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).

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Wettest County in the World ... Rangers-Devils-Kings ... the Heat is on ...


The Wettest County in the World, Matt Bondurant ... This is a hell of a novel, as hardboiled as it gets and yet equally as poignant.  It is a fictionalized version of a true story that involves the author’s family (his grandfather and granduncles).  Hard men living in hard times doing what it takes to get along; what the people of Franklin County, Virginia have been doing forever—making white lightning and then running it for sale; backwoods entrepreneurs handling production and distribution.

The similarities to Cormac McCarthy are there, as are some touches of Faulker (who is mentioned by the fictional Sherwood Anderson, a character in the novel in Franklin County working a newspaper piece and getting nowhere fast).  There is some wonderful history told in this novel; reflections on the depression and a particular rain drought that makes tough times a lot tougher, but it is the story of the Bondurant Boys that is most engaging.  The sons of Granville Bondurant are Forrest, Howard and Jack.  Each is haunted by different demons that involve guilt of one kind or another, but it is an iron will to survive at the core of these men.  For the eldest two, violence is the skill by which they persevere; a determination to live free and unhindered by laws and/or the machinations of a moonshine mafia; a group of men seeking tribute for protection.  The youngest, much less inclined to kill and/or partake in the violence necessary for vengeance, flirts with the desires of the material world (purchasing clothes & cars with each new score), but there is a need of something greater that ultimately drives Jack, a life with love.
No spoilers here, but the suspense is heightened by back and forth jumps in time and writing that speaks to brilliance.  The Anderson character’s several hints about the dissolution of an American society hell bent on progress; the diminishment of man’s creativity born of passion and sweat as he is forced to join assembly lines and the marching drone of progress.  One cannot help but see how this will ultimately lead to a society ruined by credit default swaps and derivatives; ultimately, a loss of self to industry in the name of progress.
This was a wicked good read, Amici.  It is highly recommended.

Here’s the trailer:

Rangers-Devils-Kings ... I just finished watching the first period of the Rangers-Devils and it’s picked up where it left off; the Devils obviously wanting it more than the Rangers (certainly playing harder).  I’m thinking it’s gonna take somebody on the Rangers to drop Kovalchuk ... or put some step in their skates (?) ... hey, what do I know.  I know football, not hockey.
So somebody was listening and Prust took a wicked cheap shot at Kovalchuk ... the Rangers responded with some fire ... but still no score and how many times do we really think Kovalchuk will miss some of those wide opens shots he’s finding?  Period three starts soon ...

And what’s all this hockey “one timer” speak.  A “one time” (drop the “R”) to moi is center of the craps table prop bet (2, 3, 7, 11, 12) or any combination thereof (i.e., aces, snake eyes, ace-duce, yo ’leven, boxcars and BIG RED ... or, if you prefer, Hi-low, any craps, horn and a world bet).
Bottom line, from what I’ve been watching throughout these playoffs, I don’t see anybody beating the Kings ... hopefully our guys (Rangers) will get their act together and start playing with some desperation (rather than waiting until they lose and go down 2-1, then 3-1 and are truly desperate).

And isn’t it fun watching the Heat take it on the chin?  I doubt the Pacers will hold serve again domani, but I’ll sure be rooting them on.


Sing it, Francis Albert ...