- Taschenbuch: 203 Seiten
- Verlag: Hard Case Crime; Auflage: Reprint (6. März 2005)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 084395356X
- ISBN-13: 978-0843953565
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 10,8 x 1,3 x 17,8 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 1 Kundenrezension
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 2.412.304 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
Home Is the Sailor (Hard Case Crime (Mass Market Paperback)) (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 6. März 2005
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Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
One of the leading paperback mystery writers of the 1950s, Day Keene also wrote for radio, television, movies, and pulp magazines. In addition to creating some of the most memorable noir nightmares ever published, Keene (real name: Gunnar Hjerstedt) also wrote widely praised mainstream novels such as Chautauqua, which was the basis for the Elvis Presley movie The Trouble With Girls. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.
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Home Is The Sailor is a 1952 book that has more recently been republished by Hard Case Crime. From page one, it is an emotionally powerful book that moves along with breakneck speed. Not all the scenes take place at night, but it sure feels as if the sky was dark and brooding on every page of this book.
Swen Nelson, the "Swede," has been working the merchant marine for three years and saving every penny. He has a $12,000 stake and, when his ship docks at San Pedro, he is tired of hearing every tramp in every port in the world asking, hey sailor, are you lonely. Swede is going to take his stake and return to Hibbing, Minnesota, where he once upon a time lived, but hasn't any family there anymore. He is going to get married and buy a farm and settle down. Of course, this being a 1950's noir crime novel, the reader knows Swede will never make it to Minnesota and never settle down, but it's a nice idea while it lasted. Swede buys his bus ticket and has a few drinks in a bar before getting involved in a craps game. He's accused of cheating and, when someone swings at him, he has to defend himself as he has done in ports all over the world and, a few punches later, a man is nearly dead at his hands.
Swede wakes up in motor court motel somewhere on the California coast and isn't real sure how he got there, but there's the most beautiful little blonde he has ever seen in the room with him. A few more drinks and he wakes up with his stake gone and the blonde nowhere to be found. He's been taken by this hussy and he is going to find her and get his stake back.
Although Swede is warned to shove off for his own good, he finds out that the blonde, Corliss, owns the motor court motel, and that she took him out of the bar for his own protection because it sure looked like someone was going to take this sailor out on leave for his roll. His stake is safely in the motel safe. And, he shouldn't have been pawing Corliss either, cause she wasn't just a street tramp, but someone who did him a favor and looked out for him. Thus, begins an incredibly passionate love affair as Corliss does Swede one favor after another and they fall for each other. There are a lot of scenes that are fairly risqué for the times.
Without giving away the story, one can merely say that it's as powerful as anything written in the pulp era and there's no soft slow lead-in. The story starts with Swede recovering from his bender and getting thrown in jail and there is no pause in the action.
Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys reading Gil Brewer, Charles Willeford, and the ilk.
I'd never heard of Day Keene before, but apparently he's somewhat well-known in this genre. His best-known creation is PI Johnny Aloha, who was featured in two novels. After reading "Home Is the Sailor," I'm definitely interested in searching out some of Keene's other works. The plot here is fairly predictable but the writing is peppered with enough noir goodness to overlook that problem. Clever lines such as, "I drank from the neck of the bottle, using the rum as insecticide to drown the butterflies in my stomach" demonstrate that Keene had some real talent. At times, the language is surprisingly peppery for a 1950s novel, although Keene doesn't descend into vulgarities. "Home Is the Sailor" is a quick read that may just be my favorite of the seven Hard Case Crime books I've read so far.
This review is for the Kindle version. The cover is spectacular and looks great in color on the Kindle Fire; it obviously loses impact on the non-color earlier Kindles. Hard Case Crime always does a nice job transferring their books to e-book format, and "Home Is the Sailor" is a prime example. I found few obvious errors -- mostly a few added "Z" characters at the end of quotes (perhaps a total of ten in the novel).
The story follows a seaman who quits the sea after two decades of sailing and plans to move back home, get married, and buy a farm. What he does do is get in trouble in Southern California, get married, and nearly buy the farm. The one the Grim Reaper runs.
I thought Keane did a great job with the mindset of the protagonist. That's hard to do because the guy is so often blotto. I also think he did a nice job with many of the side characters. The dialog is fresh, fast paced enough to draw us in, slow enough to reveal some nuances.
There's a side plot which eventually merges with the mai narrative. I thought it came in just a bit too obviously, but it did make for a bang-up ending.
If you're new to Day Keane, don't just stop here.
The narrator/protagonist is Swen Nelson, a stereotypic drunken sailor. Swen, or Swede as he seems to prefer to be called, finds what he thinks is love in the form of Corliss Mason, a young, sharp looking, widowed motel owner. But even through his lovesick, rum besotted haze, he gets the distinct impression he is being used as a patsy.
Home is the Sailor is, at its essence, a crime story with plenty of hardboiled action and terse, no nonsense dialogue. The plotting is a bit haphazard and the characters are poorly fleshed out. Still, for aficionados of hardboiled crime, Home is the Sailor qualifies as a worthwhile, fun read.