The Violated by Bill Pronzini
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Excellently constructed, multi-level narrative utilising a wide range of points of view and narrative strands. A simple crime builds in complexity and consequence, and the red herrings that constitute the secondary narrative are perfectly weighted and timed to create suspense and confusion. A slightly weak ending and reveal do not diminish the satisfaction.
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And back again to the aliens, the invasions, the raspingly fierce social commentary……
I’ve been a fan of boxing all my life. Perhaps it’s admiration for those who do what I cannot– I can’t fight for peanuts, and had the snot beaten out of me regularly throughout my schooling career by a succession of anencephalic bullies. Perhaps it’s a function of my cultural background– I was the poor son of poor parents from a poor City in a poor part of England, where the fight game was a genuine option for clambering out of poverty and into some sort of money and independence. Perhaps there’s just a part of me that remains brutish and primal, no matter the veneer of civilization I drape around me.
Whatever it is, I love boxing. It stirs my blood, pumps my heart, and gets me bouncing with energy when I’m getting ready to roar into a situation and tie one on. I genuinely watch a bout or two before a performance or an appearance, and often use bouts as a form of reward or regular intervention when faced with a long, boring task. I grew up with Jeff Fenech, and the bloated over-hyping of Mike Tyson, the saga of the Waters’ boys, the rise and fall of Lester Ellis and Jeff Harding. From there, like fans of any pursuit do, I discovered history: the greats, the not so greats, the classic moments, the controversies, the gods, the villains. The story. And I discovered my own favourites, many of them from the land of my birth, perhaps because they represent a story that I sidestepped, or maybe because they’re just, somehow, better. More exciting. Greater.
That is, perhaps, an argument and a list for another day. For now, here are five bouts that never fail to get me going.
5 for Friday: Ready to Rummmmmmmmmmmble
Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY: FRIDAY FIGHT NIGHT”
One day, computers will take over our lives, and everything will be in the cold, metallic hands of machines that can be persuaded to elect George W Bush and Donnie Drumpf.
And then nobody is getting laid.
“I’m sorry, but the computer seems to consider you a ‘fatal error’.”
And that’s the first line-edit of Ghost Tracks done: 201 pages; 56,000 words; and far too many scribbled corrections.
Now for the inputting, which takes waaaaay longer: every decision leading to another decision, and down the rabbit hole we shall go, dancing……
And we’re back! It’s been some time since I’ve inflicted a 5 for Friday post on you all. Blame Real life ™ and the fact that editing has a tendency to crowd all other considerations out of my teensy, tiny little mind. What has also occupied my mind, at least that section devoted to music, while I’ve been editing is an old, old favourite band of mine. The Angels have been on high rotation, jacked up to 11, and making the walls bounce.
I’ve spoken elsewhere about my love for this band, particularly in response to the death of their iconic front man Bernard ‘Doc’ Neeson a few years back. While every bogan that surrounded me in my teenage years was obsessed with AC/DC, The Angels were my particular escape of choice. They were nastier, edgier. AC/DC celebrated drinking, sex, and a particular thick form of fuck-the-police-ishness that resonated with the junior thugs of Rockingham. The Angels were more pointed, more personal, political without the fine edge of rage (and also without the overweening smugness) or Midnight Oil, describers of street level culture and community rather than the nebulous drinking culture reflection of AC/DC. I once described the two bands in the terms of a bar fight: AC/DC was the loud, drunken thug throwing beer glasses and overturning tables; The Angels the guy who waited quietly at the bar until the combatants stumbled past, and then silently shivved them in the ribs with a flick knife.
Continue reading “5 FOR FRIDAY: THIS IS IT, FOLKS. OVER THE TOP.”
A rare four-panel attempt, here. This definitely fits into the category of ‘I can see what you were attempting…’
I’ve also gone for something wordless, which was a departure from my usual humour– more often than not, my captions were long, probably too long, so this was clearly an attempt to go in a different direction. Which isn’t to say it worked. In fact, let’s not say that at all.