Saturday, October 31, 2009

BEAT TO A PULP #48!

BEAT TO A PULP #48!

ONE NIGHT NEAR HANGTOWN BY JAMES REASONER

HERE'S THE WORD FROM BTAP EDITOR DAVIN CRANMER . . .


Labor Day 2009, I’m checking my inbox and sitting there is an email from James Reasoner... with a story. Now, it wasn’t completely unexpected because we had talked about it before but still... it’s a story from James Reasoner! I’ve been a fan for years, so I let the moment soak in and then wondered: Is it a western or a crime story or maybe another sea yarn like he wrote for Dave Zeltserman’s superb final issue of Hardluck Stories.

The title, One Night Near Hangtown, might suggest a western, right? And while James had mentioned to me that it involves early western movie star, Buck Jones, it’s not what you’re thinking when he pairs up Buck with an unlikely friend, just in time for more Halloween thrills. He called the story "whimsical"—I call it truly unique.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Reasoner has been a professional writer for more than thirty years and in that time has produced everything from cult classic mystery novels such as TEXAS WIND to popular historical sagas of the Civil War and World War II. His most recent novels include the critically acclaimed hardboiled crime story DUST DEVILS and the first book in the Gabriel Hunt adventure series, HUNT AT THE WELL OF ETERNITY. Under various pseudonyms, he is also one of the most prolific and best-selling Western authors writing today. He lives in a small town in Texas with his wife, fellow author Livia J. Washburn.

It’s a great honor to have James Reasoner at BEAT to a PULP with One Night Near Hangtown.

TO READ ONE NIGHT NEAR HANGTOWN CLICK HERE


NEXT WEEK: "MORTIFICATION" BY SOPHIE LITTLEFIELD

SINATRA: NEW YORK!

SINATRA: NEW YORK!

Five-Disc Boxed Set Features All Previously UnreleasedLive Performances Of Ol’ Blue Eyes In “The Apple”

Collection Highlights Performances Recorded Between 1955 and 1990 At Iconic New York City Venues

Available From Reprise November 3

Frank Sinatra may have been born in Hoboken, New Jersey, but the Chairman of the Board always held a special place in his heart for the city that never sleeps—“The Apple,”as he called it. From a surprise appearance with Tommy Dorsey in 1955 to a 1990 concert at Radio City Music Hall, SINATRA: NEW YORK follows the singer onstage at various iconic New York City venues, living out one of his most famous lines: “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.” The five-disc boxed set (4-CD/1-DVD) of previously unreleased live performances will be available November 3, at all retail outlets, including www.Sinatra.com, for a suggested list price of $79.99 (physical) and $34.99 (digital).

The 71 previously unreleased performances gathered here (55 on CD/16 on DVD) capture the singer giving his electricifying best, reminding listeners why Sinatra’s celebrated baritone has been hailed as the “The Voice.” The set, produced by Charles Pignone, features deluxe packaging with rare, never-before-seen photos, tributes from Martin Scorsese, Tony Bennett, Yogi Berra, and Twyla Tharp, liner notes by Nat Hentoff, and essays by William Friedkin, director of The Exorcist and French Connection; George Kalinsky, official photographer for Madison Square Garden for over 40 years; Tom Young, engineer for Sinatra; Joe & Sal Scognamillo, owners of Patsy’s Italian Restaurant in New York City; and Frank Sinatra Jr.

SINATRA: NEW YORK begins in February 1955, at the Manhattan Center, where Sinatra made a surprise appearance with Tommy Dorsey and his band during a concert celebrating the group’s 20-year anniversary. Sinatra, who first became a star singing with Dorsey in the early ’40s, sang a trio of his biggest hits with Dorsey: “Oh! Look At Me Now,” “This Love Of Mine;” and “I’ll Never Smile Again,” a song that spent 12 weeks at #1 in 1940. The remainder of the first disc was recorded in September 1963, at the United Nations. To celebrate U.N. Staff Day, Sinatra sang at the organization’s Manhattan offices, accompanied only by pianist Skitch Henderson, who incidentally played on Sinatra’s first solo recording session in 1942. During the show, the duo performed “I Have Dreamed” and “My Heart Stood Still” from The Concert Sinatra, an album released earlier that year.

Sinatra “retired” in 1971, at the age of 55, but returned in 1973, with Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back. A year later, he launched a tour to benefit an international children’s charity that included a show at New York’s Carnegie Hall. The second disc features classics such as “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “Come Fly With Me.” Sinatra also performed Joe Raposo’s “There Used To Be A Ballpark” and “You Will Be My Music” from Ol’ Blue Eyes.

From October 1974, the third disc contains the first night of Sinatra’s two-night stand at Madison Square Garden. The second night was televised and dubbed ‘The Main Event’ concert. With the famous arena set up for a boxing match—complete with ringside seats—Howard Cosell introduced Sinatra before the singer took the stage wearing boxing gloves. Bill Miller conducted Woody Herman’s Young Thundering Herd as the band accompanied Sinatra on signature hits (“The Lady Is A Tramp,” “My Way”), ballads (“Let Me Try Again,” “Angel Eyes”), and “Autumn In New York.”

The final CD returns to Carnegie Hall for a sold-out June 1984 show, and Sinatra taps his extensive songbook for an eclectic evening of music that spans four decades: “Fly Me To The Moon”; “Pennies From Heaven”; “My Way”; and “Come Rain Or Come Shine.” The second half of disc four, from Radio City Music Hall in June 1990, finds Sinatra performing with an orchestra conducted by his son Frank Sinatra Jr., and includes such hits as “Strangers In The Night,” “Mack The Knife,” and “Theme From New York, New York.”


SINATRA: NEW YORK closes with a DVD containing the singer’s June 25, 1980, concert at Carnegie Hall. At the time, the two-week engagement set a record for the venue by selling out in just a day. The shows followed the release of 1980’s Trilogy, Sinatra’s ambitious triple-album comeback that featured “The Theme From New York, New York.” Sinatra mixes “Summer Me, Winter Me” from that album with his hits “I’ve Got The World On A String” and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.” Foreshadowing the follow-up to Trilogy is “The Gal That Got Away”/“It Never Entered My Mind,” a medley that would appear on She Shot Me Down in 1981.

COME DINE WITH ME: SINATRA AT ENCORE!

COME DINE WITH ME: SINATRA AT ENCORE!

DOUBLE CLICK THE PHOTO TO READ THE ARTICLE

JAVA’S BACHELOR PAD!

JAVA’S BACHELOR PAD!

JAVA'S COSMIC HALLOWEEN SPEICAL 2009


Get lit up with this year’s all-new, “lid-scorching” incarnation of – “JAVA’S 2009 COSMIC HALLOWEEN SPECIAL”…!

This time around, Java finds himself “Pad-jacked” by the platoon of poisonous pumpkins in Crumpkin’s Pumpkin Patch, in league with the last four (“hiccup!-flame-scream!) – um, make that the last three zombies left behind last year (that didn't go up in flames from the 151), now under the spell of a “Mystic Power” back on YoYo Island – one who seeks the powerful mojo in the pumpkin leaves from Crumpkin's Pumpkin Patch, who’s hell-bent on raising Cain – and just about everybody else who’s shuffled off their mortal coils!

Stowaway with Java and his “lycanthropically-inclined” lunatic acquaintance, Miss Lauren Talbot (yes, she’s one of those “Talbots”), on a “hair-raising” adventure back to the wackiest island in the world, as Java suavely tries to recapture the keys to The Pad, while tussling with a girl who’s got more than a mere Smith & Wesson in her personal arsenal, especially when the moon is full!

It’s a crazy cauldron stew that blends Java’s always entertaining musical Treats, with Crumpkin’s Pumpkins’ gleefully wicked dirty Tricks, and a pumpkin-vine-tangled tale that features thrillingly saturated submarine fun, small-arms leaf-wrestling, and the Pirate Zombies of ‘Porte La Morte”, who are always glad to see fresh visitors during the Yoyo Island “Zombie Gras”!

The on-line version is available now for your official fright night enjoyment.

Tune in to join Java for a nice big steamin’ cuppa Halloween mayhem and musical madness, that puts the “Tea” in Terror, and may show Crumpkin’s Pumpkins that there’s a steep price to pay for brewing up a scheme that could well put them all in the bag…


TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD
CLICK HERE

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE # 75!

AN EVENING AT THE BUDDIES LOUNGE # 75!

Join the BIG W, with a bag of candy in hand, as he explores the mid-century sounds of HALLOWEEN on tonight’s episode of "An Evening At The Buddies Lounge" presented in LIVING STEREO!

PLAYLIST:

• Bewitched - Steve Lawrence
• Alfred Hitchcock Theme - Ralph Marterie
• Witchcraft - Frank Sinatra
• Mystery Movie Theme - Henry Mancini
• Zombie Jamboree - Kingston Trio
• Old Devil Moon - Mel Torme
• The Black Cat - Buddy Morrow
• Headless Horseman - Thurl Ravenscroft
• You’re The Devil in Disguise - Elvis Presley
• The Munsters - Billy Stange
• Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead - Sammy Davis, Jr.
• Batman - Jan & Dean
• Monster Mash - The Beach Boys
• Ghost Riders In The Sky - Lorne Greene
• The Blob - The Five Blobs
• That Old Black Magic - Keely Smith & Louis Prima
• The Mummy - Bob McFadden & Dor
• Return Of The Zombie - Billy May
• With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm - Kingston Trio
• Purple People Eater - Judy Garland

TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

PULP MEISTER GIL BREWER!

PULP MEISTER GIL BREWER!

STEVE HOLLAND HAS POSTED A COOL PIECE ON PULP WRITER GIL BREWER OVER AT HIS BEAR ALLEY BLOG


Brewer spent three years at high school before dropping out to work. He was wounded in action whilst serving with the army in Belgium and France, which meant he received a VA disability pension. His family had moved to Florida and Brewer went through the usual variety of jobs—warehouseman, cannery worker, bookseller, gas-station attendant—associated with those learning their trade as a writer. With money an issue, Brewer's mother insisted he get a proper job. When he refused she ordered him to leave.

Brewer found a boarding house where the other residents would help feed him; he was already a heavy drinker but was also young, handsome and dynamic. He was involved in an affair with a married woman, Verlaine Morris Lee, who subsequently divorced her husband. The two married in South Carolina, telling no-one.

Back in St. Petersburg, Florida, he sold tales to Detective Tales and Detective Fiction before trying his hand with a novel, written in a white heat and completed in five days. He wrote a second almost as quickly and this was placed with Gold Medal (Fawcett Publications) who had then recently launched a line of original paperbacks and were seeking the best writers from the pulps, both established writers and new. Satan Is A Woman was published in 1951, followed quickly by So Rich, So Dead—Brewer's five-day novel—and 13 French Street, which was his first million seller.


TO READ THE FULL POST AND SEE MORE COVERS CLICK HERE

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

THE CAT'S MEOW ~ HALOWEEN EDITION!

Friday, October 30, 2009

10 THINGS THAT SOUND DIRTY ON HALLOWEEN!

10 THINGS THAT SOUND DIRTY ON HALLOWEEN!

1. So...What'd you get in the sack?

2. Once you get under the sheet, start moaning and groaning!!!

3. Just hop on that broomstick and ride it!

4. Those small suckers are gone in a few licks!

5. I got the best piece from that house.

6. Quit screwing around on the porch!!!

7. Stick your hand in and guess what you're feeling....

8. It was so filled and heavy, I had to use TWO hands!!

9. They'll suck you dry if they get their teeth in you.

10. I bobbed and bobbed, but couldn't get my mouth around it!

THANKS TO MISS CELLANIA

SIGNS THAT YOU'RE TOO OLD TO TRICK-OR-TREAT!

SIGNS THAT YOU'RE TOO OLD TO TRICK-OR-TREAT!

10. You get winded from knocking on the door.

9. You have to have another kid chew the candy for you.

8. You ask for high fiber candy only.

7. When someone drops a candy bar in your bag, you lose your balance and fall over.

6. People say, "Great Keith Richards mask!" and you're not wearing a mask.

5. When the door opens you yell, "Trick or..." and can't remember the rest.

4. By the end of the night, you have a bag full of restraining orders.

3. You have to carefully choose a costume that won't dislodge your hairpiece.

2. You're the only Power Ranger in the neighborhood with a walker.

1. You avoid going to houses where your ex-wives live.

THANKS TO MISS CELLANIA

FRANK SINATRA ~ SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS (1956)!

FRANK SINATRA ~ SONGS FOR SWINGIN' LOVERS (1956)!

ANOTHER COOL AND SWINGIN’ DOWNLOAD FROM JENSEN BRAZIL . . .

TRACKLIST:


01. You Make Me Feel So Young
02. It Happened In Monterey
03. You're Getting To Be A Habit With Me
04. You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
05. Too Marvelous For Words
06. Old Devil Moon
07. Pennies From Heaven
08. Love Is Here to Stay
09. I've Got You Under My Skin
10. I Thought About You
11. We'll Be Together Again
12. Makin' Whoopee
13. Swingin' Down The Lane
14. Anything Goes
15. How About You?

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

PHANTOM: JULIE WALKER!

PHANTOM: JULIE WALKER!

Two-time Bram Stoker winner Elizabeth Massie delivers a previously unknown adventure tale of danger on the high seas of the only female Phantom that Lee Falk ever created! Julie Walker is forced to take over the Phantom role and guard her friend, Nellie Bly on her historic trip around the world! Something or someone does not want Ms Nellie to finish this record breaking trek!

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

CAPTAIN FLY-BY-NIGHT!

CAPTAIN FLY-BY-NIGHT!

BY JOHNSTON MCCULLEY

PULPVILLE PRESS - NOW AVAILABLE!


Famed as the creator and author of Zorro, McCulley wrote a novel in a similar vein which was published in 1916 and subsequently made into a silent film.

Captain Fly-By-Night was stirring up trouble in California between the red men and the white. Rojelio Rocha, betrothed by his parents to Anita Fernandez, heads to San Diego for his marriage. All three end up in a rollicking historical drama of Southern California life in the early 1800's.

Hardcover
182 pages
$29.95

FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

AIRFIGHTERS #1!

AIRFIGHTERS #1!

COMING IN JANUARY!


Written by Chuck Dixon and Tom DeFalco, art by Oscar Celestini, covers by Tom Grindberg and Rob Schwager.

It's an all out air war as Dixon, DeFalco and Celestini rev up Airboy and his Airfighters' return to the comic page! This 72-page extravaganza features the all new high-flying exploits of Airboy and his revamped compatriots in their very first Moonstone appearance: Skywolf, Black Angel, Flying Dutchman, Iron Ace, Bald Eagle, and the Flying Fool! Plus, a special first tale of Moonstone's Captain Midnight!

72 PAGES
BLACK AND WHITE
$5.99.

MOONSTONE BOOKS

THE CAT'S MEOW!

SUPER-DETECTIVE JIM ANTHONY!

SUPER-DETECTIVE JIM ANTHONY!

THE COMPLETE SERIES VOLUME 1


Another complete series collection from Altus Press, this time focusing on the classic Doc Savage clone Jim Anthony, complete and uncut from the pages of the SUPER-DETECTIVE pulp magazine from 1940-43. Volume 1 contains the first three adventures, collecting the Rado Ruric trilogy: "Dealer in Death," "Legion of Robots" and "Madame Murder." These also include editor notes and correspondence, and this edition contains an all-new introduction by Will Murray.


NOW AVAILABLE IN HARDCOVER!
SOFTCOVER EDITION COMING SOON!
389 PAGES
LIMITED EDITION HARDCOVER
(ONLY 100 MADE)
$39.95
FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

DR. WATSON ON THE CASE!

DR. WATSON ON THE CASE!

FROM AIRSHIP 27

SEASON OF MADNESS is a Doctor Watson adventure by Aaron Smith.

When a deadly drug begins infecting the people of London, it is up to Dr.Seward (of the Dracula novel) to discover the origin of the deadly powder. He seeks out Sherlock Holmes only to discover the great detective is out of the country on a secret mission for the government and so he enlist the aid of Dr.Watson.

Together they must solve the mystery before more people fall victim to a Season of Madness. The book features interior illustrations by artist Pedro Cruz and a gorgeous cover (very appropriate for Halloween) by Rob Davis and Shane Evans.


FOR MORE CLICK HERE

INVICTUS!

INVICTUS!

I'M THERE OPENING DAY!

SATAN'S PLAYMATES: THE ADVENTURES OF MOLLOY AND MCNAMARA!

SATAN'S PLAYMATES: THE ADVENTURES OF MOLLOY AND MCNAMARA!

COMING IN NOVEMBER FROM AGE OF ACES BOOKS

Mike Molloy and Tommy McNamara were the Twin Terrors of the Western Front.

They flew as if they had been born in Spads, they drank like thirsty whales, and they'd fought by each other's side through every mile of air along the lines and in every bar from the Front to Paris. If there were no more pressing targets, they pounded each other to a pulp, for any reason at all, and were strangely happy.

Leading the 24th Pursuit Squadron across WWI Europe's blood red skies, Molloy and McNamara were the bane of the German Air Force. Their names and reputations were known wherever fighting men met with blazing guns or flying fists. Written by William Hartley, the twenty tales of Molloy and McNamara appeared in Dare-Devil Aces between 1936 and 1942. Age of Aces has collected the first eleven of them for this volume.

FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE

DOWNLOADABLE AIR WAR PULP STORIES!

DOWNLOADABLE AIR WAR PULP STORIES!

AGE OF ACES is now offering a new feature on their web site called Age of Aces Presents.

NEW THIS WEEK:

“The Squadron in Scarlet” by Donald E. Keyhoe from the November 1931 SKY BIRDS

Featuring “Cyclone” Bill Garrity and The Devildog Squadron

For months the grim spectre of that German staffel had stalked up and down the Front, dropping its sinister messages of death upon British and French squadrons. And now at last it struck at the flying Marines. For out of the cloud mists over that Devildog drome a white-winged German plane swooped low, and from it came the threat of doom—a black coffin holding the body of a Devildog pilot.

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

JAMES BOND COMIC COVERS FOR YOUR iPHONE!

JAMES BOND COMIC COVERS FOR YOUR iPHONE!

Customise your iPhone or iPodTouch with a wallpaper from MI6. This pack includes retro artwork from the late 1960's/early 1970s when James Bond comics were published in Scandinavia by Semic Press. Click a thumbnail below to display and save the full resolution image for use as a wallpaper.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

ICEBOX RADIO THEATER ~ PICKAXE HILL!

ICEBOX RADIO THEATER ~ PICKAXE HILL!

There is no month like October for a good ghost story, and we hope we've cooked one up for you here. Starring the incomparable Neill Smith and Victoria Olson, "Pickaxe Hill" tells the story of a happy couple, a house with a past, and man obsessed with both. Happy Halloween, everyone. Dim the lights, put on the headphones (make sure no pranksters are in the house who might sneak up on you) and enjoy what's waiting for you in the house on ~ Pickaxe Hill.

TO LISTEN OR DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

IT TAKES A THIEF ON DVD!

IT TAKES A THIEF ON DVD!

I remember It Takes A Thief, the 1968 to 1970 television show starring Robert Wagner (doing a serviceable Cary Grant impersonation), fondly. In fact, my love for caper films can probably be traced back to this show from my childhood and my father’s descriptions of the films Topcapi and To Catch A Thief, which I only actually saw much later.

Now, TV Shows On DVD has heard rumor It Takes A Thief will be out on DVD in 2010. It’s about time. I recently watch several episodes of the series on Hulu, and they hold up pretty well.

In the series, Alexander Mundy (Wagner) is a playboy and cat burglar released from prison to steal for the United States government. His boss was Noah Bain (Malachi Throne) was the typical crusty individual, but was excellently portrayed by character actor Malachi Throne (which I’ve always thought would make a create name for a fictional character.

In an attempt to shore up ratings for the final season, Fred Astaire was brought in to star as Mundy’s father – another master thief.

Amusingly tongue-in-cheek, It Takes A Thief is the perfect example of the lightweight entertainment of its time. Give me Thief over Lost any day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

FORGOTTEN BOOKS ~ FIRST BLOOD BY DAVID MORRELL!

FORGOTTEN BOOKS ~ FIRST BLOOD BY DAVID MORRELL!

Personally, I think it’s all Rambo’s fault.

Stick with me, this rant make take a while.

Long ago, in a genre far, far, away, heroes battled not just villains but also every element nature could throw at them. This genre was known as high adventure. Authors such as Alistair MacLean, Desmond Bagley, Ernest Gann, Gavin Lyall, Wilber Smith, and Hammond Innes reigned as gods.

Somewhere along the way, as the halcyon days of high adventure waned, the genre went through a transformation, a distillation of its character, and a label change, to eventually emerge as what we now call the modern thriller.

Suddenly, some of the greatest writers of a generation – who had honed high adventure into an art form – almost completely disappeared from bookstore shelves and, eventually, from the public consciousness. At the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon (going on and on about how the past was better), I miss the high adventure genre as I find myself rarely satisfied by its bastard step-child.

Let me say up front, there are some excellent authors writing modern thrillers who stand side by side in literary skill with their high adventure counterparts. This rant is not about the quality of writing found in the two genres, but an exploration of where this transmogrification of genres has brought us – and where, perhaps, it can take us next.

In the pre-Internet and e-mail world, there were aficionados of the mystery field who communicated by snail mail, in fanzines, and through armature press associations referred to as DAPAs (a shout out to DAPA-EM, you know who you are). I remember a thread from back in the day when we all drew the line on never reading a book if it had a swastika on the cover. Over the years, this rule of thumb enlarged to include books with covers displaying stabbed fruit, pets, and any suggestion of recipes inside. Obviously, we all violated these blatantly silly prejudices with impunity (they said far more about personal reading tastes than the quality of writing between the covers), yet I can’t say I would have missed much by applying them as ridged guidelines.

Today, my personal rule of thumb in this area includes books with covers mentioning terrorism, the Middle East, and in particular, thrillers promising NON-STOP ACTION! If those latter words appear, I know I am going to be craving lost high adventure novels long before I reach my personal fifty page decision to continue reading or toss a novel aside.

What the heck am I going on about? Let’s look at a quick example. Arguably, Alistair MacLean’s magnum-opus is The Guns Of Navarone. I cut my high adventure genre teeth on this WWII novel that had the grace to be published without a swastika on the cover.

In The Guns Of Navarone, the destruction of the namesake weapons delivers an obvious, yet extremely satisfying conclusion. However, the heart of the novel lies in the man over nature battle both on the rough seas and in the scaling of the unscalable cliffs protecting the guns.

The even deeper heart of the novel, and why it works so well, is because of the everyman believability of the characters facing the rough seas and unscalable cliffs. On a subconscious level, readers are so caught up in the fears, foibles, and flaws of the characters they are transported to a belief they too could have the same strength, skill, and intestinal fortitude to succeed over huge odds.

In contrast, I recently broke my own rule and picked up the non-stop action novel The Gray Man by Mark Greaney while stuck for four hours in the El Paso Airport. The Gray Man is the perfect example of the modern thriller genre. It is well written, smoothly (oh, so smoothly) executed, polished to a high sheen, and delivers what it promises, non-stop action – but unfortunately nothing else.

The Gray Man of the title is the standard greatest-assassin-the-world-has-ever-known, a man more deadly and dangerous than a crate of cobras (we are told The Gray Man is so dangerous unarmed that weapons are merely props – even though he is intimately familiar with every weapon in existence).

From page one, the action never stops as The Gray Man is betrayed and finds himself facing a gauntlet of ten of the best international assassination teams and vicious killers between himself and his version of the guns of Navarone (a maguffin is a maguffin). For 400 or so pages, The Grey Man kicks, shoots, blows up, kills, maims, and otherwise seriously traumatizes forty or so highly trained, nasty, unquestionably evil pieces of cannon fodder before the final confrontation. The Gray Man himself is shot, stabbed, beaten, gutted like a fish, has to be given a blood transfusion while driving (remember, this is non-stop action, the hero can’t even stop to get a blood refill), goes days without sleep, yet still manages to keep fighting until he is the last man standing – sort of.

The Gray Man is very well written, pushing me to keep reading and finish the novel. However, I found myself at the midpoint of the novel thinking, okay, he’s killed off five of the assassination teams, which means there’s another five to get through before this gets resolved – a thinking/stopping point which never occurs in a good high adventure novel, let alone a great high adventure novel.

The hero of the modern thriller is so removed from everyman reality as to render the reader at a distance, never feeling part of the action.

I never doubted The Gray Man would make it through the killer hordes. In a high adventure novel, especially one written by Wilbur Smith, you are never sure if the hero will make it to the epilogue.

Sure, the maguffin will be found/destroyed/saved, but which character will accomplish the task and which one or ones will be wiped out by the avalanche/hurricane/tsunami is always in doubt. Wilbur Smith, in particular, could never be trusted. Halfway through a novel, he’d kill off a protagonist in a plane crash or the like without a second thought, or have a protagonist half eaten by an alligator and be removed from the action. As a reader you couldn’t relax for a moment. That’s tension. Action is not a substitute.

In another recent thriller, Beat The Reaper by Josh Bazell (WARNING: SPOLIER AHEAD), the nominal hero kills the villain by removing an unnecessary bone from his own already broken leg and using it as a rapier. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think any of my bones are unnecessary, and there is no way I’m ever going to remove one to use as a weapon. And therein lies the failure of the current state of the thriller – it’s gone too far into the world of the action movie and has become untethered from literary reason.

So how did this transition from high adventure to overblown thriller happen?

Personally, I blame Rambo.

Thriller master David Morrell unleashed decorated, traumatized, Vietnam vet John Rambo on the world in 1972 in his brilliant debut novel, First Blood. In Madison, Kentucky, the shaggy-haired Rambo is passing through looking for a hamburger until he gets harassed by Wilfred Teasle, the local redneck chief of police (a decorated Korean war vet). Teasle just can’t stop pushing Rambo until Rambo can’t help but use the mad killer skills he developed in Vietnam to push back.

The action here leaps off the page, this is full strength non-stop action, but Morrell’s brilliance – and what makes First Blood such an iconic novel – lies in Morrell never forgetting he is telling a story about something. In First Blood, Rambo is the force of nature, so often unleashed in high adventure novels, he is malevolent and out of control. Morrell balances the story, Teasle is not all bad (in fact many readers thought Teasle was the hero of the novel), and Rambo is certainly not all good – once started, Rambo is on a quest to destroy everything and everyone. He is psychotic and out of control.

Morrell is not simply racing from action scene to action scene for action sake. Instead Morrell uses action as an overlay for an examination of an American experience polarizing a generation.

The surprise for those who have only seen the movie based on the novel, is that the novel First Blood is far more violent than the Sylvester Stallone film. In the novel both Rambo and Teasle have opportunities to back down and let things go. Neither can, and in the process destroy not only themselves, but a good part of Madison.

(WARNING: SPOILER AHEAD)

First Blood is a thinking man’s thriller where the actions of the characters carry consequences for their actions and for the action. Morrell ends the book the only logical way it can end – with the death of Rambo. Yes, folks, Rambo does a Lazarus act for the movie and it’s sequels. In the book he dies – dead, gone, over – and we are secretly relieved.

In its power and breathless storytelling, First Blood became the tipping point for the transformation of the high adventure novel into the modern thriller – the tipping point where action became the be all and end all of storytelling.

It’s all Rambo’s fault.

What those authors who emulated Morrell’s ground breaking novel –
and those who have emulated the emulators, ad infinitum – have forgotten is the action was not the point of First Blood – the story was!

So, for me, until today’s thriller writers pull back on the action reigns and begin telling stories where I can again willingly suspend my disbelief, I’m sticking with those old high adventure novels. I’ve got Desmond Bagley’s Vivero Letter in my hands right now and I can’t wait to start scuba diving in the dangerous pools of the wild tropical rain forests of Yucatan for Mayan gold while pursued by greedy men who wish my demise.

THE CAT'S MEOW ~ NATIONAL CAT DAY NOVEMBER 29TH!

THANKS FOR THE REMINDER TO LOL CATS

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

MOVIE MAGIC ~ RETRO STYLE!

MOVIE MAGIC ~ RETRO STYLE!

CINEMA RETRO MAGAZINE ANNOUNCES MOVIE MAGIC TOUR OF BRITISH FILM LOCATIONS, APRIL 23 – MAY 1, 2010!


Since 1996, Cinema Retro publishers Lee Pfeiffer and Dave Worrall have planned and hosted numerous London-based film tours, most planned around premieres of specific films. Each of these events, which were conducted by Lee and Janet Pfeiffer's T.W.I.N.E. Tours company, allowed attendees exclusive access to sites, stars and filmmakers.


Now, due to popular demand from their tour alumni and readers, Cinema Retro has created the most exciting tour yet. Movie Magic 2010 will be an 8 day event commencing in London on April 23. They will celebrate British film heritage and tour some of the most beautiful parts of the country, stopping at historic film locations, studios and meeting with some of the stars and filmmakers who were part of the great films of the 60s and 70s.

If you enjoy:

James Bond
The original classic film version of The Haunting
The legendary TV series The Prisoner
The classic WWII movie The Eagle Has Landed
The magnificence of Cinerama


Then you will not want to miss this historic, once-in-a-lifetime celebration of British filmmaking.

Details to be announced shortly- but make sure you sign up for their e-mail news letter to ensure you are notified!

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

BOBBY DARIN ~ VENICE BLUE (1965)!

BOBBY DARIN ~ VENICE BLUE (1965)!

KELLEY’S LOUNGE SOUNDZ STRIKES AGAIN WITH THIS COOL LOUNGE DOWNLOAD . . .


Venice Blue was released in May of 1965 and was Bobby Darin's follow-up to the artistically (but not financially) successful "From Hello Dolly to Goodbye Charlie". Surprisingly Darin stuck with his previous approach and offered another selection of romantic songs and contemporary Broadway tunes. The album peaked at a disappointing 132 (worse than From Hello Dolly's 107) and remained on the Billboard charts for only four weeks.


Though the album did poorly upon release some of the tracks have been mined for later compilations, most notably "The Good Life". A curious double album available through import-only packages, "You're the Reason I'm Living", has an album apparently called "I Wanna Be Around", but which is actually "Venice Blue".

The title track sounds like a cover of a Bobby Vinton ballad with its sweeping strings and sentimentality. Standout tracks include the Johnny Mercer song "I Wanna Be Around" (similar here to "Don't Rain on my Parade"),"The Good Life", Henry Mancini's "Dear Heart", and Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" from "West Side Story".

Venice Blue also includes two Darin originals: "You Just Don't Know" and "In a World Without You". "Venice Blue" is not a dramatic departure for Bobby Darin, but a solid collection nonetheless. Really of interest to fans looking to complete their collection. Well-arranged and well-sung, but not the most accessible album for the neo-swing set. ~ J T Griffith

TRACKLIST:

01) Venice Blue
02) I Wanna Be Around
03) Somewhere
04) The Good Life
05) Dear Heart
06) Softly As I Leave You
07) You Just Don't Know
08) There Ain't No Sweet Gal
09) Who Can I Turn To
10) A Taste Of Honey
11) In A World Without You

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

JULIE LONDON ~ ABOUT THE BLUES (1957)!

JULIE LONDON ~ ABOUT THE BLUES (1957)!

HERE’S A COOL DOWNLOAD OF MY FAVORITE GIRL SINGER, JULIE LONDON, FROM JENSEN BRAZIL . . .

TRACKLIST:


SIDE A

01 - Basin Street Blues
02 - I Got A Right To Sing The Blues
03 - A Nightingale Can Sing The Blues
04 - Get Set For The Blues
05 - An Invitation To The Blues
06 - Bye Bye Blues

SIDE B

07 - Meaning Of The Blues
08 - About The Blues
09 - Sunday Blues
10 - The Blues Is All I Ever Had
11 - Blues In The Night
12 - Bouquet Of Blues

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

Y/A CORNER ~ THE MORGUE AND ME!

Y/A CORNER ~ THE MORGUE AND ME!

JOHN C. FORD

Senior year is history and college is still a few months off. What better way to kill the summer than by working as a janitor in a morgue? True, it’s Christopher’s interest in being a spy that draws him to the job, but it’s his first encounter with a corpse that really snares his attention.

Mitch Blaylock is the dead man’s name, and he’s listed as a suicide. Those multiple bullet wounds, however, don’t look self-inflicted. What was the sheriff doing whispering over the body? And what gives with all that cash hidden in the medical examiner’s desk?

The questions, suspects, and dangers keep accumulating, and soon Christopher pairs up with an “insanely hot” wannabe muckraker from the local newspaper. Too much serendipity plays into the hands of this crime-fighting duo (and not enough is made of the character traits that would drive someone to work at a morgue), but Ford’s unpredictable curveballs and switcheroos never relent.

A satisfyingly grim departure from the usual squeaky-clean teen sleuthing.

CRICKEY! ~ NEW ISSUE!

CRICKEY! ~ NEW ISSUE!

Issue No.12 of Crikey! the magazine of British comics should be in shops across the UK this Friday (October 29th). Once again it contains a strong variety of content, including interviews with Pat Mills (talking at length about his time at IPC plus other things), Leah Moore and John Reppion (on Albion), and veteran comic artist Frank McDiarmid (Cheeky weekly).


Also included is Lee O'Connor discussing his new project with Pat Mills and the first part of a two parter on Doctor Who comic strips over the years.

TO ORDER CRIKEY! CLICK HERE
A TURN OF THE COMIC PAGE TO BLIMEY! IT'S ANOTHER BLOG ABOUT COMICS

YUKI 7 AND THE GADGET GIRLS!

YUKI 7 AND THE GADGET GIRLS!

NEW FROM ILLUSTRATOR KEVIN DART . . .

THESE ARE THE GADGET GIRLS, AN ELITE GROUP WORKING OUT OF YUKI'S TOP SECRET TOKYO HEADQUARTERS. THEY COORDINATE YUKI'S MISSIONS, HANDLE INCOMING AND OUTGOING COMMUNICATIONS, AND DESIGN HER SPACE-AGE GADGETRY.

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW!

Monday, October 26, 2009

THE BACHELOR PAD 10/23/09!

THE BACHELOR PAD 10/23/09!

HERE’S THE LATEST DOWNLOAD FROM JAVA’S BATCHELOR PAD!

PLAYLIST:


Esquivel—Mini Skirt (Theme Music)
Ray Martin—Lullaby Of The Leaves
Dean Martin—Money Is a Problem
Sam Butera—Boulevard Of Broken Dreams
Warren Barker—77 Sunset Strip
Pete Rugolo—Worse than Murder
Sammy Davis Jr.—Eee-O Eleven
Jack Constanzo—Man With The Golden Arm
Xavier Cugat—Whatever Lola Wants
Count Basie—James Bond Theme
Jonah Jones—No Moon At All
Jo Stafford—Imagination
George Shearing—Mambo Caribe
Don Ralke & His Orchestra—Yambuya
The Waitiki 7—Mood Indigo
Henry Mancini—Rain Drops In Rio
Bobby Hammack—Foggy Mist
Spy•Fi—Black Tie Spy
Sophisticats—Cat Fink
The Moon-Rays—Swingin' at theSeance
Hugo Montenegro—Come Spy with Me
Pérez Prado—Quién Será (Sway)
Martini Kings—House of Bamboo
Joey Altruda—The Brothers Go To Mothers
Kenyon Hopkins—Holland Tunnel
Lalo Schifrin—Barney Does It All
Laurindo Almeida—Mr. Lucky
Esquivel—La Paloma
Three Suns—Caravan
Tikiyaki Orchestra—Bali Hai-Ball
Don Tiki—Jungle Julie
Kava Kon—Palace of the Tiger Women
Frank Sinatra—(Love Is) The Tender Trap
Ray Conniff & His Orchestra—Speak Low
Sonny Lester—Walkin' & Strippin'
Georgia Carr—Please Come Home
Sam Fonteyn—Drama Links

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

CROSSOVERS ~ A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD

CROSSOVERS ~ A SECRET CHRONOLOGY OF THE WORLD

WIN SCOTT ECKERT

Crossovers is a massive timeline of crossover stories in which two or more fictional characters, situations, or universes are linked together in order to build the “Crossover Universe.”

Think Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula, Batman and Tarzan: Claws of the Catwoman, etc. The book has over 1,000 crossover entries and clocks in at almost 300,000 words, with introductions and forewords from Kim Newman and Jess Nevins.

It is illustrated by over 100 book and managazine covers, and contains appendices covering myriad television crossovers and alternate universes.

VOLUME 1 ~ DAWN OF TIME –1939
VOLUME 2 ~ 1940 –THE FUTURE

BLACKCOAT PRESS

FOR MORE CLICK HERE

CROCODILE TEARS!

CROCODILE TEARS!

KAREN, WHO RUNS THE EURO CRIME BLOG, HAS A SIMPLE GIVEAWAY CONTEST FOR A COPY OF THE NEW ALEX RIDER ADVENTURE, CROCODILE TEARS, BY ANTHONY HOROWITZ AT HER TEENAGE FICTION FOR ALL AGES BLOG.

SYNOPSIS:

It's just another day in the life of an average kid. If you're Alex Rider, that is. A con artist has realized there is big money in charity-- the bigger the disaster, the greater the money flow! So that is what he will produce: the biggest disaster known to man, all thanks to genetically modified wheat that can release a virus so potent it can knock out an entire country in one windy day. But Alex Rider will face whatever it takes--gunfire, explosions, hand-to-hand combat with mercenaries-- to bring down his most dangerous adversary yet.

TO ENTER CLICK HERE

THE CAT'S MEOW ~ AND SOMETHING EXTRA!




THANKS TO LOL CATS

MATT DUSK ~ GOOD NEWS CD!

MATT DUSK ~ GOOD NEWS CD!

MATT HAS A NEW WEBSITE AND A NEW ALBUM!

TO CHECK OUT MATT’S NEW WEBSITE CLICK HERE

SEE THE NEW PHOTOS, VIDEOS, TWITTER FEED, AND MUCH MORE!


WHILE YOU ARE THERE, CHECK OUT HIS NEW ALBUM, GOOD NEWS, WHICH IS IN STORES TOMORROW!

GOOD NEWS IS AVAILABLE NOW FOR THE SPECIAL PRE-ORDER PRICE OF $14.99 CLICK HERE

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THIS SPECIAL OFFER AND GET YOUR COPY TODAY!

FOR THE LATEST NEWS, STAY TUNED TO THE NEW MATTDUSK.COM!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

OSS 117 SOUNDTRACKS!

OSS 117 SOUNDTRACKS!

THANKS TO THE CRIME LOUNGE FOR POSTING THESE STELLAR SPY SOUNDTRACKS.

OSS 117: CAIRO, NEST OF SPIES


OSS 117 was born in 1949, penned by Jean Bruce. Four years before the first James Bond novel was published, this author invented an American spy of French descent employeed by the Office of Stratigic Services – OSS, the CIA’s predecessor under the number 117. The agent scours the world, from impossible missions to pretty girls. The tone is brisk; the novels mingle eroticism, action, and spying. Success will come quickly and will not be belied: 265 adventure novels translated into 17 languages, 75 million sold copies, plays, comic books, and eight movies make up the OSS 117 legend.

Almost six decades later, the manly and seductive hero, ready to confront all kinds of danger, remains one of the first publishing phenomena and a cultural icon of the sixties.

OSS 117 is the code name for Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath, a free-lancing American agent of French origin. Four films were released between 1963 and 1966, featuring scores by Michel Mange. Here, however, we have the great score to this updated, light-hearted version composed by Ludovic Bource.

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE
0SS 117: LOST IN RIO


In a second soundtrack, composer Ludovic Bource once again supplies the great retro inspired score for the sequel to the 2006 big-screen adventures of agent Hubert Bonisseur de la Bath. French comedian Jean Duajrdin once again reprises his role as the main character.

TO DOWNLOAD CLICK HERE

JAMES BOND ENCYCLOPEDIA 2ND EDITION!

JAMES BOND ENCYCLOPEDIA 2ND EDITION!

PER COMMANDERBOND.NET:

007 fans in the United States can now pick up the second edition of the James Bond Encylopedia by John Cork and Collin Stutz.

Originally released in late 2007, the first edition of this book included details on all of the James Bond films through 2006’s Casino Royale. This new edition adds in additional coverage on Daniel Craig’s second Bond adventure, 2008’s Quantum of Solace.

The title can currently be ordered from Amazon.com at a discounted price of $26.40 (34% off the $40.00 retail).

The latest edition of this explosive read exploring every aspect of the 007 story created in full collaboration with Eon Productions from Bond’s history to his style and personal tastes, get up close and personal with the world’s most sophisticated spy.

A-Z sections bring you face-to-face with every aspect of 007’s life. Meet the criminal masterminds, megalomaniac warmongers, and ruthless gangsters he’s defeated. Check out the glamorous eye-candy, jump inside the racy vehicles, explore weapons and gadgets then pick up background on key film-makers, music and musicians.

Fully updated to include new information on Daniel Craig, Casino Royale, Quantum of Solace and the future of Bond himself, with over 1,000 amazing photographs—many never seen before—that take you right inside Bond’s world. A must-read for any fan.

THE CAT'S MEOW!

ROYAL CROWN REVEU @ THE MINT!

ROYAL CROWN REVEU @ THE MINT!

You remember how good it felt to go see Royal Crown Revue
at the Derby? How it became that special place to go
where the people were cool, the drinks were great, and the
music was hot?

It's happening again! RCR is taking over the Mint, one
of LA's Coolest Clubs for three weeks, and all of our friends
especially YOU are invited! Come down and enjoy the music,
enjoy the dancing, enjoy the club, and make it your
hang.

Royal Crown Revue at the Mint.Wednesday November 18,
November 25, and December 2. Come down and see the
band featuring an expanded horn section, new charts,
and featuring Eddie Nichols and Miss Jennifer Keith
on vocals.

The 8:30 shows will feature new charts for sure, and
all the hits from over the last 20 years. This is
the best way in the world to celebrate the start
of the holiday season.

Go to
www.themintla.com for your advanced tickets and
get your butts to the MINT! We'll see you there!

PRE-HALLOWEEN ACTION!

PRE- HALLOWEEN ACTION!

ALWAYS LIKE TO CHANNEL MY INNER ALICE COOPER!