- Taschenbuch: 220 Seiten
- Verlag: Hard Case Crime (30. September 2004)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 0843953500
- ISBN-13: 978-0843953503
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 17,3 x 11,1 x 1,7 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 1.208.509 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Fade to Blonde (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 30. September 2004
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Max Phillips’s novels, which have included Snakebite Sonnet and The Artist’s Wife, have won rave reviews in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Esquire, and other major publications. In 2005 he received the Shamus Award from the Private Eye Writers of America for Fade to Blonde. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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Max Phillips is the co-founder of the Hard Case Crime imprint, but any publishing house with an eye for the future would have taken on Fade to Blonde. When an author like Phillips -- who usually writes meaningful mainstream fiction like The Artist's Wife and Snakebite Sonnet -- tries his hand at hard-boiled genre fiction, the end result is either going to be a joke or a classic. My wager is on the latter.
Rebecca LaFontaine turns out to be one of the more interesting femmes fatales I've met lately, if only because she's so full of surprises. Just when you think you've got a bead on her, Corson discovers something else about her -- or she confesses it, and this girl just aches to confess things, especially if they're only tangentially related to the truth and will assist in her use of her physical attributes to get her way -- that changes key perceptions about her character. (For another take on this type of sexually manipulative woman in a different setting, and from her own viewpoint, see the abovementioned The Artist's Wife.)
You can tell Phillips is a literary novelist because that little piece of story I described at the beginning is just that: the beginning. In the course of Corson's travels, he comes across more people and gets himself involved in more difficult situations than should be able to fit in these 220-odd pages. What keeps Fade to Blonde from being 500 pages is Phillips' economy with words (I'll skip the Hemingway reference, though, if you don't mind). This keeps the story moving because there are often two or more things going on at once; even when Ray is just sitting on a stool in a restaurant -- or holding one of Rebecca's marketable breasts in his hand -- dialogue (and often money) is being exchanged that moves the plot forward.
Everything eventually comes together, though in a typical "mystery" ending, where Corson discovers the mysterious thread that ties all the information together. In the end, when he goes back to his previous way of life, it's a little disappointing, but you know that he isn't likely to keep minding his own business for long. Fade to Blonde may be a little high-toned for the average pulp aficionado, but those who appreciate it will enjoy Phillips' depth of characterization and especially his ability to stick to the rules of the genre while giving it his own stamp of intellect.
This is a fast read, a white knuckle story of gangsters, hoods and a femme fatale who all suck the loner/outsider protagonist into a tough underworld. It is a trip to hell.
One of the main strengths of the novel is its author's voice, who brings something of a modern sensibility to material that could otherwise be dated. Still, the book has a vintage feel to it. The piece works and works well. If you like James Ellroy's Bop Quartet, you'll probably dig this.
The side characters are all what you'd expect from a 1950s crime novel. There are gangsters, small time hoods, wise cracking girl Fridays, world weary loyal friends and of course, stooges. All of these characters are written beautifully. None of this is cliched or fake. I kept looking at the copyright page to find the orignial publication date and was amazed to find that this is a newly published original novel. THis is an exciting book that never lets up the suspense. You will be shocked by the ending. It's the last think you'd suspect. I had a lot of fun reading Fade to Blonde and I'm going to look for more in this series.
In trying to trim the fat, Phillips sometimes cuts into the meat of the story. The result is a barely believable plot (even for a neo-noir) that resolves far too quickly. The characterization of the protagonist, Ray Corson, is overly constructed as well: He's apparently a well-read, wannabe screenwriter, ex-boxer, former bum, and current day-worker. But he doesn't read (maybe a newspaper) or write anything of substance throughout the novel. And just because someone can box doesn't mean they excel at jujitsu.
I enjoyed this book, and I would probably read more of Phillips' work because he's very good at snappy dialogue. I prefer to have stronger characters and a more believable plot. It's clear this author has a strong grasp on the genre despite the shortcomings of Fade to Blonde.
I couldn't put the book down. It's one of the best I've read in years. I ended up buying a total of five copies, for friends and family.
I hope that Max Phillips has another hardboiled crime novel on his plate. I'll be looking for one.
If this novel is any indication I'll be buying a lot of fiction from Hard Case Crime.