He is the author of the crime novels Dirty Sweet, Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, and the newly released Let It Ride [Canadian title: Swap].
Last week I asked him what he was reading. His reply:
To get ready for James Ellroy’s Blood’s a Rover, I read the first two books in the Underworld trilogy, American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand. I love Ellroy’s writing, the staccato prose style fits the characters and the situations perfectly, draws me into the action completely. I also really like the way he mixes the real characters with the fictional and how he expects the reader to know the background of what’s going on (I had to look an awful lot of it up). I’m just about to start Blood’s a Rover now.View the trailer for Let It Ride, and learn more about the author and his work at John McFetridge's website and blog.
I also read Alan Glynn’s Winterland recently and really liked it. Quite different from the Ellroy, Winterland is present day and set in Dublin and the prose is quite different but there are similar themes of corruption, greed and opportunism and how far people will go to manipulate events so that they can benefit. Neither writer makes it as simple as, “people will kill for what they want,” and both go quite a bit below the surface of events and character.
Another bit of writing that has stuck with me recently were the fifty or so flash fiction pieces I read as part of the “Wal-Mart I Love You,” challenge. I found that all the stories were good and they really captured a moment in time. The thematic linking of the Wal-Mart (or any big box store, not every story was at a Wal-Mart) was handled so well. I think this may be the beginning of a new kind of literature (if I may be so bold, ha ha), kind of like those musician jam-sessions like the Rockestra, a kind of literary-jam. I hope we see more.
The Page 69 Test: Dirty Sweet.
The Page 69 Test: Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere.