Archive for March, 2012

Another Dead Hero

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , on March 30, 2012 by Scott Emerson

Southern literary legend Harry Crews, who survived a bitter, impoverished childhood to become the highly respected author of such books as A FEAST OF SNAKES, THE KNOCKOUT ARTIST, CHILDHOOD: A BIOGRAPHY OF A PLACE, and BODY, passed away Wednesday at 76. Better venues than this are offering proper obituares and remembrances, so I’ll not go into that here, but I will say that Crews was a writer of tremendous ability, whose hard-living, hard-drinking exterior could not conceal his heart of true artisitic beauty. He will be missed.

UPDATE: The AV Club has a nice overview of his career here.


Review: Every Shallow Cut by Tom Piccirilli

Posted in Books, Writing with tags , , , , , , on March 13, 2012 by Scott Emerson

EVERY SHALLOW CUT ranks among Tom Piccirilli’s best work. For some of you, that’s all you need to know.

The nameless narrator, a midlist writer recoiling from a stalled career and failed marriage, finds himself adrift in a merciless economy with litte more than his trusty bulldog and a pawnshop pistol. Traveling cross-country to seek help from his estranged brother, he embarks on a secondary journey through his past and a headspace that grows increasingly bleak.

As abrupt and vicious as a kick to the shin, EVERY SHALLOW CUT plays very much like TAXI DRIVER, were Travis Bickle a talented but “uncommercial” author. Piccirilli’s protagnist picks at some heavy emotional scabs, but his rumination of a writer’s inability to stay afloat (despite critical success and no lack of skill) really slices to the marrow.

A marvelous noir-flavored character study. Not to be missed.

Happy Birthday, Peter Straub

Posted in Books, Miscellaneous, Writing with tags , , , , on March 2, 2012 by Scott Emerson

The author of GHOST STORY, KOKO, THE THROAT, and other modern classics turns 68 today.