Friday, April 10, 2009

Inconvenient Corpses

Not everyone has obeyed the instruction that today should be about forgotten short stories, rather than forgotten novels. The Rap Sheet will continue with its practice of touting a “book you must read” (keep a watch on this page for further information). And blogger-critic Michael Carlson shows himself a rebel as well by reviewing a novel that I, for one, have never heard of: 1961’s Killing Cousins, by Fletcher Flora.

Carlson offers this plot teaser:
The style and tone of Killing Cousins reminded me of something Ed Gorman once said about Day Keene, that he became more flamboyant the more he wrote, and it doesn’t get more flamboyant than this. It opens with Flora explaining about Willie Hogan the most famous of all the residents of Ouchita Road, in a town called Quivera (!), more famous than a losing Republican governor or a bit-part actress, because she killed her husband. Having set it up, he doesn’t wait long to deliver: Willie is confronted by her husband Howard, prosperous because his father is the local beer distributor, and cuckolded frequently, which didn’t appear to bother him inordinately until Willie took up with his bright but ne’er-do-well cousin, Quincy. Howard confronts Willie, while she’s painting her nails, and dares her to shoot him. So she does. Then she finishes painting her nails and calls Quincy to help her dispose of the body.
His full reassessment of the novel can be found here.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Suggestions not instructions.

Michael Carlson said...

'A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds'
-Ralph Waldo Emerson