Wednesday, November 12, 2008

James Crumley - RIP - some chance

There are a handful of writers I have followed closely and consumed, devoured, everything they've written. James Crumley is one. His hard boiled American crime novels aren't light reading, they pack a punch and grip you from the start. He also lived his life as hard as some of his characters.

I went to a book signing in London once where he just sat there and ripped through a few tins of beer. He invited everyone there to drop by and visit him if they ever made it to Missoula, Montana - "my phone number is listed". Top man.

Crumley died recently after a full life. There are some fulcome obituaries here, here and here.

Anyone who can write an opening line as good as this deserves such accolades: "When I finally caught up with Abraham Traherne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts, in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon."

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