Charlie's Books

Charlie's Books
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Leave the (political) party. Take the cannoli.

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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).

Friday, May 17, 2013

Trust ... The Doc … Abercrombie & Fitch … Obama's Hat Trick … Rangers-Brunettes …

Trust … George V. Higgins’ 18th novel deals with a former college basketball athlete convicted of point shaving … Earl Beale is the consummate fuck-up; a guy who can’t get out of his own way, but will do whatever to whomever for the short money. Earl is selling cars for a living these days, a job his brother got him through a few connections. Earl’s brother doesn’t trust Earl. In fact, nobody does. Earl’s reputation is well known, even to his hooker girlfriend, so when Earl decides to blackmail her best customer with pictures, the plot twisting begins. The word trust is thrown around quite a bit, sometimes in sarcasm and sometimes with conviction, but this isn’t the classic Higgins tale.
Although it was very well received by the New York Times in its review, I found Trust to be somewhat less than what I expect when reading a Higgins book. To be fair, this was my second read of Trust, but it didn’t measure up to my favorite Higgins’ novels anymore this read than it did when I first read it. Yes, there’s the classic Higgins’ dialogue throughout, but because of the lack of action, this time it ran a bit stale. And three pages of narrative, when Higgins seems to stuff it down the reader’s throats, can be mind numbing.
I found the best scenes when Earl was selling a car to two woman, a mother and daughter, or when he was up against it on the phone with the guy he’s blackmailing. A scene with a cop early on nearly turned me off enough to stop reading, as it did the first time I read Trust, but I ventured on knowing what was yet to come.
I don’t recommend Trust to anyone other than Higgins fans (we always seem to find enough in a Higgins novel to satisfy), but, sorry to say, Trust remains a bit of a disappointment to me.
The Doc and I are planning another get-together … usually, how these things work is the following: Doc comes over 10-15 minutes late, which means I’m starving. We walk across the street to get a pizza. Doc makes several caustic comments about my weight and ability to bypass the lap band. We eat (my 6 slices to his 2) before I order another pie (at this point to be delivered because I’m too full to walk across the street again), which earns another caustic commentary or two.
Doc drinks anywhere from 20-30 can of Coor’s Light (he’s watching his figure, you know) … I smoke my pipe, which he makes fun of … I drink Diet Soda, which he makes fun of … and then the Principessa Ann Marie comes home and they discuss, ad nausea, flowers.
Yes, flowers … both think they’re Laura Dern in Jurassic Park … and I make fun of them.
Close to the end of his visit, the Doc will request coffee “with a wee bit of the dew from Tullamore” (Irish whiskey) …
But to honor my dear Mick—I mean, Irish friend, I recently wrote to tell him I’m basing a character in my new crime novel somewhat on him … except I’m making him Italian (eye-talian) … and to this, Mr. Warmth wrote back:
I'd love to be in one of your books, but do I have to be an eye-talian????? You know I don't even like eye-talians.
You can't translate my witty banter into Dago.
And if my character says "fuhgeddaboudit", I'll set your yuppy Volvo on fire.
Obama's Hat Trick … or maybe it's a trifecta ... El Jefe seems to have quite a bit of water he’s trying to keep his head above. The IRS scandal … Benghazi … and the latest addition to his list of Nobel Peace Prizes, The AP scandal … nothing quite like a transparent presidency … and it isn’t looking very good that the media seems to be observing this one from the sidelines. My last check at the NY Times site (Wednesday, May 15 @ 1:10 p.m.), the AP scandal is nowhere to be found on the front page. So, as of my last double-check to make sure, I’ll classify the NY Times in the same bracket as FOX Noise.
What to do?  Simple enough ... vote GREEN and get these two loser parties on the unemployment line where they belong.
Rangers-Brunettes ... Well, we don’t do anything very easily, do we? We dropped two to the Capitals in D.C. and had to win the next four out of five ... and we did it very convincingly with a game 7, 5-0 shutout (the second consecutive shutout by the King). Boston has taken game 1 of the semi-finals, but this one was difficult to watch. We’re the better team and had out-played them, except when it counted most, in OT. They have very big people, (Chara at 6’10” and Lucic at 6’9”) ... but guess what? Lucic skates like Lurch and we were playing it safe around the big goon. It seems obvious to me that speed will crush the Brunettes of Boston ... so how about keeping speed on the ice, Torts? Give Kreider a chance to score another 5 playoff goals the way he did last year.
We’ll know more Sunday, but I still see a Ranger domination of the Brunettes ... what happens after that appears to be pretty obvious ... either team runs into the speed skating, goal scoring machine that is the Pittsburgh Penguins ... tonight the first three goals scored by Pittsburgh came from Sidney Crosby ... a hat trick by the middle of the second period. How does anyone deal with that?
What I thought my wife deserved this morning when I got to work ...