Sunday, September 4, 2016

Gerald Elias

A graduate of Yale, Gerald Elias has been a Boston Symphony violinist, Associate Concertmaster of the Utah Symphony since 1988, Adjunct Professor of Music at the University of Utah, first violinist of the Abramyan String Quartet, and Music Director of the Vivaldi Candlelight concert series.

His novels include Devil's Trill, Danse Macabre, Death and the Maiden, and the newly released Playing With Fire.

Recently I asked Elias about what he was reading. His reply:
When I was a child I watched every TV Western under the sun, from The Lone Ranger to Maverick to Gunsmoke to Bat Masterson to Bonanza. Who can forget Cheyenne, Sugarfoot, Roy Rogers, and The High Chaparral? The Rebel, The Virginian, Yancy Derringer, and Wild Bill Hickock? Branded, The Rifleman (both starring Chuck Connors), Have Gun Will Travel, Wanted Dead or Alive, Cimarron Strip? I think I literally watched a hundred different series before I could shave. Thank God there were only a handful of stations in those days.

On the other hand, other than a modest dose of Zane Grey and Tony Hillerman, I haven’t read many Westerns. Until now. Not surprisingly, it started out watching TV: the excellent Netflix Western mystery series, Longmire. As I approached Season Three I discovered that the series is based on novels by author, Craig Johnson. So now I’m reading As the Crow Flies, and as I go back and forth between the two media I’m trying to keep my mind clear over the somewhat divergent story lines. Both, however, have me hooked. Johnson’s protagonist, Sheriff Walt Longmire, is etched firmly in the iconic tradition of the soft-spoken, craggy Western hero, willing to listen but ready to act. The setting, a small town in Wyoming on the edge of a Cheyenne reservation, provides abundant material for skullduggery and a colorful supporting cast. Like any mystery author worth his salt, Johnson pulls the reader into a different world. At times I find myself almost ready to jump on a horse and ride, and I don’t even like horses.
Visit Gerald Elias's website.

My Book, The Movie: Playing With Fire.

The Page 69 Test: Playing With Fire.

--Marshal Zeringue