The Red Right Hand–Joel Townsley Rogers–1945–used It’s almost impossible to describe The Red Right Hand. It’s kookie. Odd. Seemingly disjointed and nonsensical. It’s none of those things in the end, but it is something of a gigantic guffaw. Because you really need to set your suspension of belief at a very high level to believe the denouement. Yet, somehow that’s the charm of this book, it’s over the top explanation for all that occurs within. “There is one thing that is most important, in all the dark mystery of tonight, and that is how that ugly little auburned haired red-eyed man, with his torn ear and his sharp dog pointed teeth, with his twisted corkscrew legs and his truncated height, and all the other extraordinary
Good Reads Archive
Of all the pleasures that compensate a bookshop owner for his low wages none can beat introducing customers to books they were unaware of, and then, after a couple of weeks, hearing a happy review. I am not extremely well read, owing both to my weakness for watching sports and to the plodding pace of my reading. But what I lack in quantity, I try to make up in quality. I don’t waste very much time on lame books. And I am pulled magnetically toward books that have been lost, or forgotten; books that are unlikely to be familiar to most of my customers. Here are two examples that have recently been discussed in my store: Every month AbeBooks sends out an email touting the
The So Blue Marble–Dorothy B. Hughes–1940–used ‘One delighted voice said, ”Griselda, fancy seeing you!” The other one was laughing, “We’d thought you’d never come!” She could see the tall silk hats, the shining white scarves, the dark coats, the sticks under their arms. Even in shadow, she knew she had never seen their faces.’ This is how the reader meets the first truly sociopathic characters in crime fiction, as far as I am concerned. Before The So Blue Marble, there were killers who were portrayed as maniacs, and some with cold cunning, but none so nonchalant, unemotional, and deadly. David and Danny Montefierrow, twins, one as dark as the other light, dress in stylish high society garb, never without their rather old fashioned walking sticks.
Mystic River–Dennis Lehane –2001–IP Dennis Lehane can write. No, that’s not a given for this list. Some books I love may not be written eloquently or in a compelling manner. Lehane does both, and far far more. “When Sean Devine and Jimmy Marcus were kids, their fathers worked together at the Coleman Candy plant and carried the stench of warm chocolate back home with them. It became a permanent character of their clothes, the beds they slept in, the vinyl backs of their car seats. Sean’s kitchen smelled like a Fudgsicle, his bathroom like a Coleman Chew-Chew bar. By the time they were eleven, Sean and Jimmy had developed a hatred of sweets so total that they took their coffee black for the rest
I thought the weird road-trips my husband and I went on were the end all be all of strange vacations. But Sarah Vowell unquestionably wins the dubious nonexistent prize as–Best Ghoulish, Yet Fascinating, Entertaining, and Educational Vacation. I finally finished reading her part political, part historical, part macabre, part travelogue, part opinion, part essay, part humor, book-Assassination Vacation. Catchy title, right? Succinct and exact, for the book chronicles her wanderings from one presidential death site to another. Three, in all, with the more recent, John Fitzgerald Kennedy left as an aside in the last pages where she recounts the eerie correlations between Lincoln and Kennedy’s doomsdays. She takes the reader on various junkets in Washington DC pouncing upon every plaque recalling obscure historical events at