Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Read: "Damn Near Dead 2" edited by Bill Crider

Read: Damn Near Dead 2 edited by Bill Crider, 2010, 9781935415404.

Foreword by Charlaine Harris. I skipped the foreword. To hell with book forewords. I cannot recall a book foreword that was worth reading aside from the ones that are more than three sentences long. Those short ones are not foreword's anyway. Those are marketing tools using a famous person's name on the cover.

Part two of the "geezer noir" subgenre. When asked to define geezer noir do authors cringe like when asked to define noir. Should noir really be italicized? It's a French word but has an American English usage. Why should French be capitalized? Should french fries be capitalized?

I found an improvement over volume one right off the bat: the table of contents has page numbers. The cover is better.

All the stories are good but I liked these best:
1. Anthony Neil Smith's Alzheimer's addled pimp in Granny Pussy. The pimp had been retired for years but brought the old hookers out of retirement for fun and the women are working the fetish business. The pimp is losing his mind though and cannot keep up with current events and confuses memory for current time.
2. Kat Richardson had a character named Gerard. Wait, that is a mark against the story.
3. James Reasoner's Depression-era night watchman who shoots a local bad guy during a burglary and has the dead man's brother come after him.
4. Piccirilli's retired English teacher turned screenwriter working a c-grade movie filmed in his own small apartment in Los Angeles.
5. Pronzini's retired hitman living in the mountains had a nice twist.
6. Scott Phillips's character is a revised version of the guy from Cottonwood but living in Idaho and without his wife. I liked it's sad, depressing, and realistic ending. Phillip's story has that pragmatic view of life and it's dangers on the frontier. Set in Idaho in the second-half time period of Cottonwood.
7. If I liked Pronzini's story do I have to like Marcia Muller's?
8. Joe R. Lansdale's crotchety Nero Wolfe styled old-guy. Stuck in a wheelchair and more concerned with watching television than helping the local sheriff.
9. C.J. Box's elderly mountain men in 1835 Wyoming who are snowed in the for the winter.
10. Ace Atkins terminally ill former policeman killing a murderous pimp/white slaver.
11. Will C.J. Box take his hat off?

EDIT: I forgot a comment. Several stories take place in nursing homes or assisted living. Many also involve crooks or cops turned grey. I was reading something (either in here or when looking through volume one again) where an author writes about the decision on whether to have the elderly character be a former tough guy. Maybe it was Gischler who made that comment in volume one. I'm too lazy to look.

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