Here Sarah Chang plays Sibelius Violin Concerto in D minor
Josh and I attended friends of ours' 30th wedding anniversary at a rather swank restaurant Friday. This fellow presided over the festivities.
Call me weird, but I love cows. I think they're beautiful and I have my eye on a book that I will be buying and reviewing before the year is out.
Well, I hope he led a good life before he met his maker.
Dark Passage by David Goodis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
David Goodis is a recent discovery and a happy one at that. I had read Shoot the Piano Player in an anthology so I was encouraged to give more of his stories a try. This one, in my opinion, surpasses Shoot the Piano Player in story and character development, suspense, and looking into the dark corners of the human soul.
Vincent Parry is condemned to life in San Quentin for killing his wife. He claims he is innocent, but his wife's dying words were that he did it. The prosecuting lawyer persuades the jury more by slaughtering the man's character than providing concrete proof.
Through a series of fortunate events, Parry manages to escape from prison and, after several close calls goes into hiding. But if he didn't kill his wife, who did?
There are many characters in this book, many suspects, and every chapter ends with a close call, leading the reader to believe it's all over for Parry.
The characters are very interesting, each of them believable, but also representing a type of person:
The woman who believes in him and wants to help him.
The woman who is psychotically obsessed with him and wants to destroy everyone and everything she can't have.
The woman who held him in contempt, even up to her dying breath, accusing him of her murder.
The man who seems to want to help him, but actually has ulterior motives.
The men who are in power to turn him in, but show a compassionate side and a surprising amount of insight and accurate measuring up of a man's real character.
Then those that are caught in the cross fire of Parry's drama and end up dead or desperate.
Goodis, himself was a desperate man. His characters are outcasts, innocent people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. Loners who must escape their misfortunes.
The best part is the writing. Parry thinks a lot and at a gun fire pace. We read his stream of consciousness throughout the book, since it is all from his point of view in limited third person.
Even though Goodis will never be ranked with Hemingway, I found his writing to be comparable and often surreal.
A movies was made of this novel, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall. I remember seeing it, but I don't remember how it ended. I guess I'll have to watch it again.
Goodis also wrote The Fugitive, which was made into a TV series and also a movie, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.
Goodis was a kind of fugitive himself. He lived with his parents and schizophrenic brother and would haunt the seedy neighborhoods of Philadelphia. His last slumming escapade ended with him getting badly assaulted. He died shortly after. Maybe Goodis wrote himself into all of his stories.
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