Thursday, 2 February 2012

closing tabs


1. Yes, I have seen about the horrible supergiant shrimp affairs.

2. Did you write a whole long number '2' and then cut it because you thought, 'Hang on, I'm using that story elsewhere and let's not trail it'? Yes. I do that sometimes. It's a doozy, though.

3. Fly Fishing Mystery Novels. They're a thing. Almost everything is, if you look hard enough. John Galligan is the genre's Chandler. His The Blood Knot, for instance:

Galligan's rewarding if grim second fly-fishing mystery (after 2003's The Nail Knot) offers an emotionally tortured protagonist, Ned Oglivie (aka Dog), and a clan of misfits and survivors worthy of Faulkner, the Kussmauls, who coexist uneasily with each other and their Amish neighbors in remote Avalanche, Wis. Searching for oblivion on a three-year fishing trip and suffering from a vicious beaver bite, Dog is tramping through the woods one morning when he sees 10-year-old Deuce Kussmaul fire his kid-sized .22 into the body of "barn lady" Annie Adams lying in a stream. (Annie liked to paint pictures of barns.) After Deuce's mother, Eve, who's a banned Amish and a meth-user, treats Dog's beaver bite, he agrees to try to prove her son didn't kill Annie. The author brilliantly draws the Snopes-like Kussmauls while writing with flair and passion about fly-fishing, art and fate. But like J. Robert Janes's St. Cyr and Kohler series, Galligan will need to be hand-sold to reach the right audience.

(Fly Fishing mysteries via the always excellent Hang Up & Listen. Josh Levin is not a long way off being elevated to Nemesis-status.)

(My personal plan is never to write anything which 'will need to be hand-sold to reach the right audience'. Not out of snobbery, but practicality.)

That will do for now. Oh, except for this. Thank you Robert Thorogood and Tim Sutton.

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