Thursday, September 30, 2010

After Butcher's Moon, Bad Things Happen

I just finished reading Butcher's Moon and am done with the first part of the Parker series.  I have a three letter review of Butcher's Moon to offer:  Wow!

And now I can understand why Parker and Richard Stark vanished for 23 years after Butcher's Moon - they were spent.  I was secretly worried that I would find BM disappointing - mainly, I suppose, for the illogical reason that it was so hard to find a copy of it.  But BM delivered in almost every way imaginable.  I'll leave everything in general terms here because I don't want to spoil anything for anyone who has yet to read BM (I accidentally learned of one crucial plot point and it drove me to distraction for most of the book waiting for it to happen.  And speaking of spoilers, someone also gave away a big part of Don't Ask, one of the Dortmunder novels.  I think about it all the time.)

I only have one of that second batch of Parker books - Comeback.  So I am going to give Richard Stark a rest and spend some time hunting down copies of the remaining books.  I want to know what Parker is like when he returns.  I've heard he doesn't really age and am curious to learn if he still has some of the same associates.

I thought my first post-Parker reading choice was going to be Kate Atkinson's new book Started Early, Took My Dog. I've been carrying around a copy of it in my bag all week.  But I was browsing at a used bookstore the other day and impulsively grabbed

I think I read about it in the Washington Post last year and saw a few mentions of it in other good places but didn't remember much about the book.  It was fun to grab something new after months of knowing exactly which Stark I would read next.  Half way through Bad Things Happen, I am extremely happy with my choice.  Its a hybrid of Paul Auster and Kate Atkinson - a crime novel involving writers, the police, an amatuer detective, murder and an obsession with stories and story-telling.     Quite enjoyable.  And it is a first novel, too.  Which is very impressive.  I only have a trade paperback copy of it but I think I will see out a first edition of it.  I think good things are in store for Harry Dolan.


Nick Jones (Louis XIV, 'The Sun King') said...

What's this? First edition? I haven't infected you with my crippling collector's disease, have I?

Book Glutton said...

Actually, you may have rekindled it (though I don't know if that word, rekindle, can any longer be used in this context). I have a huge collection of modern firsts (English/American fiction and crime, mainly) but because of the collapse of used bookstores here (and because we have run out of space), I don't buy as much as I used to.

Nick Jones (Louis XIV, 'The Sun King') said...

A huge collection, eh? Have you considered posting a few shelf porn pictures...?

Trent said...

I hope it wasn't my recent overview that drove you to distraction, although I suspect it was... ;)

Book Glutton said...

Trent -
I know better than to read your entries on the books before I read the books. However, I immediately turn to you whenever I finish a Parker novel.

I was doing something I should not have been doing and I heard about the thing with the severed finger. That's what did it.

Trent said...

Well, that's a relief! I try to provide commentary without spoiling anything, because I know my visitors are both information-seekers who may have never read a Parker novel and hard-core fans. Hard to draw the line sometimes.

Glad I wasn't the one! When I read that sentence, I had a sinking feeling and thought, "Oh, man, maybe I shouldn't have mentioned xxxxx in the write-up..."