Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
Buon Giorno, Amici!

Our motto ...

Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

"It always seems impossible until it's done." Nelson Mandela

Right now 6 Stella crime novels are available on Kindle for just $.99 ... Eddie's World has been reprinted and is also available from Stark House Press (Gat Books).

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Boy’s Life … American Salvage … Ripley’s Game (the movie) … New Jersey Governor ... Baseball … Emergency Update …


Boy’s Life ... a recommended read from the good fellas (not goodfellas) at Men Reading Books (who have been more than kind to yours truly). This Robert McCammon novel was written from the perspective of a young boy growing up in the small town of Zephyr, Albama. His dad is a milkman (remember them?) who (along with Cory, the narrator), after a near car crash, witnesses the other car plunging into a deep lake. When the Dad tries to save the driver he sees the man has been beaten (possibly tortured) and strangled and had been handcuffed to the steering wheel. That is the background to this wonderful book that propels the storyline to its conclusion. The real story is the growth of a young man and all that he is, as were most young boys, confronted with; love, anger, bullies, prejudice, hypocrisy, superstition, cruelty, kindness, girls, lost innocence and death. There are so many points in this novel where I was choked up (I can hear DOC now), it became difficult to read in public (where I do most of my reading—during our long commute to and from work).

The beauty of books like this one (for moi) is the nostalgic effect. Reading about Lorna Doons and Combat and riding bicycles (once something to look forward to) and all the things I can associate with my own youth, the fonder childhood memories of it, make it all the more enjoyable. Perhaps it is a generational read (our generation). I honestly don’t know anymore. My own kids (the one that does and those that don’t talk to me) had newer toys to bond with, I guess. I mean, they didn’t even think The Exorcist was scary.

Kids ...

This is a highly recommended read for all yous men (and, hell, some of yous broads might like it too). A wonderful, wonderful ultimately feel good book.

American Salvage ... also a highly recommended read but not if you’re looking to feel particularly cheerful when you're finished. This is a gripping collection of short stories by Bonnie Jo Campbell I learned about from Patti Abbott’s blog. It centers around Kalamazoo, Michigan. High unemployment, ignorance and some nasty forms of cruelty cover a lot of ground in these masterful stories: a rape victim and the polar opposite life of the girl found hiding in her closet after she's been assaulted; a yard man’s attempt to hang on to his core optimism as well as his family when things go south; a tough mother trying to make it day to day in a world of men (including her son whom seems well on his way to an all too predictable future {“Men wanted to focus on just one big thing, leaving the thousands of smaller messes for the women around them to clean up.”}; the implications of a car accident that will chill you to the bone; one man’s possible solutions to dealing with his meth addicted wife; a man with goodness some of his life has buried within him having to deal with what he sees around him (while what he accidentally does to himself with spilled gasoline and a match—so far my favorite of the bunch); a family reunion that incorporates a sharp-shooting missy and a beautiful piece of justice ... I’ve a few more stories to go but just based on what I’ve read, this collection is a MUST READ. Do it, amici.

We'll definitely be reviewing the remainder of the stories, amici ... great books deserve double exposure and we at Knucksline like the idea of pushing them.

Ripley’s Game (the movie) ... starring John Malkovich (who delivers a few classic Malkovich lines, but they are so foreign from the Patricia Highsmith character, they seem absurd after reading the books). Take a pass ... this was a genuine stinker and so off the book it pissed me off no end.

New Jersey Governor ... well, this wasn’t hard ... because Ralph Nader isn’t running for Governor in New Jersey, me and 300 of my bestist friends are voting for the socialist candidate, Greg Pason. I’ve tried both major parties and between the Democrats and Republicans is one unwashed pubic hair as far as Knucksline is concerned. Yous can have them.

As for the tub of lard DOC will be voting for ... well, notably, his aunt's brother-in-law is a convicted felon of the notorious Genovese crime family (not that that makes him a bad guy). He was appointed to the U.S. attorney’s office by DoubleYa {“Great job, Brownie”} (so, enough said), but there’s more ... Christie has been accused of using his office's role in crafting deferred prosecution agreements to award lucrative federal monitoring positions in no-bid contracts to friends, supporters, and allies. Great, just what the most corrupt state in the union needs ... another corrupt official.

Not that the Democrat (Corzine) is any better. This clown, after his departure from Goldman Sachs, earned what has been estimated to be $400 million during the 1999 initial public offering of the company. What any one man can do with $400 million is beyond me, but I'm sure all those laid off at Goldman in his wake are happy for him. Corzine has so much money he can’t relate to the constant taxing of his constituents (New Jersey is #6 in property taxes) ... taxing for the benefit of whom? Not the people, that's for sure.

Baseball ... the highlight of game three for me was watching K-Rod blowing his nose on national television. He may not be able to hit, but he sure can blow a streamer. The wife nearly upchucked her Diet Coke on that one.

“Oh, God, that’s disgusting,” she said. “I can’t watch this.”

Streamers aside, you think maybe it’s about time MLB uses instant replay? I mean how many blown calls (with a pair of extra umps) are we gonna have to suffer through before the dirtiest game in sport history (if you think the Black Sox scandal was the only series (or games) fixed you probably believe in the Easter Bunny, too) comes to terms with reality. So far there have been 3 or 4 completely blown calls in the world tournament alone. Forget Pete Rose, baseball has the same issues as the NBA and every other sport … where’s there’s a lot of green to be made, there’s corruption, end of story.

Emergency Update ... the Rangers are laying 3½ ... not to worry, they’ll win by 10.


and the DOC says ...

Really Chaz,

"his aunt's brother-in-law is a convicted felon of the notorious Genovese crime family". Are you auditioning for a job at MSNBC? Which one are you... the pot... or the kettle?

Bear in mind, this is Jersey we're talking about. That might be just the kind of street creds that he (the tub of lard) needs to push him over the top.

Concerning this Pason guy... what about him do you like the best? The fact that he's a socialist or the fact that he can't possibly win. So somehow in the two-stroke, weed-whacker engine of that brain of yours, this gets you off the hook. No matter which crook we get... it's not your fault.

"Fuhgeddaboudit, yous picked him. I voted for the commie." I'm assuming you've investigated that Pason's aunt's brother-in-law is of high moral fiber.

Nice call on the Texans, buddy-boy. Is that three in a row now? So I have another week of Old Milwaukee and peanut butter sandwiches.

Your pal,