Ogden is handsome, charming, a decent husband, a World War II vet, but he's also a misogynist, a pimp, a black mailer, an adulterer, and a murderer. Ogden is in constant search of an angle, a way to fill his pockets and amuse himself by exploiting the weaknesses of those around him, particularly the women unlucky enough to be caught in his gravity.
Much like noir icon Charles Willeford, Phillips has mastered the use of sex as a weapon, a means of manipulation, as currency and blackmail bait. Yes, there are guns, the occasional knife or blackjack, but Phillips' true means of generating fear, loathing, and paranoia is fucking and the emotional ties it carries. Phillips takes these sexually charged, pitch black elements and combines them with a wry sense of humor and deadpan prose to deliver tawdry, pulpy, compulsive books meant to be read in one sitting.
I'll be blunt, you should start with The Ice Harvest. Phillips' crime novels— The Ice Harvest, The Walkaway and The Adjustment —are all loosely connected, although you can pick up any of the three and read them as stand-alone novels. But in my opinion, The Ice Harvest is one of a handful of crime novels from the late 20th century that 50 to years from now will still be read and held up as one of the best examples of crime fiction published during the period, much like The Postman Always Rings Twice and The Big Sleep.mail.mccurdycandler.com
Why The F*ck Aren't You Reading Scott Phillips?
And much like the aforementioned novels, The Ice Harvest is tightly woven and hard charging, so it's definitely the place to start. But for those of you who like to stay away from an authors best known works, I'll point you in the direction of Phillips' two non-crime novels, the Dystopian satire, Rut , and the sleazeball western, Cottonwood. Thematically, Cottonwood doesn't stray very far from Phillips' established voice in his first two novels Cottonwood 's protagonist, Bill Ogden, is the grandfather of Wayne , but it reaches a whole new level of depravity with the lawless backdrop of late 19th century Kansas adding an anarchistic, out of control vibe that drives the tension of the narrative.
Rut was a broad departure for Phillips, but not an unwelcome one. With Rut , Phillips stretched his storytelling powers and imagined a slow bleeding apocalypse, one where the end of humanity has been brought about entirely by the uncompromising greed of the few and the comfortable lethargy of the many. Both rank as personal favorites, not only because Phillips breaks from genre definition, but does so effortlessly and without compromising his dark, irreverent voice.
Keith Rawson is a little-known pulp writer whose short fiction, poetry, essays, reviews, and interviews have been widely published both online and in print. He lives in Southern Arizona with his wife and daughter. To leave a comment Login with Facebook or create a free account. Helluva guy, and quite the raconteur. Got to meet him last year over a couple of days for a Noir at the Bar event, and am actually going to see his reading tomorrow night in Lawrence, KS. Cottonwood is queued up for soon-ish reading, and I imagine I'll grab Rake at the bookshop tomorrow. This is one of the most useful columns on LiReactor.
If not for your efforts I would have never heard of some of these talented writers. Please keep up the good work. And as long as the honchos don't get bored with the column, I'll keep writing them.
The Work aka Why You Should Be Reading This Guy
Gordon - I got to meet and hang out with Scott His books were the only ones I hauled with me to Bouchercon. Keith, thanks for introducing me to this guy.
Love writers with amoral agendas. Will order Ice Harvest later. I've been wanting to read Phillips for a while now and this article makes me want to go hit up my library immediately. I was really hoping to win Rake on Goodreads recently, but didn't. Thanks for the rec Keith. Agree with Tom and couldn't have said it better.
Articles like this keep me from turning away from the LR frontpage. Always good to see amoral agendas ;. Okay, so I felt bad about not making the trip last Thursday. Louis stomping grounds over the weekend while he was on a break from the book tour.
Rum, Sodomy, and False Eyelashes by Scott Phillips
Bought a couple more of his books, and sold my fellow travelers on him as well. And as usual, he had some great stories to tell. It's probably the best LP of From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Visions of Glory, — Retrieved 20 May The Encyclopedia of Popular Music 5th concise ed. Retrieved 10 August In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. Retrieved 7 January Retrieved 12 June Top Albums of the s".
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