Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crime Fiction Masters: Charles Willeford

Perhaps my favorite crime fiction author is Charles Willeford, with his outstanding Hoke Moseley novels. The 1990 film, Miami Blues, starring Fred Ward as Hoke (who gets second billing to Alec Baldwin as the sociopathic Frederick J. Frenger Jr.) was a first-rate adaptation. It's a shame no sequels were made.

The book critics rightly rave:

“If you are looking for a master’s insight into the humid decadence of South Florida and its polygot tribes, nobody does it better than Mr. Willeford.”The New York Times Book Review“Extraordinarily winning. . . . Pure pleasure. . . . Mr. Willeford never puts a foot wrong.” —The New Yorker“No one write a better crime novel than Charles Willeford.”Elmore Leonard“A tempo so relentless, words practically fly off the page.” —The Village Voice“The prose is clean and tough and flows easily.” --The New York Times Book Review“A Graham Greene-like entertainment, but tougher and funnier, softened by neither simile nor sentiment. This is probably as close to the real now Miami as any thriller is likely to come.” --Donald Justice“Terse, scary, and evocative, Miami Blues is a thriller with cold blood. . . . Snap up Miami Blues.” --The Philadelphia Inquirer“Nobody writes like Charles Willeford . . . he is an original–funny and weird and wonderful.” --James CrumleyA nasty crime-comedy that’s full of casual violence, outrageous coincidences, and hilariously rude dialogue. . . . Willeford has a marvelously deadpan way with losers on both sides of the law.” --Kirkus Reviews“Absolutely brilliant in every regard–the definitive Miami novel.” --Stanley Ellin“Bone-deep satire . . . terrific.” --Publishers Weekly

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