Thursday, February 21, 2019

Parker, Gibson and O'Connor among most recent reads

Not much to see here.

The Professional was my fourth book by Robert B. Parker. It features Spenser, his wise ass P.I.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Spenser is his surname. I also learned he’s from the West, not a Boston native. Hawk is also in this novel. Hawk is to Spenser what Joe Pike is to Elvis Cole, but talkative.

In the beginning The Professional emerges as a case of blackmail.  But, naturally, blackmail leads to murder, and then another murder and still another.  

It’s an enjoyable yarn, which seems true of most novels by Parker. I particularly enjoy the pacing. This is a writer who likes to move things along. In that way he reminds me of Elmore Leonard, a compliment of the highest order.

Distrust That Particular Flavor is a collection of non-fiction by William Gibson, including works from Rolling Stone, Wired and The New York Times.  

I’m curious as to how, and why, books like this are published. Gibson is a ground-breaking science fiction novelist, not a non-fiction writer.   There’s just nothing much here, certainly nothing that warrants recommending this book.

Although I will pass on this quote from a brief article that appeared in The New York Times in 2006:

“It is becoming unprecedentedly difficult for anyone, anyone at all, to keep a secret. In the age of the leak and the blog, of evidence extraction and link discovery, truths will either out or be outed,  later if not sooner. This is something I would bring to the attention of every diplomat, politician, and corporate leader: The future, eventually, will find you out. The future, wielding unimaginable tools of transparency, will have its way with you. In the end, you will be seen to have done that which you did.”

Flannery O’Connor The Cartoons from Fantagraphics Book is intriguing, but of limited appeal. Before taking up her illustrious career as a writer, O’Connor, while in college, was a cartoonist of some talent and proficiency, greatly in the style of James Thurber.

Fantagraphics reprints many of her cartoons, along with an essay, “The Habit of Art”, by the books editor, Kelly Gerald.  

Books read -- January
1.   Our Mutual Friend, Charles Dickens
2.   Voodoo River, Robert Crais
3.   Yossel, April 19, 1943, Joe Kubert
4.   Lie In The Dark, Dan Fesperman
5.   A Canticle For Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
6.   Flash, The Making of Weegee The Famous by Christopher Bonanos
7.   Neptune's Brood, Charles Stross
8.   Perish Twice, Robert B. Parker
9.   The League of Regrettable Sidekicks, Jon Morris
10. Casino Royale, Ian Fleming
11. Mrs. Palfrey At The Claremont, Elizabeth Taylor

Books read -- February
12. The Golden Tresses of the Dead, Alan Bradley
13. The Problem of Susan and Other Stories, Neil Gaiman & P. Craig Russell
14. The Rhesus Chart, Charles Stross
15. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
16. Shrink Rap, Robert B. Parker
17. Wish You Were Here, Graham Swift
18. The Big Fella, Babe Ruth and the World He Created, Jane Leavy
19. School Days, Robert B. Parker
20. The Boats of the Glen Carrig, William Hope Hodgson
21. The Professional, Robert B. Parker
22. Distrust That Particular Flavor, William Gibson
23. Flannery O'Connor, The Cartoons, ed. Kelly Gerald

Currently  Reading --
Comics & Sequential Art, Will Eisner
Sharpe's Escape, Bernard Cornwell

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