Here three Joe R. Lansdale first editions I picked up, the first two at Armadillocon:
Posts Tagged ‘Mystery’
The final two books I bought from Fred Duarte’s library, at around $10 each:
Not included: The many DVDs I picked up at $1 a disc from Fred’s estate, nor the odd item I picked up at the recent Armadillocon I’ll be listing later.
Meanwhile, I have two huge book buys (that just happened to happen the same day I picked up Fred’s books) I need to catalog. So the pig is maybe 1/3rd of the way down the python…
Another signed Ray Bradbury first, one I’ve been patiently stalking for quite some time.
Bradbury, Ray. Death is a Lonely Business. Franklin Library, 1985. First edition hardback (precedes the Knopf trade edition, per the Locus database), a Fine copy in decorated leather boards, sans dust jacket, as issued. Signed by Bradbury. Mystery novel, the first of many, and his first new novel since The Halloween Tree. Bought for $34.95 off eBay.
PS Publishing had a sale, and I picked up three limited editions of things I already had the trade editions of.
Picked up a not-particularly-common Henry Kuttner hardback:
Kuttner, Henry. Murder of a Wife. Garland, 1983. First hardback edition (originally a PBO by Permabooks in 1958), a Fine- copy with slight bend at head and heel, sans dust jacket, as issued. Number 26 of Garland’s 50 Classics of Crime Fiction: 1950—1975 series. I’m not sure what the print run was, but if they were anything like Garland’s 50 Classics of Science Fiction runs, it was probably quite small. Hubin, Crime Fiction, 1749—1980: A Comprehensive Bibliography, page 236 (for the PBO). Bought for $30 online.
Glancing through the top 25 films in the the IMDB Top 250 list, it occurred to me that most involved crime as the central subject, and a few more peripherally:
- The Shawshank Redemption (1994) (Yes: Central characters are mostly convicted felons in prison.)
- The Godfather (1972) (Yes, obviously.)
- The Godfather: Part II (1974) (Yes, ditto.)
- The Dark Knight (2008) (Yes. What is it Batman dedicated his life to fighting?)
- Pulp Fiction (1994) (Yes. Criminals and their associates drive all the action.)
- Schindler’s List (1993) (No. Genocide is sort of a separate topic from crime…)
- 12 Angry Men (1957) (Yes. Inside jury deliberations in a murder case.)
- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) (Yes. Three criminals drive the plot. Then again, crime tends to be a central feature in almost all Westerns…)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) (No. Lots of killing, but not crime-related per se.)
- Fight Club (1999) (Marginal. Protagonist runs a ring of illegal fight clubs, then an international revolutionary organization.))
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (No. See above.)
- Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) (No. Despite the presence of a smuggler as a central character.)
- Forrest Gump (1994) (No.)
- Inception (2010) (Yes. Central plot involves a criminal gang carrying off a sort of reverse heist.)
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) (Marginal. Protagonist is a criminal who gets himself transferred to the loony bin because he thinks it will be easier than doing time in the joint.)
- The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) (No. See above.)
- Goodfellas (1990) (Yes. Obviously.)
- The Matrix (1999) (No. Though the protagonist starts out as a hacker in trouble with the authorities.)
- Star Wars (1977) (No. Though again, an illegal smuggler is a central figure.)
- Seven Samurai (1954) (Marginal. The entire plot is driven by a village’s desire to protect themselves from criminal marauders.)
- City of God (2002) (Yes. Features the rise of a ruthless crime lord as one of the central plots.)
- Se7en (1995) (Yes. Tracking a serial killer.)
- The Silence of the Lambs (1991) (Yes. Tracking a serial killer with the assistance of another.)
- The Usual Suspects (1995) (Yes. All about a gang of criminals and the machinations of a crime lord.)
- It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) (Marginal, given Potter’s opportunistic theft.)
That’s 15 of the top 25 films which involve crime as either a primary or secondary feature.
Surely crime dramas offer plenty of conflict, but so do war movies, but none of them (save the SF/F entries, and Schindler’s List) make the list, nor do any sports films. (Perpetual favorite Casablanca, which would qualify as a war film, comes in at 30, while Saving Private Ryan comes in at 31.)
Anyone care to speculate on why crime dominates the top of the list?
I’d seen signed copies of Ray Bradbury’s PBO A Memory of Murder floating around for $40 and up, but I struck a deal for this one off eBay for $25:
Bradbury, Ray. A Memory of Murder. Dell, 1984. First edition paperback original, a Fine- copy with a tiny bit of edgewear, signed by Bradbury, with a review slip laid in. Collection of Bradbury’s early mystery stories. An unusual book, in that you wouldn’t think he would have a mass market paperback original (with no hardback edition) this late in his career. Not particularly common, and even less so signed.
Someone’s been having fun imaging Samuel Beckett as the star of his own Quinn Martin private detective show:
The mention of Andre the Giant may seem random, but in fact Beckett used to drive the young Andre to school every morning because he was too big to fit on the bus.
(Hat tip: Don Webb.)