George V. Higgins and co.

luka

Well-known member
woops lent me a book of interviews of american crime writers, written in 1991, by a welshman. travels america meets the luminaries,
elmore leonard, higgins, ellroy. into the badlands its called. read it in a day, very enjoyable journalism. so i went looking for some of the writers
represented in the book and mostly they've disappeared from the shelves, even leonard who you couldnt get away from at a certain point, get shorty,
jackie brown.

but on the second day of looking i picked up a couple of higgins, friends of eddie coyle, which was his big breakout hit, made into a movie starring
robert mitchum, and a much later one called the agent. i read about 200 pages of the agent yesterday and its th best book ever written. you should read it.
 

luka

Well-known member
i started hearing all the voices. its mostly dialouge, and you start hearing the voices, acting them out, that's when you know you're reading properly
i remember a similar one hearing the lay preacher in milton
laying down those righteous raps
banging the lectern
hellfire
brilliant
thats when my views started to change on milton
higgins you can start hearing the voices, sense the movements of the people speaking
really really good book
he started in the seventies, and i suspect, would have to check, that those might seem more like period pieces cos of how the seventies has become strip mined, reduced to stick on moustaches and afro wigs
but the nineties hasnt had that treatment
 

luka

Well-known member
my guess is most of the writers featured in the book are rubbish, eg, crumley, entertaining interviewee, hellraiser

Son, never trust a man who doesn't drink because he's probably a self-righteous sort, a man who thinks he knows right from wrong all the time. Some of them are good men, but in the name of goodness, they cause most of the suffering in the world. They're the judges, the meddlers. And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They're usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they're a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can't trust a man who's afraid of himself. But sometimes, son, you can trust a man who occasionally kneels before a toilet. The chances are that he is learning something about humility and his natural human foolishness, about how to survive himself. It's damned hard for a man to take himself too seriously when he's heaving his guts into a dirty toilet bowl.
The Wrong Case (1975)

Crumley died at St. Patrick Hospital[1] in Missoula on September 17, 2008, of complications from kidney and pulmonary diseases after many years of health problems.[2][3] According to longtime friend and fellow writer Thomas McGuane, "He did cocaine six days a week. Ate five times a day. Drank a bottle of whiskey every day. He said, 'This is how I like to live. If I live 10 years less, so what?'"[13] He was survived by his fifth wife of 16 years, Martha Elizabeth, a poet[14] and artist. He had five children (including three from his second marriage and two from his fourth), eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.[3]
 

luka

Well-known member
but is it any good? not that you're likely to come across him in any case.

A number of writers view The Last Good Kiss as Crumley's best work.[3][4][15] Its opening line is sometimes cited as the best in the genre:[1][3][4]

When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.

im not convinced that is a very good opening line.
 

luka

Well-known member
im going to hit up skoob books this afternoon and see what i can scoop up there. i'd like to give leonard a chance. and i want to read more higgins.

this is a character, but doesnt mean the books are any good

 

luka

Well-known member
the argument the book makes is that these novels deal with the real world, business, politics, economics, working stiffs, police and theives, in a way the literary novel doesnt. and its notable that virtually all the writers he covers are lawyers, lawyers being the priests of the real world, the only ones who really understand it, a lot of them were journalists too, crime beat, like david simon from the wire.
 

luka

Well-known member
Higgins worked as a deputy assistant attorney general for the Commonwealth, and an Assistant United States Attorney and a journalist and newspaper columnist before becoming a novelist. He wrote for the Associated Press, The Boston Globe, the Boston Herald American, and the Wall Street Journal. He spent seven years in anti-organized-crime government positions, including Assistant U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts. He entered private practice of law in 1973, and was active for ten years. During those years he represented several famous figures, such as Eldridge Cleaver (although he withdrew from the case after conflict with Cleaver[3]) and G. Gordon Liddy. He was a professor at Boston College and Boston University.
 

version

Well-known member
A number of writers view The Last Good Kiss as Crumley's best work. Its opening line is sometimes cited as the best in the genre:

When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.

im not convinced that is a very good opening line.

He's trying too hard to write a great opening line.
 

luka

Well-known member
far too hard. i did actually find that book in the big waterstones, gower st, along with a load of leonard, but once they were there, all brand new, i didn't feel like buying them. i got a leonard in oxfam nearby though. cuba libre i think it was.
back half of this higgins book it loses steam. the dialogue runs out. people talking but they're just telling the story to a policeman. loses its zing.
still readable but a lot less fun.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
And, son, never trust a man who drinks but refuses to get drunk. They're usually afraid of something deep down inside, either that they're a coward or a fool or mean and violent. You can't trust a man who's afraid of himself.
I've read this quote several times before, specifically this part of it. But I would have had no idea where it was from. Does it appear in something else do you know? Why do I know it?
 

luka

Well-known member
I've read this quote several times before, specifically this part of it. But I would have had no idea where it was from. Does it appear in something else do you know? Why do I know it?
it does seem familiar but i assumed thats cos its the sort of self-justification alcoholics always come out with. 'sozzled logic' as Fat Jim put it.
 

luka

Well-known member
i noticed that someone has got ian rankin to write an apologetic, special pleading intro for the crumley reissue
'well, i know you're not allowed to write like this nowadays, terribly macho and so on, underdeveloped female characters, buuuut'
 

woops

is not like other people
i found an andrew vachss in that irish pub you took grapejuice to and read the first fifty pages it was good, dead and gone
 

luka

Well-known member
you speled it schazz and sjazz in your texts i didn't know what the fuck you were on about. you didn't nick it then?
i've almost finished this higgins. leonard next.
 
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