Tuesday, June 20, 2006

So much for Hells Angels and the late Hunter Thompson, who picked a hell of a night not to quit shooting himself. Some crazed biker bought the book, and in fact he pedalled up to Lincoln Square all the way from Goose Island, leaving work at five and arriving at the store before six. That cat was SWEATing, man. One whacko book lovin' dude!
But there are other good books left for you to look at. Yes! Piles and piles of them! In fact there is an entire box full of noir classics by all those guys from the forties and fifties whose stories were bought up by Hollywood and turned into Robert Mitchum movies. Books about Sam Spade, Philip Marlowe with maybe two Ls in his first name... And books by Jim- not -our- ex-governor Thompson, whose work I have not personally read but who nevertheless remains quite popular. And a few mass market paperbacks ( read "cheap" ) by my own favorite noiristo, James Big Dog Ellroy. And a bunch of more obscure, to me, writers of the genre. And a book about noir movies!
This whole load landed in one lump a few weeks ago, but it has been somewhat buried and has not been much picked over. Most of the books are trade paperbacks priced at $5 each. The Maltese Falcon and Farewell My Lovely might still be there!
One day last week while leafing through this incredible dreamscape of escapist mayhem, I drifted into a state of semi-consciousness. My eyes lost focus and my body seemed to float above the stacks of precariously piled up books shoved into in the far right corner of the store. I drifted in a soft cloud of disassociated words which seemed to have come loose from the thousands of pages below me. I began to sense a presence at my shoulder and gradually became aware of a soft voice whispering to me the words which I here transcribe. The muse had struck, and this is what she said:
"Her eyes were like razor-sharp ninja knives. They ripped open my chest and dumped my heart, my lungs, my liver, and my poor pulsating prostate onto the baking hot Chicago sidewalk where the pile of guts lay steaming in the sun and I stood there trying to suck my breath through a two foot slice of bleeding meat."
If that's not noirishly hardboiled enough for you, then stop by the store and see how the pros write it.

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