Thursday, March 28, 2013

Variations on a Meme

As hard as this is to believe, it was a full five years ago next month that Derringer Award-winning short-story writer Patricia “Patti” Abbott suggested it might be fun--and perhaps even a bit enlightening--for the Web’s growing ranks of book bloggers to recommend, each Friday, “books we love but might have forgotten over the years.” That proposal has since generated many thousands of posts about unjustly neglected works of fiction and non-fiction, including 122 such write-ups (so far) in The Rap Sheet.

With the fifth anniversary of this meme coming right up, on April 25, Abbott mentioned to me that we really ought to celebrate. And the best way, of course, would be to produce a plenitude of brand-new posts building on the original idea. So, here’s an invitation: If you’ve never contributed your opinions to the Web-wide “forgotten books” series, or even if you have done so many times before, we hope youll take the opportunity next month to write about an unjustly neglected or insufficiently championed book from the past. The optimum time to post your contribution would be between Monday, April 22, and Friday, April 26.

If you don’t have a blog of your own in which to publish, Patti Abbott says she’ll be happy to accept any and all submissions along these lines; simply drop her an e-mail note explaining your intentions here. I would also be glad to receive new “forgotten books” posts for The Rap Sheet, though I prefer that those focus on works of crime, mystery, or thriller fiction. Please contact me here with specifics on which book you would like to address, but try to do so by Friday, April 19.

A complete list of fifth-anniversary additions to the “forgotten books” series will be posted in Abbott’s blog, Pattinase, on April 26.

Finally, to give you a sense of the variety of treats this meme has produced since April 2008, here’s a rundown of The Rap Sheet’s contributions, the first of which appeared on May 2, 2008. Following each book title and author name, I’ve identified (in parentheses) the person who commented on the work:

Tapping the Source, by Kem Nunn (Steve Nester)
Bimini Run, by E. Howard Hunt (Steve Nester)
True Confessions, by John Gregory Dunne (Steve Nester)
Billy Phelan’s Greatest Game, by William Kennedy (Steve Nester)
Cut Numbers, by Nick Tosches (Steve Nester)
Shaft Among the Jews, by Ernest Tidyman (Steve Aldous)
The Egyptian Cross Mystery, by Ellery Queen (Tony Hays)
The Labyrinth Makers, by Anthony Price (Jim Napier)
The Dead Lie Still, by William L. Stuart (J.F. Norris)
The Man with a Load of Mischief, by Martha Grimes (Dana Cameron)
New Hope for the Dead, by Charles Willeford (Kevin McCarthy)
An Unsuitable Job for a Woman, by P.D. James
(Kristine Kathryn Rusch)
Money, Money, Money, by Ed McBain (Richard L. Pangburn)
Street of the Lost, by David Goodis (Michael Lipkin)
Doctor Frigo, by Eric Ambler (James Thompson)
Rose, by Martin Cruz Smith (Ann Parker)
A Gypsy Good Time, by Gustav Hasford (Dan Fleming)
Breakheart Pass, by Alistair MacLean (J. Kingston Pierce)
Up at the Villa, by W. Somerset Maugham (Sam Millar)
The Prone Gunman, by Jean-Patrick Manchette (R.J. Ellory)
The Other Girl, by Theodora Keogh (Steven Powell)
Diva, by Delacorta (Ronald Tierney)
The Iron Gates, by Margaret Millar (Patti Abbott)
Tony and Susan, by Austin Wright (Maxim Jakubowski)
The Song Dog, by James McClure (Stanley Trollip)
Caleb Williams, by William Godwin (Andrew Taylor)
Drink to Yesterday, by Manning Coles (Irene Fleming)
Thumbprint, by Friedrich Glauser (Patrick Lennon)
The Black Path of Fear, by Cornell Woolrich (Thomas Kaufman)
Blanche on the Lam, by Barbara Neely (Naomi Hirahara)
The Zimmerman Telegram, by Barbara Tuchman (J. Sydney Jones)
Murder Fantastical, by Patricia Moyes (Jim Napier)
Death of a Peer, by Ngaio Marsh (Les Blatt)
Shoot, by Douglas Fairbairn (Mike Dennis)
Train, by Pete Dexter (David Thayer)
The Great Zapruder Film Hoax, by James H. Fetzer (Michael Atkinson)
The Adventures of Max Latin, by Norbert Davis (Ed Lin)
Swag, by Elmore Leonard (Mike Dennis)
Build My Gallows High, by Geoffrey Homes (Thomas Kaufman)
Light of Day, by Eric Ambler
(Leighton Gage)
Alley Kat Blues, by Karen Kijewski (Karen E. Olson)
The Most Dangerous Game, by Gavin Lyall (Calum MacLeod)
The Saint-Fiacre Affair, by Georges Simenon (Matt Beynon Rees)
The Body on the Bench, by Dorothy B. Hughes (Jeri Westerson)
The Drowner, by John D. MacDonald (Ace Atkins)
Dead Man Upright, by Derek Raymond (Ray Banks)
I Was Dora Suarez, by Derek Raymond (Cathi Unsworth)
How the Dead Live, by Derek Raymond (Russel D. McLean)
The Devil’s Home on Leave, by Derek Raymond (John Harvey)
He Died with His Eyes Open, by Derek Raymond (Tony Black)
The Staked Goat, by Jeremiah Healy (Libby Fischer Hellmann)
Nightmare Alley, by William Linday Gresham (Kelli Stanley)
The First Deadly Sin, by Lawrence Sanders (L.J. Sellers)
The Dolly Dolly Spy, by Adam Diment (Tom Cain)
Freak, by Michael Collins (Russell Atwood)
Who Killed Palomino Molero?, by Mario Vargas Llosa
(Marshall Browne)
The Cracked Earth, by John Shannon (Dick Adler)
The Last One Left, by John D. MacDonald (Bill Cameron)
Room to Swing, by Ed Lacy (Art Taylor)
Someone Is Killing the Great Chefs of Europe, by Nan and Ivan Lyons (Jeffrey Cohen)
Solomon’s Vineyard, by Jonathan Latimer (Mike Ripley)
Modesty Blaise, by Peter O’Donnell (Vicki Delany)
Modus Operandi, by Robin W. Winks (Stephen Miller)
The Eighth Circle, by Stanley Ellin (J. Kingston Pierce)
The Woman Chaser, by Charles Willeford (Kathryn Miller Haines)
The Friends of Eddie Coyle, by George V. Higgins (William Landay)
GBH, by Ted Lewis (Ray Banks)
The Criminal, by Jim Thompson (Nate Flexer)
Trent’s Last Case, by E.C. Bentley (Stefanie Pintoff)
The Depths of the Forest, by Eugenio Fuentes (Ann Cleeves)
Putting the Boot In, by Dan Kavanagh (Michael Walters)
Switch, by William Bayer (Col Bury)
Sympathy for the Devil, by Kent Anderson (John Shannon)
The Quiet Strangers, by John Buxton Hilton (Stephen Booth)
Raffles: The Amateur Cracksman, by E.W. Hornung (Chris Ewan)
No Orchids for Miss Blandish, by James Hadley Chase
(James R. Benn)
War Against the Mafia, by Don Pendleton (Matt Hilton)
Daddy Cool, by Donald Goines (Gary Phillips)
Edith’s Diary, by Patricia Highsmith (Jason Starr)
Night of the Panther, by E.C. Ayres (J. Kingston Pierce)
Death of a Unicorn, by Peter Dickinson (Keith Raffel)
The Andromeda Strain, by Michael Crichton (Anthony Rainone)
The Bigger They Come, by A.A. Fair
(J. Kingston Pierce)
Death of a Citizen, by Donald Hamilton
(Rob Kantner)
The Double Take, by Roy Huggins
(J. Kingston Pierce)
The Overseer, by Jonathan Rabb
(Simon Wood)
A Coffin for Dimitrios, by Eric Ambler
(Ali Karim)
The Scarf, by Robert Bloch (John Peyton Cooke)
The Ebony Tower, by John Fowles (Michael G. Jacob)
The Grifters, by Jim Thompson (Chris Knopf)
A Clubbable Woman, by Reginald Hill (Simon Wood)
The Bloody Bokhara, by William Campbell Gault (David Fulmer)
Journey into Fear, by Eric Ambler (Charles Cumming)
Despair, by Vladimir Nabokov (Robert Eversz)
Marathon Man, by William Goldman (Linwood Barclay)
Mayhem, by J. Robert Janes (Cara Black)
The Caves of Steel, by Isaac Asimov (Jane Finnis)
The 12:30 from Croydon, by Freeman Wills Crofts
(Dolores Gordon-Smith)
The Golden Crucible, by Jean Stubbs (Amy Myers)
Rilke on Black, by Ken Bruen (Tony Black)
The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey (Judith Cutler)
Nine Times Nine, by Anthony Boucher (Jeffrey Marks)
The Three Coffins, by John Dickson Carr (Edward Marston)
Some Must Watch, by Ethel Lina White (Mary Reed)
The Golden Gate Murders, by Peter King (Anthony Flacco)
The Big Bow Mystery, by Israel Zangwill (Will Thomas)
Coffin’s Got the Dead Guy on the Inside, by Keith Snyder
(Timothy Hallinan)
The Twisted Thing, by Mickey Spillane (Max Allan Collins)
The Falling Man, by Mark Sadler (Robert J. Randisi)
Don’t Cry for Me, by William Campbell Gault (Ed Gorman)
No Human Involved, by Barbara Seranella (Louise Ure)
Watcher in the Shadows, by Geoffrey Household (Mike Ripley)
Cutter and Bone, by Newton Thornburg (Kirk Russell)
Funeral in Berlin, by Len Deighton (Tony Broadbent)
God’s Pocket, by Pete Dexter (David Corbett)
Chinaman’s Chance, by Ross Thomas (Tim Maleeny)
I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier (Steve Hockensmith)
The Honest Dealer, by Frank Gruber (Dick Lochte)
When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes, by Lawrence Block (Dick Adler)
The January Corpse, by Neil Albert (Kevin Burton Smith)
The Lunatic Fringe, by William L. DeAndrea (J. Kingston Pierce)
Memoirs of an Invisible Man, by H.F. Saint (Ali Karim)

1 comment:

Michael Gregorio said...

Hi, Jeff. Did you read YARDIE by Victor Headley? See: http://www.michaelgregorio.it/16-Blog.html