Monday, December 11, 2006

The Chill

I didn't want to leave anyone with the false impression that I went straight from Madame Bovary to The Idiot. Why, I'm no fancy smart genius! I'm just a regular fella that likes a nice cold glass of lemonade. In between those other two books I read THE CHILL by Ross MacDonald - one of the "Lew Archer" mysteries, which I purchased at Turnrow Book Co. Now this book was recommended to me by Mr. William Gay, one of our finest novelists - an heir to Poe, some have called him. He's read the whole Lew Archer series more than once. I must say, if you're looking for somewhere to start, THE CHILL is a good place. It's my favorite so far, though I've only read three or four. And the ending pack a whammy! Not in a cheap way at all. More like a Greek way. Inexorable! No less than Barry Hannah has some kind words for Mr. MacDonald in the new issue of The Oxford American. Here I include my obligatory self-promotion, which is the secret shame of the "blog". And yet perhaps shame is the wrong word in this case, because I'm very happy and proud to say that the new issue of The Oxford American contains one of my short stories, and an announcement that I have been named a "Contributing Writer." It's a really nice-looking issue with a fine essay from Mr. Hannah on "crime noir" and a lot of other interesting articles. I really shouldn't be put in the position of promoting myself this way. I learned from Tom Franklin that his truly remarkable novel SMONK has its own "MySpace" page. But is this the toilsome handiwork of Tom himself? It is not! He has a "brilliant, eager, young PR guy" who smonks it up for him on MySpace. I hope my publisher will take note - and will also consider workman's comp for my "blogging"-related malady.