Gun Games by Faye Kellerman read by Mitchell Greenberg

Short, spoiled and operatic is the 14 year old Persian Jewess who charms Gabe, the poor little rich foundling now living with Peter and Rena Decker. Gabe is a little lovable, a little weird, and very horny. But he is also a musical prodigy, with the lean blonde wits of his assassin father — the unforgettable and immemorial Chris Donatti. Once upon a time, long long ago, Chris Donati also went to highschool in L.A., fell in love in L.A., got in trouble in L.A.

Today L.A. is full of  over-monied teenagers with guns, some suicidal, or maybe not. In between the clumsy  romantic gropings of Gabe and his sobbing Persian Jewess are  the good, old police investigations of Marge and Oliver, a little older, a little tired, a little weepy themselves. Are the high-school suicides really suicides? The whodunit falls by the wayside, unfortunately, and neither the fascinating Donatti nor his curious son can mobilize by this L.A. West Side story.

Calibre by Ken Bruen read by Gerard Doyle

He’d read up on noir and called it Nora.

Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me hard boils the story from the start: London as the small bad city with its own 87th precinct: Brant, who cuts a bit off the top of every drug bust, makes himself loved by women, plays laid back surfer dude cop but functions as the magus and manipulates everybody’s fate; Macdonald: the aged bully with the mean little soul and the overblown self-estimate; Porter Nash: the gay cop; W.P.C. Falls the bitch black psychopathic girlcop with the knuckle dusters in her purse; P.C. Lane: tall and lanky nerd cop who carries an umbrella and wears an “expression of friendliness, the very worst thing for a cop,”; Chief Inspector Roberts & more.
A silly accountant whose whore lives across the street decides to play Miss Manners with an edge, and finds he enjoys killing people who behave badly in public.

Slick with references that both emulate and parody the grittiest American fiction (Robert B. Parker, Karin Fossom, Ed McBain, Andrew Vachss, Elmore Leonard, Newton Thornberg, Mankell, Willeford, Joe Lansdale); this text is black with humor (“He’d read up on noir and called it Nora.”) and gorgeous with distemporal language (The drinks came and he hoped she wouldn’t say Bottoms Up. “Bottoms up” she said.”) Read it and smirk.

The Winter of Frankie Machine by Don Winslow

Frank has the waves, which is why he doesn’t need much of anything else. Nevertheless he has an ex-wife, a girlfriend, 4 jobs and a routine, about which he is frankly religious.

He has the “Gentleman’s Hour” which is when other guys who don’t need to be at work at 9 or 10 AM ride the waves, lovingly, respectfully, uncompetitively.

Frankie thinks that priests should know what Italian husbands have always known: Italian wives will always find a way to punish you, and its usually in the wallet. You piss her off, and she’ll still do a job in the bedroom, but then she’ll go out and buy a new dinette set.

ORIGIN & CAUSE by Shelly Reuben

Let’s just say that murders happened in the middle of other things: a cop,  a lawyer, a fire investigator get up, they fight with their wives, they eat. Sometimes they think. The law is something they think about.  How it came to be what it is, where it came from, when it changed.  If you have a father who reads, who respects the history of things, who loves the Law, you think about what a lawyer should be, what the law should be, what an institution like the law allows human beings to be.

In Europe, rich people sometimes keep a modest apartment in a poor or marginal area of their city. They call it their “pied a terre”. Translated, this means “foot on the ground”. It is said that their purpose in maintaining these small apartments is to remind them of their roots and to keep them in touch with reality. And that’s exactly why I always keep my copy of Letters To A Young Lawyer in my briefcase. The words within, the philosophy, Harris’  love of simplicity and reverence for the law, this is my psychological pied a terre.

The Door to December by Dean Koontz read by George Guidall

For those of you who have been reading or not reading Koontz lately, it may not be obvious that there are two Koontzes: the early Koontz and the late Koontz. Like the early Heidegger and the late Heidegger. The distinction should open the door to hours and hours and hours of delightful, unadulterated intelligence, humorous rumination, and lines of imaginative flight: emotional transport, sideways, to use a Koontzian term. For those of us who know who Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. Wizard are, add hours of being-with-a-member-of-one’s-own-generation type pleasure. The ease of recognition. The Door to December is early Koontz — performed by a seasoned master: George Guidall. The first actor, in fact, hired by Recorded Books, a New York City based studio that used actors (rather than babysitters) to read books out loud.

And now to the battle of principalities. Yes, principalities. Early Koontz is political and politics is always about principalities. Consider the ex-husband that kidnaps the daughter and disappears for 5 years. Consider the mother. These are characters, but they are also theories. She is a psychiatrist specializing in child psychology, and he is a behavioral psychologist specializing in behavior modification. Their theoretical differences underpin the moral-emotional ones. One theory locks the child in a gray room, isolates it, deprives it, shocks it, plays with it and forces it to change. The other theory lacks scientific rigour, but feels better. It is the theory of the mother who tries to heal the beaten child.

And alongside the good mother is the good cop. Defiant, tenacious, competent, the cop and the mother talk the child away from the institution of evil. Talk is play, talk is confession, talk is a technique which can organize both good and bad emotions.

Someday the totalitarians will take over and they’ll pass laws so you can’t pee unless you have permission from the official federal urinary gatekeeper. Then you’ll come to me with your bladder bursting and you’ll say Luther, my God, why didn’t you warn me about these people?

In Las Vegas…

…there were hundreds of people …standing around the craps tables, people in suits and evening gowns, people in slacks and jeans conscienciously rustic cowboy types standing next to people who looked as if they had just survived an explosion in a polyester factory.”

Firewatch by Nelson DeMille read by Scott Brick

Yes, we know that it is very important for there to be a gun on the table and a timer, clicking down, on the first page of the story. Someone is murdered, and by the end of the story someone else is found culpable. Someone is training, and by the end of the story there is a mission that takes advantage of this training, flawlessly. Some  gun nuts   make themselves into a group, which by the end of the story, activates a perfect plan to deceive and betray mankind, more or less.

Scott Brick has lost his whine and tells this story straight from the hip. de Mille tries to do the same old trick with the suspect and the detective  jerking each other off…. but it doesn’t really work. What does work are the emotional configurations between husband, wife, cop and friend, subject and country….

Try it.

THE ENEMY WITHIN by LARRY BOND and PATRICK read by MICHAEL RUSSOTTO

The book offers us not one but a series of possible enemies, possible stories, possible plugs for the black hole in intelligence that lies beyond September 11, 2001.

Put on ten pounds, dirty sneakers, and a baseball cap, bomb the 14th street bridge, the Dallas-Ft Worth Airport, any School, Synagogue or Office Building anytime anywhere anyhow. Welcome to America, stay as long as you want, come back anytime.

Your average everyday Mohammedan maniac made in Iran, or Iraq, or Kuwait, or Kabul, trained by his friendly neighbourhood terrorist, the Egyptian, Serbian, Palestinian, Pakistani, Senegalese, mobilized to kidnap, sabotage, assassinate.

Archives: July 2004

Fri Jul 30, 2004
The Last Juror. Written by John Grisham

2004/04/13 @ 00:23:44 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Last Juror by John Grisham by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Miss Callie is Clinton’s first black juror, the mother of 7 PhDs, a huge, prodigious cook and a friend of the mild-mannered Grishamesque newspaper publisher who narrates this cut of Mississippi history.
Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:33 am | Profile

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The Great Divide. Read by Buck Schirner. Written by Bunn Davis

2004/04/19 @ 12:24:10 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Brilliance Corporation, 2000.

Unusually compelling tale of a mournful, failed, lawyer who has lost his family and is taken in by a neighborhood. . . A couple summon him to find their politico daughter, who may very well have been kidnapped by the Chinese affiliate of a big, bad, American multinational. Trusted by these parents to save a child, the lawyer who could not save his own is determined to succeed….

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:32 am | Profile

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Double Image. Read by David Birney. Written by David Morrell

2004/04/27 @ 16:29:50 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New
Performed by David Birney. 1998 Dove Audio

Deception. Simulation. Misrepresentation. Sexual Sorcery. The classic, irresistable, inaccessible 1930s female seductress, surfaces from the past and does it again…..

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:30 am | Profile

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These High Green Hills. Written by Jan Karon

2004/04/13 @ 00:07:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
These High Green Hills by Jan Karon by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Luscious, lavishly heartwarming, unabashedly funny story of Episcopalian rector with new wife making the daily life of a small town a little holier, a little closer to God, a little more miraculous.

Posted by: on Jul 30, 04 | 4:29 am | Profile

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Die Dancing. Written by Jonathan Gash.

2004/05/01 @ 12:50:24 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Jonathan Gash Die Dancing by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Remarkable how cruel the truth about a woman, about women can be… All it takes is an account of how women think about men, how women deceive themselves about men, how women consistently misrepresent, misrecognize, the situation of being with a man.

This is a huge book, a book that should sit next to a series of psychoanalytic works about women, self deception, and the problematic of the couple (ie Deleuze, Difference et Repetition)

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:28 am | Profile

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The Last Dance. Read by Ed Mcbain. Written by Ed McBain.

2004/05/21 @ 13:48:25 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Ed Mcbain The Last Dance by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Hearing Ed Mcbain reading Ed Mcbain. The Last Dance.

Somewhere in between your father and Woody Allen comes the thick angry Brooklyn voice of Ed McBain. Incredible. After years of reading this Hemingway of police procedure, (Rain banged on the roof of the car, rain drilled Carella’s head as he fumbled the key into the lock on the driver’s side, rain smashed his eyes, rain soaked the shoulders of his coat and plastered his hair onto his forehead…) with his hand scrawled police reports and his fictional city of Isola and his deaf beautiful wives … comes another Brooklyn Jew!

So when Detective Carella finally opens the door of the car and they start “idly talking” “about de trouble Meya was having with his brother-in-law who neva had liked Meya and who kept tryin to sell him additional life insurance becuz he was in such a dangerous occupation…. ” its funny. Now, it may not read funny because you can’t hear the way this guy spits out these words, like he’s got a bit of gefilte fish stuck in his throat and he hates gefilte fish and he especially hates his mother’s gefilte fish that he has to eat every Friday night for the rest of his life.

Eating and talking are two very important activities in the life of a cop and especially the life of Ollie, who is especially fat, and especially angry. “What brings you up here?” he asks. “The murder yesterday,” Carella said. “What murder?” Here in Zimbabwe West, as he often referred to his beloved 88th Precinct, there were murders every day of the week, every hour of the day.

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:26 am | Profile

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A Season for Murder. Read by Judith Boyd. Written by A. Granger

2004/05/27 @ 23:53:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
A Season for Murder: A Mitchell & Markby mystery by Ann Granger. Performed by Judith Boyd. Cliper Audio. CD c.2000

Meredith [Mitchell] is a witness. A pretty, youngish, positioned, opinionated, fickle, insecure twit who is, for no apparent reason, coupled with the decent, honest, competent, and divorced Chief Inspector Markby.

Murder after murder, Meredith pushes and nudges and buzzes about Markby, who, annoyed, horny, and hormonally bothered, wants to fuck Meredith, and all that that implies.

The murder is solved, through the series of contacts between M and M, through short bursts of frustrated sexuality, local sensibility, and superficial logic.

The couple survives, belligerently, peckishly, senselessly: the cop and the witness, the witness and the cop.

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:24 am | Profile

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The Stonebreakers. Read by Steve Crossley. Written by Philip Hook

2004/06/22 @ 14:00:51 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Stonebreakers ready by Steven Crossley by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Philip Hook. Clipper Audio, 1999. WF Howest LTD. Unabridged CD.

A remarkable, well crafted work with an undercurrent of Le Carre, revolving around a painting destroyed, or presumed destroyed in Dresdens’ fires. The rather dry regularity of the life of an unspectacular art dealer is broken up. In its stead come the whispers and violences of an old and long dead cold war ….

Posted by: admin on Jul 30, 04 | 4:19 am | Profile

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Fri Jul 23, 2004
Perri O’Shaughnessy

Limping along after a series of court case transcripts passing as novels are a string of stories written by lawyers, ex-lawyers, and legal applications ….

Here’s one of them. It could have been a story about a female lawyer with an obnoxious son and her love-hungry private investigator, unable to turn an unwritten casual agreement into a contract.

In other words, the new American woman’s stubborn insistence on the primacy of work, her mistrust of the social image of wife, the social position of husband, and –for the sake of audience sympathy — herself.

Imagine Robert Crais’s detective stories told by the female lawyer. Erase the humor. The subtle intelligence. Throw in a pissy bitch of a mother-lawyer, an aggressive, sexually frustrated dick in waiting, and disc after disc of useless, boring, repetitive court transcripts….
Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 10:35 am | Profile

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Dick Francis: The Handicap

Flying finish [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1996.06/13/2004 07/12/2004

Wild horses [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1995.06/21/2004 07/19/2004

Straight [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1994.06/21/2004 07/19/2004

To the hilt [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1997, c1996.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Risk [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1995.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Bolt [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Recorded Books,
p1999.06/25/2004 07/23/2004

Smokescreen [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Harper & Row : Media Books,
p1990.07/01/2004 07/29/2004

Proof [sound recording] /
by Francis, Dick.
Chivers Audio Books ; Chivers North America,
p1993.
Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 2:07 am | Profile

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Reviews: March-July 2004

2004/06/22 @ 14:04:49 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Russell Andrews Aphrodite by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Brilliance Audio. Read by Buck Schirner. Copyrite 2004. 8 cassettes.

What begins as an inglorious death in a small long island town ends in the revelation of a huge and scandalous experiment in genetic calculation and manipulation

2004/06/22 @ 14:00:51 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Stonebreakers ready by Steven Crossley by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Philip Hook. Clipper Audio, 1999. WF Howest LTD. Unabridged CD.

A remarkable, well crafted work with an undercurrent of Le Carre, revolving around a painting destroyed, or presumed destroyed in Dresdens’ fires. The rather dry regularity of the life of an unspectacular art dealer is broken up. In its stead come the whispers and violences of an and old and long dead cold war ….

2004/06/22 @ 13:47:14 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Black Maps read by David Aaron Baker by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Author: Peter Spiegelman

An in house look at the deterioration of the financial world and its morally desolate characters…

2004/05/19 @ 09:44:32 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Still Life with Crows by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New

2004/05/19 @ 09:43:38 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
John Burdett by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
bangkok; humorous mother/whore-son/cop chatter, esp. dialogue about the investment potential of Viagra in re. brothel industry….

2004/05/01 @ 12:50:24 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Jonathan Gash Die Dancing by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Remarkable how cruel the truth about a woman, about women can be… All it takes is an account of how women think about men, how women deceive themselves about men, how women consistently misrepresent, misrecognize, the situation of being with a man.

This is a huge book, a book that should sit next to a series of psychoanalytic works about women, self deception, and the problematic of the couple (ie Deleuze, Difference et Repetition)

2004/05/01 @ 12:15:43 [ 2 comments – Edit – Delete ]
Dead at Daybreak by Deon Meyer by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Read by Saul Reichlin
Shocking, exhilarating, spellbinding narrative of a South African ex-cop (murder and robbery)…his inner life, his fall into faithlessness and his resurrection in the shadow of his mother’s grace….

…I have read almost nothing of the day to day life of this emotional ogre of history, this political and military shadow academy of a continent… Here, in this piercing narration of Saul Reichlin, are new sounds — the sounds men and women make when they speak to each other in this other part of the world, this very very different part of the world…. all these, heard once, make one hunger for more….more mundanity, more history, more language….

Remarkable, this sudden hunger for afrikaaner voices . . .But of course, as it turns out Dean Meyer is no unknown… Here is a summary of the public tribute to Meyer: His four Afrikaans novels have been translated into English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Czech and Bulgarian, has won the French Le Grand Prix de Littérature Policière, the ATKV Literary prize (twice) and has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Fiction Award and M-Net Literary Award. He is passionate about Mozart, motorcycles, cooking and Free State Cheetas and Springbok rugby.

There is, as well, a web site and a picture: http://www.uhambo.co.za/pg_books/index_books.html

Unfortunately, the narrator “Saul Reichlin” seems to have spoken once and only once for this battering performance….and the translator Madeline von Biljou, too, seems to have disappeared after this one work….

2004/04/27 @ 16:29:50 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
Double Image by David Morrell by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in New
Performed by David Birney. 1998 Dove Audio

Deception. Simulation. Misrepresentation. Sexual Sorcery. The classic, irresistable, inaccessible 1930s female seductress, surfaces from the past and does it again…..

2004/04/19 @ 12:24:10 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The great divide by Bunn Davis read by Buck Schirner by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Editor’s Pick
Brilliance Corporation, 2000.

Unusually compelling tale of a mournful, failed, lawyer who has lost his family and is taken in by a neighborhood. . . A couple summon him to find their politico daughter, who may very well have been kidnapped by the Chinese affiliate of a big, bad, American multinational. Trusted by these parents to save a child, the lawyer who could not save his own is determined to succeed….

2004/04/13 @ 00:23:44 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
The Last Juror by John Grisham by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Now hearing
Miss Callie is Clinton’s first black juror, the mother of 7 PhDs, a huge, prodigious cook and a friend of the mild-mannered Grishamesque newspaper publisher who narrates this cut of Mississippi history.

2004/04/13 @ 00:07:16 [ no comment – Edit – Delete ]
These High Green Hills by Jan Karon by audio qua audio (audio qua audio), in Weekly Recommendation
Luscious, lavishly heartwarming, unabashedly funny story of Episcopalian rector with new wife making the daily life of a small town a little holier, a little closer to God, a little more miraculous.

Posted by: admin on Jul 23, 04 | 1:56 am | Profile

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