Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Don't get me wrong, I'll read a little more

Ron Rosenbaum has an appreciation of Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir novels. He has all kinds of things to say, like that German Requiem, an homage to the Third Man, may be even better than the Third Man (that's a bit far for me.) He also thinks that these books make the recent of the Le Carre and all of Furst look crappy. All I know is that I love those books. Here Rosenbaum nicely encapsulates the greatness:

The achievement of Philip Kerr’s novels is that he takes his Chandler/Hammett-style detective, that lone figure in the (largely ahistorical) mean streets of the urban jungle, into the midst of a far more highly charged historical backdrop, a different, more profoundly mean—indeed, evil—sort of mean-street neighborhood, the crossroads of history and tragedy. Mr. Kerr has set his detective on an Inferno-like trajectory that takes us deep into the heart of darkness. He’s a private eye in Hitler’s Germany.

Looks like I need to buy his latest, One from the Other.

Agony Column has some notes on some exciting new books. Barry Unsworth has a new one, set in 12th century Italy. If that doesn't sound like your bag, consider that Unsworth tends to tie in a lot of modern social/political commentary. For example, his Song of the Kings, set before the invasion of Troy, is clearly about Iraq. Scroll down to have a look at an interesting new one from Sean Williams.

Amazon book blog has more information and the first review on the new Pynchon. This sentence gives me great pause: "His new book will be bought and unread by the easily discouraged, read and reread by the cult of the difficult." The gauntlet is thrown, o reader.

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