Archive for July, 2013

52 pick up: June update!

Posted in Books on July 1, 2013 by thebigsmoke

I’m massively ahead with my reading, but the real winner this month is Hard Case Crime.  I read three of their publications in June, which brings me to a total of eight so far for the year.  Well done, Hard Case Crime, for making me read so many of your books.

26. Lemons Never Lie by Richard Stark

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The last of the Grofield novels and for me this was easily the best of the bunch.  The others are much more experiemental and I think sometimes suffered for that.  Donald Westlake (Richard Stark) is back on familiar ground with this heist story; it’s what he does best.  Lemons Never Lie is good as some of his Parker books, which is high praise indeed.

27. Baby Moll by John Farris

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There was an element of mystery to Baby Moll which I liked, but it was a bit too predictable.  Fairly standard pulp fiction, but entertaining nonetheless.

28. The Castle Of Otranto by Horace Walpole

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Often referred to as the first gothic novel, The Castle Of Otranto was a strange reading experience.  For a start, Walpole’s grammar is worse than Hubert Selby Jr’s.  It’s almost like reading a poorly formatted play at times, although the essential elements of gothic fiction are all pretty much there.  It was interesting, although the Penguin edition I read was bogged down by the appendices.

29. Joyland by Stephen King

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I was super excited to read this book and it didn’t disappoint. I’ve never been the biggest Stephen King fan, but this was a massive page turner and made me want to read more of his stuff.

Joyland is typical Stephen King.  Although it can be described as crime fiction at a push, it’s at heart a ghost story.  There’s also a hefty dose of extrasensory perception à la The Shining.  I can understand why Hard Case Crime would be keen to add a Stephen King title to their output, though. Especially one as good as this.

30. Elric by Michael Moorcock

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This weighty Fantasy Masterwork is actually a collection of short stories and a novelette.  I haven’t always enjoyed MIchael Moorcock’s work, but this was great.  Pure flights of fantasy that became gradually more insane.  Saturated with wild ideas.

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