Thursday, September 14, 2023

A MYSTERY, CRIME & NOIR NOTEBOOK by Gary Lovisi (Stark House 2023/forthcoming in November)

A collection of short essays from Paperback Parade editor/publisher Gary Lovisi, a companion to his 2022 A Sherlock Holmes Notebook, also from Stark House, in their Reference line. Most of the individual entries run about three pages or so, and when it gets to collecting, Lovisi's lifelong passion, he can get expansive and go for six or more...illustrated with black and white images of book covers and similar items of interest (looking online, or to his video presentations on YouTube, to get the full-color experience won't be too trying). 

This book upon receipt has already proved useful to me, as Steve Oerkfitz and I were sharing our frustration the other day with the ending of the famous French film adaptation of The Wages of Fear--a brilliant film till that point--which attempts profundity by basically tossing off much of what made the film till that point riveting, almost to the point of making an existential joke of it...Steve noted that this irked him sufficiently that he preferred the later US adaptation Sorcerer. One thing I'd never had the wit to do was check the source novel of both films, by "Georges Anaud" (Henri Girard)--not the easiest of tasks, given it apparently hasn't been reprinted in an Anglophone translation since the 1950s, but Gary has a(t least a) copy, and describes the ending (which is much more a furtherance of the terms of the narrative than the Wages film chooses to be), and thus an intellectual itch is of the best results in consulting a reference work. 

Essays are reprinted from a wide array of sources, including Paperback Parade and The Armchair Detective and Ed Gorman and Lee Server's The Big Book of Noir, along with others a bit less likely, but no less engaged and enthusiastic. You are likely to find it a fine addition to your reference shelf.

and currently available:


  1. There’s a novelization of Sorcerer with the following author: “A novel by John Minahan based on the screenplay by Walton Green based on the novel ‘The Wages of Fear’ by Georges Arnaud”. Which begs the question: why not just skip the middleman a republish Wages of Fear?

  2. Thanks for the heads up! I'm ordering this Right Now!

  3. You're quite welcome, George! I suspect you're among the ideal audience.

    Well, Anon, presumably they'd have to pay "Arnaud" for the book (perhaps more than they paid Minahan), and it probably wouldn't track along with the SORCERER film. It might also be that Henri Girard didn't much care for the original English translation(s?), or the terms of its publication, and wouldn't allow for reprinting...I really have to wonder otherwise why such a novel, even if only on the reputation of the film adaptation alone, wouldn't've been reprinted at least occasionally since. We've seen even more blatant foolishness of this sort over the decades since tie-in books began...

  4. Sorry to be so remiss in taking so long to comment on this. I will be getting a copy of this. I used to get Paperback Parade and before that The Armchair Detective.

  5. Never a problem, Tracy, to make a comment "late"'s just that I've been spammed so comments on any posts past a certain time will be held for inspection (I have rec'd one on a very old post that might or might not be utterly legit, but the way it was posted on a post that has no relevance to the content of the post makes me doubt it).

    There are still good magazines of this sort kicking around, even with the passing as a print magazine of Ed Gorman's baby MYSTERY SCENE...oddly enough, they aren't taking too much effort to get on newsstands, always a wasteful process and one of sadly decreasing benefit, as the stands disappear. The revived BARE*BONES comes to mind, as does THE DIGEST ENTHUSIAST and PAPERBACK FANATIC (the latter two recently reviewed by George Kelley, the first associated with an active blog: )


A persistent spammer has led to comment moderation, alas. Some people are stubborn. I'm one.