No. 1000


Man, I’m really excited about this. Gravesend is coming out in France on March 30th from Rivages (translated by Simon Baril, who has also translated Peter Temple and Marilynne Robinson). They’ve chosen it to be #1,000 in their noir collection, which coincides with their 30th anniversary. #1 was Jim Thompson’s Recoil. #100 was James Ellroy’s The Black Dahlia. I’m honored beyond words. I’ll be in Paris for the release and Lyon for Quais du polar right after. I’m really not sure what to say. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me as a writer and one of the things I dreamed about right after Eamon was born when I was plugging away on Gravesend in the mornings before work and in whatever little spare time I had.


Sick of Doing Straight Time

One of my favorite movies, STRAIGHT TIME, is on TCM tonight/tomorrow morning at 1:30 a.m. Eastern (h/t Kent). Here’s a piece I wrote about it a few years ago.

Goodbye Like A Bullet


William Boyle

Directed by Ulu Grosbard and based on Edward Bunker’s novel No Beast So Fierce, written while Bunker was in prison, Straight Time (1978) is meandering and quietly brilliant in a way that’s representative of the movies we’re concerned with here.

Dustin Hoffman plays paroled criminal Max Dembo. Fresh out of prison, Dembo aims to live honestly, but he’s thrown off course by shitty parole officer Earl Frank (M. Emmet Walsh). At an employment agency, he meets Jenny Mercer (Theresa Russell), who helps him find work and is charmed by his honesty. Dembo catches up with an old pal, Willy Darin (Gary Busey), a decision that stomps out his efforts to live straight. Willy shoots heroin in Dembo’s room and leaves behind a book of matches that Frank finds on an unannounced visit. Frank accuses Dembo of shooting up even though there’s no…

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