Book Heaven

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Location: South Amboy, New Jersey

I am deeply involved in trying to solve the discrepancy between being interested in zen and trying to acquire all the things I've been accumulating

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

How Could I Have Missed This Book?

Since I was eighteen in 1966 when this book was first published I can probably be excused from missing it as I no doubt had more important things to do than read mysteries. It would probably have slipped by me again if not for the front cover blurb from Anthony Boucher: "A Wild Novel of Black Humor ... Wonderful." Boucher heaped even more praise on the novel on the back cover: "A mad fantasia of the Freeway Age which happens in a kind of Southern California-cubed and begins (at least) as a mystery ... Wonderful (I admire a man who can conceive a murder suspect who goes around disguised as a giant tree sloth)."

The book in question is Gascoyne by Stanley Crawford (The Overlook Press, 2005 tp $14). If you're still not convinced to seek this out, get a load of the description of what the book is about:

Meet Gascoyne, a new breed of hero, a man who spends whole weeks in his car, eats there, sleeps there, and conducts his business -- wielding power, pinching pennies, and fostering corruption -- by mobile phone as he somehow manages to drive through bumper-to-bumper traffic at fifty miles an hour. But he's found a new preoccupation, hunting down the killer -- last seen slithering away from the crime scene in a tree-sloth costume -- of his business associate and finding out how the southern California megalopolis has suddenly slipped out of his grasp.

Whoever wrote the copy for this book certainly deserves an award. How can you resist a book described like this: "A tour de force blending of genres -- Alfred Hitchcock, jungle-war novels, science fiction, mad doctor movies, Westerns, James Bond, 18th-century mock epics, Greek tragedy and hardboiled detective stories -- first published in 1966, Gascoyne is a hilarious look into a future that looks remarkably like the present."

No alligators but you can't have everything.

1 Comments:

Blogger Bill said...

This sounds like a book from the '60s, all right. Too bad about the alligators.

5:03 AM  

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