A Ticket to the Boneyard

A Matthew Scudder novel by Lawrence Block. This is, I think, the eighth in the series. I have not read any of the other novels but have liked the other books by Block I have read so picked this one at random. I liked it a lot. The novel was self-contained and I’m not sure how much reading the series in order matters. I’ll try to start from the beginning and see how it plays out.

Dolomite (1975)

Such a cool movie. They didn’t have much of a budget or any real idea on how to make a movie, but they made one anyway. There are problems with just about every aspect of the film, but it’s a fun film despite, or perhaps because of, those problems. Rudy Ray Moore plays Dolomite, a pimp wrongfully imprisoned, who is let out to clean up his old neighborhood. I’m not sure how that works, exactly. Still, he gets out, bangs his ‘hos and puts on the ’70s’ cool clothes. There’s a lot going on in the movie and not all of it makes much sense, but it’s a fun ride regardless.

You can tell it’s the ’70s because everyone knows Kung Fu.

I’ll find and watch some more of the films in the series.

The Cocktail Waitress

The lost novel by James M. Cain. Written in the last years of his life, it wasn’t finished at the time of his death, so in order to publish it, the editor had to go through many versions and revisions of the manuscript. This leads to a bit of a disjointed novel, but overall considering the amount of work it must have taken, it’s not bad. It’s kind of a return to noir style writing like Double Indemnity, but it’s very soap opera-ish. Possibly because it’s told from the woman’s perspective.

The surprising twist at the end is interesting because it requires outside knowledge to make sense. One reviewer wrote, that the ending turned the novel from noir to horror. And it does. But only if you know what the drug she is taking does. It’s an interesting twist. Also, she’s a very unreliable narrator.

Pet Sematary

I thought I had already posted about this. I finished it about a week ago. I remember writing about it. I dreamed about writing about it, but apparently, I never did. Weird.

Anyway, about the novel. It’s a great story and really shows off, Stephen King’s ability to write pages and pages without advancing the story that much. The same story told by someone else would be under a hundred pages, but King puts so much detail and introspection into the lives of the characters that it becomes about more than just the story.

The Wendigo feels like one of the creatures from The Mist and I wonder if it is related in some way.

Rumble Tumble

This one was on loan and unavailable for a long time. Finally came free, so I snatched it up and devoured it in two days. In the next book that talks about Brett pistol-whipping a dwarf. Here she does it. I enjoyed it immensely. I’ve also noticed that either Hap or Leonard gets seriously hurt in every one of these stories. It’s Hap’s turn this time. He takes a bullet and a bunch of shotgun.

Now I think I’m down to just one or two more of these things. Need to go back to the checklist and see which I’m missing.

Somebody Owns Me Money

Here’s the other book I read after Cujo. Finished this yesterday in about two days, maybe three. It was a fun book. A cabby wins a bet and when he goes to collect, his bookie has been murdered. What follows is everyone wanting to kill the cabbie, because they think he did it and him just wanting his winnings, Great, fast-paced story.

i hadn’t heard Of Donald Westlake, but he has a lot more books out there. I’ll be trying some more out.

The Thicket

Again, I’m falling behind with these posts. I finished a couple of books since Cujo. The first, a stand-alone novel from Joe Lansdale. The Thicket is a novel set in East Texas, in the early part of the 20th century. I don’t think it is ever specified the year, but he talks about automatic pistols and cars, so my guess would be somewhere around 1915 give or take half a dozen years. It was a good read.

It painted a picture of a rural area that hasn’t caught up to the rest of the world. This is still the old west of outlaws and taking the law into your own hands. A colorful cast of characters with the aways great dialog I expect from Lansdale.

Cujo

I stayed up way past my bedtime finishing this last night. The ending made me want to grab Stephen King and shake him, screaming “Why!”. The novel was an enjoyable read, but it amazes me how he puts in so much detail and writes about so many different characters, getting into their lives and thoughts. There doesn’t seem to be much point to a lot of the side stories, except to pad out the book. But really it’s the little world-building that makes the book. This exact story could be told in about a fifth as many words, but then it wouldn’t be a Stephen King novel.

Apparently, this has a tie-in to The Dead Zone with regard to the frequent mention of serial killer Frank Dodd. I’ll have to put that on the list, although I think I’ve read it already. If I did it would have been twenty-five years ago. And of course it is set in Castle Rock, so ties into a lot of his books.