For the sixth novel in the Dortmunder series, Donald E. Westlake invokes a couple of elements from his epic novels (KAHAWA and HIGH ADVENTURE), particularly in the involvement of a late appearing group of soldiers that was only hinted at prior to its appearance, some religious-tenet wrastling from his comic novel, BROTHERS KEEPERS, and then […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: GOOD BEHAVIOR"
Trista and I lived for a time in San Antonio, Texas for a few years. That burg is a regular Military Town, USA. While there, we got to know quite a few soldiers during and have mucho respect for folks who bring honor to the services. Today, the nation remembers the sacrifices made by our […]Read more "MOVIE MONDAYS: SPECTRAL"
Before delving into this week’s work, please allow me a moment to tangent on another writer altogether. Starting sometime in the 1900s and continuing through to his death in the 1970s, P. G. Wodehouse made a career out of farce and ribaldry through several series and stand alone works, some of the most famous of […]Read more "There’s A Shadow Just Behind Me: Robin Maugham’s The Servant"
Synopsis: When a billion-dollar deep-water research facility decides to plumb the depths of one of the deeper trenches off the coast of China, they make a revolutionary discovery: What was thought to be the ocean floor is merely a cold layer of gasses, which has been isolating an even deeper region. Down they go through […]Read more "MOVIE MONDAYS: THE MEG"
With a title like HIGH ADVENTURE and a cover featuring a shadowed fella in a fedora and carrying a machete standing before a Mayan temple surrounded by glossy greenery (at least on the TOR Books paperback I own), it would be easy to imagine a story cut from the cloth of old men’s adventure or […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: HIGH ADVENTURE"
Synopsis: You see, there’s this mean old art teacher, The Signor (Michel Maillot), who tries to tell the kids not to imagine but to draw from life . . . No wait, it all starts with a house, a burnt out shell where some homeless folks died when they were trapped inside as the fire […]Read more "MOVIE MONDAYS: THE PEANUT BUTTER SOLUTION"
After reading Stephen Volk’s DARK MASTERS TRILOGY (see reviews for Whitstable, Leytonstone, and Netherwood), I have been intrigued enough by the author’s prose to check out other works. As it turns out, a novellette led off the March/April issue of BLACK STATIC, a UK based horror fiction magazine and will be the subject of today’s […]Read more "ART AS A WEAPON: STEPHEN VOLK’S “UNCHAIN THE BEAST”"
Synopsis: Mark (Dong-seok Ma) is a bouncer for a bar in Los Angeles, and he’s perfectly suited for the job. His arms are huge, his face is pretty impassive despite tense situations he finds himself in, and he has a way of standing when his arms are crossed that just convinces people that he is […]Read more "MOVIE MONDAYS: CHAMPION"
How could Westlake follow up sending Dortmunder and Kelp to the UK to steal a painting they stole once already in NOBODY’S PERFECT? Simple: for his fifth outing, Westlake revisits the very first Dortmunder adventure from a different angle. THE HOT ROCK introduced the bewildered but nevertheless canny planner of heists and schemes having the […]Read more "CONSIDERING WESTLAKE: WHY ME?"