Thursday, September 22, 2005

I'll See You In Hell

Duane Swierczynski first turned me on to this 50's pulp classic via his blog. Then he solidified his position as one of the Princes of Cool by mailing his copy to me when I expressed an interest. (This is particularly impressive because the paperback's in that dry-leaf, just-about-to fall-apart-at-the-spine condition that made me reluctant to leave it on the kitchen counter, much less abandon it to the tender mercies of the USPS. (Not to worry, Duane; I treated it with the reverence it deserves).

I just finished it, and the verdict is: this book rocks. It's got a tough, honorable hero, beautiful and highly treacherous dames, and a sadistic psycho sheriff who has to be one of the great villains of all time. He's so compelling, in fact, that, like Satan in Paradise Lost, he almost overshadows the hero. There's also a twist ending that rivals The Maltese Falcon in its irony. I'll See You In Hell could serve as the prototype for redneck noir. Thanks, Duane, for the inspiration.

1 comment:

Duane Swierczynski said...

So glad you enjoyed it, Dusty. And would seem to be a sterling example of redneck noir, wouldn't it? This reminded me a bit of Stephen Hunter's PALE HORSE COMING, now that I think about it.