“Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “A sheer pleasure.” – Tana French. “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. “The effortless cool of Elmore Leonard at his peak.” – Ray Banks. “A fine writer at the top of his game.” – Lee Child.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mailer Demons Alert

Bedevilled with demons right to the end, America’s tough-talking laureate, Prince of Letters and author of one of the greatest crime fiction titles (if not novels) of all time with TOUGH GUYS DON’T DANCE, Norman Mailer (right) died on Saturday, November 10. Quoth the New York Times:
[Norman] Mailer died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital, said J. Michael Lennon, who is also the author’s official biographer. From his classic debut novel to such masterworks of literary journalism as THE ARMIES OF THE NIGHT, the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner always got credit for insight, passion and originality. Some of his works were highly praised, some panned, but none was pronounced the Great American Novel that seemed to be his life quest from the time he soared to the top as a brash 25-year-old enfant terrible. Mailer built and nurtured an image over the years as pugnacious, streetwise and high-living. He drank, fought, smoked pot, married six times and stabbed his second wife, almost fatally, during a drunken party …
Picture the scene, people. We’re somewhere Down Below, it’s warm enough to go bare-chested, and it’s Mailer in the Blue corner, Hemingway in the Red. Ding-ding, seconds out – who’s your money on?

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Also arguably a brilliant Mailer crime novel - Harlot's Ghost, about the CIA. And Mailer would totally kick Hemingway's miserable ass.

Claire

Maxine said...

What happened to the blog? Last time I visited (as opposed to read via RSS reader) it was black. Now you've gone all sunny and light.
Like the look!

Declan Burke said...

Thanks, Maxine ... I like your look too. Have you done something new with your hair? And Claire? Papa would kick Mailer's ass, may he rest in peace, from the Florida Keys all the way to Havana. And back.

Anonymous said...

Nonsense. A fine headbutting technique and the likelihood of having a knife on his person give Mailer the advantage.

Claire

colman said...

was it Mailer who campaigned to get that jailbird released because of his writing, and the unnamed chappie whose name escapes promptly went and topped someone ?

have to say if that's the case, he definitely needed a good kicking from someone or other,

Colman

colman said...

I just looked it up........JACK ABBOTT topped someone about 6 weeks after getting parole - the granting of which had been much championed by Mr Mailer.

In fairness, Abbott's book IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST is supposed to be pretty good, but you wouldn't wanna let old Charlie Manson out if it turned out he wrote THE DA VINCI CODE........hmm, probably further grounds for keeping him locked up longer

Declan Burke said...

Colman - Don't know if we can blame Mailer for what Abbott did, no matter how wrong he called it. But Barbary Shore is a different matter entirely ... who do I see about claiming those eight hours back?

colman said...

Fair point I suppose (grudgingly)....I still think he was a cock though.

Don't know about the eight hours, if you find out though let me know cos I want to claim for about 20 on the tripe that was AMERICAN PSYCHO.
I'd rather scoff a shit sandwich than read another Brett Easton Ellis book