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MysteryPeople Pick of the Month: ‘City of Margins’ by William Boyle

MysteryPeople’s Pick of the Month for March 2020 is William Boyle’sCity of Margins. It hits shelves on March 3rd, but before you purchase it, check out what Crime Fiction Coordinator Scott Montgomery had to say about Boyle’s latest.


9781643133188_af811Anybody around me for the last twelve months heard me rave about William Boyle’s A Friend Is A Gift You Give Yourself. The mix of crime fiction and dramedy was a fresh breeze blowing into the genre. The book created some slight trepidation when I cracked open his latest, City Of Margins. I expected a strong piece of writing, but feared it would come off lesser in comparison. Those doubts vanished by the first chapter.
At first glance, City Of Margins, appears to revisit his debut, Gravesend, with him examining the impact of a crime on a Brooklyn community. This time, it is the murder of a…

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My Favorite Movies of the 2010s

My favorite movies of the decade, the ones I think about the most. I watched a lot of movies —probably a few thousand—and I’m sure I’m forgetting plenty of stuff I loved. I left TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN off because I don’t want to get into arguments about whether it’s a film or TV show, but it’s my favorite anything of the decade, century, whatever. I also limited myself to one from Paul Thomas Anderson in my top thirty-five, though he made three top ten masterpieces this decade.

FIRST REFORMED (Paul Schrader)

INHERENT VICE (Paul Thomas Anderson)

CERTAIN WOMEN (Kelly Reichardt)

YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (Lynne Ramsay)

THE IRISHMAN (Martin Scorsese)

UNCUT GEMS (The Safdie Brothers)

SOMEWHERE (Sofia Coppola)

THE TREE OF LIFE (Terrence Malick)

ON THE BEACH AT NIGHT ALONE (Hong Sang-soo)

PHOENIX (Christian Petzold)

MOONLIGHT (Barry Jenkins)

CERTIFIED COPY (Abbas Kiarostami)

CAROL (Todd Haynes)

THE HANDMAIDEN (Park Chan-wook)

LEAVE NO TRACE (Debra Granik)

THE SOUVENIR (Joanna Hogg)

THE NICE GUYS (Shane Black)

MAPS TO THE STARS (David Cronenberg)

HIGH LIFE (Claire Denis)

LADY BIRD (Greta Gerwig)

AMERICAN HONEY (Andrea Arnold)

THUNDER ROAD (Jim Cummings)

A BREAD FACTORY (Patrick Wang)

PERSONAL SHOPPER (Oliver Assayas)

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS (The Coen Brothers)

MARGARET (Kenneth Lonergan)

THINGS TO COME (Mia Hansen-Løve)

THE LOVE WITCH (Anna Biller)

THE RIDER (Chloé Zhao)

CREED (Ryan Coogler)

DESTROYER (Karyn Kusama)

4:44 LAST DAY ON EARTH (Abel Ferrara)

OUTSIDE IN (Lynn Shelton)

CHI-RAQ (Spike Lee)

BEFORE MIDNIGHT (Richard Linklater)

Others I loved: PHANTOM THREAD; THE MASTER; PETERLOO; HER SMELL; HAIL, CAESAR!; COSMOPOLIS; THE DAY AFTER; LET THE SUNSHINE IN; BASTARDS; PASOLINI; WELCOME TO NEW YORK; BONE TOMAHAWK; BRAWL IN CELL BLOCK 99; BLUE JAY; MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT; GOOD TIME; BLACKKKLANSMAN; PARADISE TRILOGY; ANIMAL KINGDOM; IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK; COLUMBUS; THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND; MEEK’S CUTOFF; BLADE RUNNER 2049; THE WOLF OF WALL STREET; SILENCE; SONG TO SONG; KNIGHT OF CUPS; A HIDDEN LIFE; TWO DAYS, ONE NIGHT; WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN; CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA; THE LOBSTER; THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER; AMOUR; SPRING BREAKERS; ELLE; ALWAYS SHINE; DRIVE; ONLY GOD FORGIVES; THE NEON DEMON; BERNIE; BOYHOOD; EVERYBODY WANTS SOME!!; DREAMS OF A LIFE; OUT OF BLUE; ANOMALISA; IT’S SUCH A BEAUTIFUL DAY; JACKIE; ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD; THE HATEFUL EIGHT; DJANGO UNCHAINED; A SEPARATION; RAY MEETS HELEN; WIDOWS; SULLY; THE 15:17 TO PARIS; THE MULE; BROOKLYN; MAD MAX: FURY ROAD; FRANCES HA; THE MEYEROWITZ STORIES; MISTRESS AMERICA; DE PALMA; LEMONADE; BLUE RUIN; GREEN ROOM; I DON’T FEEL AT HOME IN THIS WORLD ANYMORE; THE GREAT BEAUTY; THE IMMIGRANT; MANDY; CALVARY; GO FOR SISTERS; THE GRAND BUDAPEST MOTEL; MOONRISE KINGDOM; HOLY MOTORS; RUST AND BONE; TWIXT; BLEAK STREET; SUN DON’T SHINE; TAKE SHELTER; ENOUGH SAID; FROM THE HEAD; UNDER THE SKIN; THE UNKNOWN GIRL; NEBRASKA; IDA; THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL; CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?; THE FITS; ANNIHILATION; PRISONERS; FAST FIVE; GET OUT; THE LAST JEDI; NIGHTCRAWLER; ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE; PATERSON; THE GREY; LINCOLN; THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER; SUPPORT THE GIRLS; WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS; THE DEATH OF STALIN; RAW; ROAD TO NOWHERE; THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT; A STAR IS BORN; NOCTURAMA; THE INTERN; TRANSIT; KNIVES OUT; UNCLE DREW; VALLEY OF LOVE; BY THE SEA; GONE GIRL; THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO; MEMPHIS; UNCLE KENT 2; WIN IT ALL; HAPPY CHRISTMAS; I AM LOVE; CALL ME BY YOUR NAME

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My Favorite Music of 2019

My favorite music of the year. Interested to see what I missed or just don’t know about, what endures and what changes, and to spend more time with some records I haven’t gotten very deep into yet.

Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – Ghosteen

Purple Mountains – s/t

Leonard Cohen – Thanks for the Dance

Lana Del Rey – NFR!

Hallelujah the Hills – I’m You

Heather Valley – Desert Message 

Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster – Take Heart, Take Care

Karen and the Sorrows – Guaranteed Broken Heart

Sharon Van Etten – Remind Me Tomorrow

Molly Sarlé – Karaoke Angel  

Mount Eerie & Julie Doiron – Lost Wisdom, Part Two

Buddy & Julie Miller – Breakdown on 20th Avenue South

The Delines – The Imperial

The Paranoid Style – A Goddamn Impossible Way of Life

Joan Shelley – Like the River Loves the Sea

Other stuff I loved: 

(Sandy) Alex G – House of Sugar; Alexa Rose – Medicine for Living; Bonnie Prince Billy – I Made a Place; Kate Teague – s/t EP; Ian Noe – Between the Country; Bill Callahan – Shepherd in a Sheepskin Vest; Jake Xerxes Fussell – Out of Sight; Tom Russell – October in the Railroad Earth; Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars; Spencer Thomas – Hangin’ Tough; Craig Finn – I Need a New War; Heather Woods Broderick – Invitation; Weyes Blood – Titanic Rising; Rod Melancon – Pinkville; Jenny Lewis – On the Line; Bark Terminal Everything; Damien Jurado – In the Shape of a Storm; Mark Lanegan – Somebody’s Knocking; Kevin Morby – Oh My God; Will Johnson – Wire Mountain; Neil Young – Colorado; Jack Oblivion and the Dream Killers – Lost Weekend; Simon Joyner  Pocket Moon

 

Here’s a playlist with some of my favorite songs of the year: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3hCkzHw0WFMBGlalSRoAgi?si=_g-f-72oROOsqoJ5DcLSQw

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The Lonely Witness in Germany and France

The Lonely Witness came out in Germany from Polar Verlag this month. It’s beautiful. Thanks especially to my publisher Wolfgang Franßen and my translator Andrea Stumpf. Thanks also to Hanspeter Eggenberger for choosing it as Crime Novel of the Week in Zurich’s German-language national daily newspaper, Tages-Anzeiger!

The Lonely Witness also came out in paperback from Gallmeister in France. I love this cover from Mathieu Persan so much.

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My Favorite Films of 2018

Lots to still catch up on, but here are my favorite films of the year so far.

FIRST REFORMED (Paul Schrader)
YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE (Lynne Ramsay)
THE RIDER (Chloé Zhao)
THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS (The Coen Brothers)
SUPPORT THE GIRLS (Andrew Bujalski)
THUNDER ROAD (Jim Cummings)
LEAVE NO TRACE (Debra Granik)
OUTSIDE IN (Lynn Shelton)
RAY MEETS HELEN (Alan Rudolph)
NANCY (Christina Choe)
LEAN ON PETE (Andrew Haigh)
MANDY (Panos Cosmatos)
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT (Christopher McQuarrie)
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND (Orson Welles)
THE MULE and THE 15:17 TO PARIS (Clint Eastwood)
SHIRKERS (Sandi Tan)
BLACKKKLANSMAN (Spike Lee)
REVENGE (Coralie Fargeat)
CAM (Isa Mazzei & Daniel Goldhaber)

Other films I liked:
SOLLERS POINT (Matthew Porterfield)
PRIVATE LIFE (Tamara Jenkins)
THE DEATH OF STALIN (Armando Iannucci)
GEMINI (Aaron Katz)
ANNIHILATION (Alex Garland)
ISLE OF DOGS (Wes Anderson)
BLACK PANTHER (Ryan Coogler)
BLOCKERS (Kay Cannon)
PADDINGTON 2 (Paul King)
SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER VERSE (Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman)

Still need to see/looking forward to:
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST; SWEET COUNTRY; THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT; LET THE CORPSES TAN; ONE CUT OF THE DEAD; DOUBLE LOVER; THE GREEN FOG; HAPPY AS LAZZARO; ROMA; DESTROYER; ZAMA; HALE COUNTY THIS MORNING, THIS EVENING; NEVER GOIN’ BACK; EIGHTH GRADE; SHOPLIFTERS; IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK; LET THE SUNSHINE IN; FIRST MAN; GLORIA BELL; THE FAVOURITE; FATAL PULSE; TRANSIT; THE COMMUTER; WIDOWS; BLAZE; CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME?; SUSPIRIA; UNSANE; MADELINE’S MADELINE; CREED 2; SORRY TO BOTHER YOU; THE SISTERS BROTHERS; HALLOWEEN; THE OLD MAN & THE GUN; WHERE IS KYRA?; HOLD THE DARK; MOM AND DAD; JEANNETTE: THE CHILDHOOD OF JOAN OF ARC; SEARCHING; BURNING; POSSUM; A BREAD FACTORY

Favorite performances:
Regina Hall, Haley Lu Richardson, and Shayna McHayle, SUPPORT THE GIRLS
Harry Melling, Tom Waits, and Zoe Kazan, THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS
Joaquin Phoenix, YOU WERE NEVER REALLY HERE
Jim Cummings, THUNDER ROAD
Thomasin McKenzie, LEAVE NO TRACE
Edie Falco, OUTSIDE IN
Ethan Hawke and Amanda Seyfried, FIRST REFORMED
Steve Buscemi, THE DEATH OF STALIN
Andrea Riseborough, NANCY, MANDY, and THE DEATH OF STALIN
Nicolas Cage, MANDY
Charlie Plummer, LEAN ON PETE
Kathryn Hahn, PRIVATE LIFE

My favorite first-time viewings of the year (of films not released in 2018):
PERSONAL PROBLEMS (Bill Gunn, 1980)
MOONRISE (Frank Borzage, 1948)
CLUNY BROWN (Ernst Lubitsch, 1946)
TEA AND SYMPATHY (Vincente Minnelli, 1956)
CHOOSE ME (Alan Rudolph, 1984)
A NEW LEAF (Elaine May, 1971)
WILD BOYS OF THE ROAD (William A. Wellman, 1933)
SMITHEREENS (Susan Seidelman, 1982)
LOVE AND BASKETBALL (Gina Prince-Bythewood, 2000)
THE UNKNOWN (Tod Browning, 1927)

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My Favorite Music of 2018

 

My Favorite Records of 2018:
Teardrop City – IT’S LATER THAN YOU THINK
Alejandro Escovedo w/ Don Antonio – THE CROSSING
Courtney Marie Andrews – MAY YOUR KINDNESS REMAIN
John Prine – THE TREE OF FORGIVENESS
Mount Eerie – NOW ONLY
Cat Power – WANDERER
Emma Ruth Rundle – ON DARK HORSES
Andrew Bryant – AIN’T IT LIKE THE COSMOS
Charles Bradley – BLACK VELVET
Courtney Barnett – TELL ME HOW YOU REALLY FEEL

Other records I really liked:
Erin Rae – PUTTING ON AIRS; Eric Bachmann – NO RECOVER; Phosphorescent – C’EST LA VIE; Damien Jurado – THE HORIZON JUST LAUGHED; Hop Along – BARK YOUR HEAD OFF, DOG; Lucy Dacus – HISTORIAN; Low – DOUBLE NEGATIVE; J Mascis – ELASTIC DAYS; Advance Base – ANIMAL COMPANIONSHIP; Soccer Mommy – CLEAN; Mitski – BE THE COWBOY; Kell Kellum – ADDING TO THE ASHES; Swamp Dogg – LOVE, LOSS, & AUTO-TUNE; Lonnie Holley – MITH; The Gunshy – UNDEFEATED; Neko Case – HELL-ON; Okkervil River – IN THE RAINBOW RAIN; Janelle Monáe – DIRTY COMPUTER; Haley Heynderickx – I NEED TO START A GARDEN; Rhett Miller – THE MESSENGER; H.C. McEntire – LIONHEART; The Rock*A*Teens – SIXTH HOUSE; Wussy – WHAT HEAVEN IS LIKE; Marie/Lepanto – TENKILLER; First Aid Kit – RUINS; Lindi Ortega – LIBERTY; The Great Dying – BLOODY NOSES & ROSES; Anne Freeman – DAYS GO BY; Molly Burch – FIRST FLOWER; Charles Lloyd & The Marvels + Lucinda Williams, VANISHED GARDENS; The Breeders, ALL NERVE; Ruby Boots – DON’T TALK ABOUT IT; Swearin’ – FALL INTO THE SUN; Marianne Faithfull – NEGATIVE CAPABILITY; Cody Rogers – MY HEART IS THE MOST LONESOME RODEO; Richard Swift – THE HEX; Laura Jane Grace and the Devouring Mothers – BOUGHT TO ROT; Jeff Tweedy – WARM; Nathan Salsburg – THIRD; Kamasi Washington – HEAVEN & EARTH; Elephant Micah – Genericana

Favorite EPs:
Tony Molina – KILL THE LIGHTS
boygenius – S/T
Waxahatchee – GREAT THUNDER
Grouper – GRID OF POINTS
Sera Cahoone – THE FLORA STRING SESSIONS
Liz Brasher – OUTCAST

Favorite Reissues/Live Albums, etc:
Bob Dylan – MORE BLOOD, MORE TRACKS
Songs: Ohia – LOVE & WORK: THE LIONESS SESSIONS
Various – BASEMENT BEEHIVE: THE GIRL GROUP UNDERGROUND
Various – BURIED COUNTRY
Various – ALL OF THIS GOES TOO/LOVE YOU SAVE/THE TRUTH IS A LIE: AMERICAN SOUL MUSIC 1955-1972
Neil Young – ROXY: TONIGHT’S THE NIGHT LIVE and SONGS FOR JUDY
James Booker – THE LOST PARAMOUNT TAPES
Prince – PIANO & A MICROPHONE
The Paranoid Style – ROCK & ROLL JUST CAN’T RECALL + 3
Lee Bains III and Glory Fires – LIVE AT THE NICK
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit – LIVE FROM THE RYMAN
Bobbie Gentry – THE GIRL FROM CHICKASAW COUNTY and LIVE AT THE BBC
Mount Eerie – (AFTER)

Here’s a playlist I made with some of my favorite songs of the year. (Teardrop City isn’t on Spotify, but you can find their album here.)

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Yo, Ray Boy

The Pegasus Crime reissue of Gravesend is the lead review in Marilyn Stasio’s New York Times crime column today.

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Last Sunday, the great George Pelecanos mentioned that he was reading The Lonely Witness in his New York Times By the Book feature. Pelecanos has been one of my biggest writing heroes for a while now, and it’s such a big honor to see The Lonely Witness mentioned here, especially alongside all the other incredible books he’s talking about. When I was in my early twenties, I found a copy of The Big Blowdown at a library sale in Poughkeepsie. I read it and was knocked clean out. I tracked down every other Pelecanos book–at that point, it was the Nick Stefanos series, Shoedog, the rest of the D.C. Quartet, and Right as Rain. I bought every new book after that as it came out. I loved his writing for The Wire. I read every interview with him I could find and sought out the authors he recommended. The first I ever heard of Megan Abbott was because George Pelecanos recommended her books. Same goes for Vicki Hendricks, Willy Vlautin, Don Carpenter, and Newton Thornburg. He’s also great on music and movies. I can’t even start to list the stuff I listened to because he put it on a playlist or watched because he mentioned it.

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Here’s a thoughtful-as-hell review of Gravesend by Thomas Pluck over at Criminal Element. This one means a lot. Other than older books by John Fante, Salvatore La Puma, and Pietro di Donato, I never found much about the Italian-American experience that hit me the right way, and it was important to write the book I wanted to see and to get all that right. To be mentioned in the same space as Price’s The Wanderers and Season 2 of The Wire knocks me out.

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When I was 13, David Lynch’s Wild at Heart came out. I saw it and loved it and got it on VHS as soon as I could. I also tracked down the book by Barry Gifford, and it blew me away. I didn’t really know at that point that books could be like that. I’ve got lots of favorite writers, but Gifford’s been a consistent for over twenty-five years—his bio on Jack Kerouac, his film noir essays, his novels and poems and plays, his work with David Lynch, and (maybe above all) his Black Lizard line of books, which introduced me to Willeford and Goodis and furthered my love of Thompson. Anyhow, the first blurb for my new novel, A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself, is in, and I’m goddamn floored:

“One thing to appreciate about William Boyle’s process is that, not unlike the late, great Charles Willeford, he takes his time, he doesn’t rush the reader. This is a significant trait, more important than it sounds, the method of a confident writer. He builds his characters patiently, allowing them to adjust to one another, not merely throw lines to titillate the reader. In A Friend is a Gift You Give Yourself, Wolfie Wolfstein is as comfortably intact a creature as any crime writer of recent vintage has put together. I gleefully anticipate the coming of a movie or better yet a TV series in her name.” —Barry Gifford, author of Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels and The Cuban Club

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I now have an entry at the Mississippi Writers & Musicians page.

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Got to talk about dream casts for movie versions of Gravesend and The Lonely Witness over at My Book, the Movie.

 

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