“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Lost Classics # 239: Death Is A Lonely Business, Ray Bradbury

Better known for his sci-fi, Ray Bradbury penned crime fiction's equivalent of Moby Dick as he stalked the great white page in an achingly atmospheric homage to Chandler, Hammett, Cain and Ross Macdonald set in the early 1950s in a foggy, seedy Venice (CA), a once glamorous resort that's now 'the last stop on the circus train for scores of old silent-movie stars and young writers trying to keep their art and their bodies alive'. Equal parts paean to lost youth and classic crime, it deserves a new readership every generation. Start here with the first chapter: "Venice, California, in the old days, had much to recommend it to people who liked to be sad. It had fog almost every night and along the shore the moaning of the oil well machinery and the slap of dark water in the canals and the hiss of sand against the windows of your house when the wind came up and sang among the open places and along the empty walks ..."

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