WEDNESDAYS WORDS is a new weekly installment that ranks the most interesting, intriguing books of the week (old, new, reissues, digital, etc). Contributors represent a variety of genres and sources. Each book includes Title and publisher blurb.
I have to admit to being a bit stymied by this week’s WEDNESDAYS WORDS. I wasn’t galvanized by many of the items that arrived this week, so only a few of the ones I received floated to the top.
So this is a brief WEDNESDAYS WORDS, but that just means you can give more undivided attention to the ones selected.
What It Was: Deluxe Slipcase Edition
What It Was: Deluxe Slipcase Edition [Deluxe Edition] [Hardcover] – by George Pelecanos- Publication Date: January 23, 2012
Washington, D.C., 1972. Derek Strange has left the police department and set up shop as a private investigator. His former partner, Frank “Hound Dog” Vaughn, is still on the force. When a young woman comes to Strange asking for his help recovering a cheap ring she claims has sentimental value, the case leads him onto Vaughn’s turf, where a local drug addict’s been murdered, shot point-blank in his apartment. Soon both men are on the trail of a ruthless killer: Red Fury, so called for his looks and the car his girlfriend drives, but a name that fits his personality all too well. Red Fury doesn’t have a retirement plan, as Vaughn points out – he doesn’t care who he has to cross, or kill, to get what he wants. As the violence escalates and the stakes get higher, Strange and Vaughn know the only way to catch their man is to do it their own way.
Rich with details of place and time – the cars, the music, the clothes – and fueled by non-stop action, this is Pelecanos writing in the hard-boiled noir style that won him his earliest fans and placed him firmly in the ranks of the top crime writers in America.
Dropped Names: Famous Men and Women As I Knew Them
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Rita Hayworth dancing by candlelight in a small Mexican village; Elizabeth Taylor devouring homemade pasta and tenderly wrapping him in her pashmina scarf; streaking for Sir Laurence Olivier in a drafty English castle; terrifying a dozing Jackie Onassis; carrying an unconscious Montgomery Clift to safety on a dark New York City street.
Captured forever in a unique memoir, Frank Langella’s myriad encounters with some of the past century’s most famous human beings are profoundly affecting, funny, wicked, sometimes shocking, and utterly irresistible. With sharp wit and a perceptive eye, Mr. Langella takes us with him into the private worlds and privileged lives of movie stars, presidents, royalty, literary lions, the social elite, and the greats of the Broadway stage.
What, for instance, was Jack Kennedy doing on that coffee table? Why did the Queen Mother need Mr. Langella’s help? When was Paul Mellon going to pay him money owed? How did Brooke Astor lose her virginity? Why was Robert Mitchum singing Gilbert & Sullivan patter songs at top volume, and what did Marilyn Monroe say to him that helped change the course of his life?
Through these shared experiences, we learn something, too, of Mr. Langella’s personal journey from the age of fifteen to the present day.
Dropped Names is, like its subjects, riveting and unforgettable.
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
The Palm-Wine Drinkard and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Paperback) By: Amos Tutuola (Author) When Amos Tutuola’s first novel, The Palm-Wine Drinkard, appeared in 1952, it aroused exceptional worldwide interest. Drawing on the West African Yoruba oral folktale tradition, Tutuola described the odyssey of a devoted palm-wine drinker through a nightmare of fantastic adventure. Since then, The Palm-Wine Drinkard has been translated into more than 15 languages and has come to be regarded as a masterwork of one of Africa’s most influential writers. Tutuola’s second novel, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, recounts the fate of mortals who stray into the world of ghosts, the heart of the tropical forest. Here, as every hunter and traveler knows, mortals venture at great peril, and it is here that a small boy is left alone.
Dangaremba s acclaimed first novel tells of the coming-of-age of Tambu, and through her, also offers a profound portrait of African society. In awarding Nervous Conditions the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Africa in 1989, the judges described the book as a beautiful and sensitive exploration of the plight and struggle of an African people…. A distinguishing feature of this work is its courageous honesty and devastating understatement.
The WEDNESDAYS WORDS column is a new blog feature, appearing (you guessed it!) every Wednesday. Come back next week to see which books make the list!
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