunningham, not Westlake (though he does comment on the cover that he wishes he’d written this book).

So I got my water-damaged but fairly tight paperback quite cheaply, thanks to a tip from an ebay-addicted friend. Most likely because, as you say, certain connections had not been made by the seller.

But Philip, even without the jacket, is a coup of a higher order. It was never sold in stores. It was distributed directly to school and public libraries. Most likely, this or that small library unloaded part or all of its collection, and this guy snapped up a large consignment, and started selling it off. If it had been a collector’s copy, he/she would have known better.

I’m happy enough having it stored on my gmail account, having borrowed a copy from an out-of-state library. But I sure as hell would have snapped it up for that price, or even ten times that. I question whether the ones listed for exhorbitant prices ever sell, but who knows.

To crime! (And dirt!)

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