The Book Corner
It is time honored tradition for writers; novelists, mystery writers and others, to intertwine significant political overtones into their popular style of writing. For the next period of time, I will be suggesting some books that I've found very entertaining for their stylistic quality and their political consciousness.
I will not be reviewing the books, individually. I will be giving a context in which the writers projected their works.
Everyone is welcome to suggest their favorite books.
Kurt Vonnegut's, Slaughter House-Five, Dial Press, 1969. Vonnegut's recent, untimely death brought this brilliant anti-war book back where it belongs: at the topic of its genre'. $14.00. The fire bombing of Dresden, well over 100,000 died, has been largely forgotten. This book brings that history event back to where it belongs .at the forefront of peace and anti-war readings.
Charles Todd has used the aftermath of the devastating consequences of World War I and the battle of the Somme as the overriding backdrop and story line as each mystery develops. Inspector Ian Rutledge is a survivor of the Somme. I've read:
Watchers of Time; Legacy of Death; the Murder Stone; A Cold Treachery; and, the Long Shadow. These Bantam books are all priced at a low $6.95. The size of the book is also a real old style pocketbook. Each book is around 400 pages.
The Marseilles Trilogy is the product of a brilliant mystery writer, Jean-Claude Izzo. Izzo seems to have lead the raucous, demanding life of his main character. He died a couple of years ago at the age of 55. The titles of the books are: Total Chaos1995; Chourmo 1996; Solea 1999. Izzo gives the reader an in depth description of the great city of Marseilles, France. Its French and immigrant history. Its great working class and left wing history which now has been politically captured by the right wing. Izzo's lead character, Fabio Montale's history of political activism takes the reader through a unique view of this great city. Each book is 250 pages and priced at 14.95. The publisher is Europa Editions. The French books were translated by Howard Curtis.
Ramparts Street, David Fuller. Ever wondered what New Orleans was like on and around 1900? Patterns of immigration, etc? Fuller gives you that picture through his lead character, Valentin St. Cyr. This is Harvest Book/Harcourt, 339 pages at $14.00.
Swedish mystery writers have become very popular. Kjell Erickson's, The Princess of Burundi is an old fashion mystery in the tradition of Henny Mankell and Maj Sjowall/Per Wahloo. This was translated from the original Swedish by Ebba Segerberg.
The reader gets a unique insight into Swedish life. Thomas Dunne Books. 310 pages, $12.95.
Eric Green, Reporter