Saturday, August 11, 2007

Brian Garfield

I'd been wondering what Brian Garfield was up to. Now I know, thanks to an interview that Steve Hockensmith did with him for AHMM. It's available for limited time here.


  1. Glen Davis1:00 PM

    I have to admit, I read Death Sentence several years ago and got a completely different point than Garfield was trying to make.

    Instead of "Vigilantism is not the solution, it is another problem," I thought is was a response to critics who at the time were calling him a fascist and a reactionary and so forth by making the villain, a rival vigilante a liberal college professor who was one of Kersy's biggest detractors in the news shows. I thought the point was that the left wing types were as in love with violence and mayhem as the right (Yeah, I watched Bily Jack)and were hypocrites for panning his book for condoning violence.

  2. Todd Mason1:55 PM

    Depends on which leftists you refer to, Kemosabe. There's as much diversity there as in the center or the right.

  3. Anonymous4:21 PM

    Many thanks for the link. And to Steve Hockensmith for doing the interview. I had no idea that Garfield had a new book available. I'll order it immediately - not from Amazon - but through one of my local independents.

    I heartily recommend the Criterion Collection edition of Hopscotch, the movie. In my opinion, one of the most underrated and unappreciated films of the last 27 years.

    I also recommend the books of Brian Garfield, a writer too good to be forgotten. It's very good news that he may have more books coming.

    Steve Stilwell

  4. Steve, I agree. Garfield is one of the "forgotten" writers that more people should be reading. I think the new book might be nonfiction, but I'll check it out and see.

  5. Garfield discusses the genesis of _Death Wish_ in _I, Witness_ (1978; an interesting book that features personal encounters with crime by various MWA members--eg, John Ball, Lawrence Block, Christianna Brand, John D. MacDonald). Essentially, his car was vandalized, and that set his mind in motion re taking revenge on the page. It's telling that he wrote Westerns before his suspense works; a straight line can probably be drawn from the Western frontier to Kersey's urban landscape.

  6. Todd Mason9:27 PM

    And, just for the hell of it, I'll note that it's in the October issue of AHMM in Hockensmith's column...with an impressive lineup of writers, Loren Estleman leading the pack. Meanwhile, the Oct/Nov EQMM is ridiculous, with Bill too modest to number NASTY BRUTISH AND SHORT among the multi-author blogs in his column and a fiction lineup from Estleman, bumped from the cover to give a nudge to an EQMM discovery who's just published her first novel, Block, Pronzini, Muller, Clark Howard, Gorman, and a first EQMM story by little-magazine institution Sheila Kohler...whose contributions to the likes of ONTARIO REVIEW and BOULEVARD sometimes wouldn't've been too out of place in MANHUNT in the good years. I'm about to go tuck into that now.

  7. And I, as EQMM does regularly, took Mr. Hoch for granted. If F&SF could advertise Asimov on every cover, surely its old stablemate could be as gracious...

  8. I've read the Block, Gorman, and Howard stories. Good stuff, and an impressive issue, all right.

  9. A James Powell, too. Goodness.