Friday, September 29, 2017

FRIDAY'S FORGOTTEN BOOKS, September 29, 2017



NIGHT TRAIN, Martin Amis

I came to NIGHT TRAIN having read only one Martin Amis book, THE RACHEL PAPERS. This is a very different book than THE RACHEL PAPERS and a very different book from the other books that preceded it. It was, I think, his ninth novel.

A female American cop, named Mike Hoolihan, investigates the apparent suicide of a young girl, Jennifer Rockwell, with everything to live for. She was also the daughter of Hoolihan's commanding officer. She is young, beautiful, has all of the assets and support Hoolihan does not. So it is this puzzle that occupies the investigation. Hoolihan makes a list of the things that would provoke a suicide and pursues them. At a certain point, a pattern begins to emerge.

Amis is able to imbue his main character with typical American cop traits. She is tough, scarred, a victim of abuse, determined.If she is able to get up every morning and face life, why not Jennifer? What makes some survive and others not. This question occupies much of the novel. 

Looking at the amazon reviews, some people faulted Amis for not writing his typical literary novel, some faulted him for not writing the typical police procedure. I credit him for writing a unique book.


Mark Baker, ANGEL'S FLIGHT, Michael Connelly
Yvette Banek, THE RIGHT SIDE, Spencer Quinn
Les Blatt, THE BODY IN THE LIBRARY, Agatha Christie
Brian Busby, REVENGE, Robert Barr
Bill Crider, THE BOOK THAT I FORGOT
Martin Edwards, THE BOX OFFICE MURDERS, Freeman Wills Crofts
Curt Evans,THE CLASSIC GOLDEN AGE DETECTIVE STORIES OF ROGER SCARLETT
Richard Horton, NEW DREAMS THIS MORNING, James Blish
Jerry House, THE WONDERFUL STORY OF HENRY SUGAR AND SIX MORE, Roald Dahl
Nick Jones, THE QUANTUM SCIENCE FICTION PROGRAM. multiple authors
George Kelley, PAPERBACKS FROM HELL, Grady Hendrix
Margot Kinberg, AMONG THIEVES John Clarkson
B.V. Lawson, DR. NICOLA RETURNS. Guy Newell Boothby
Evan Lewis, "Surrogate" Robert Parker
Steve Lewis/Barry Gardner, DEEP END, Geoffrey Norman
Todd Mason, KIT REED
Neer, ASSASSINS, Jim Eldridge
Craig Pittman (THE RAP SHEET)La Brava, Elmore Leonard
Matt Paust, FINDING MOON, Tony Hillerman
James Reasoner, THE HARPERS OF TITAN, Edmond Hamilton
Gerard Saylor, GUN CHURCH, Reed Farrell Coleman
Kevin Tipple, THE WOMAN IN BLUE, Elly Griffiths
TomCat, THE CASE OF THE APRIL FOOLS, Christopher Bush
TracyK, THE CASE OF THE ROLLING BONES, Erle Stanley Gardner
Prashant Trikannad, BOOT HILL, AN ANTHOLOGY OF THE WEST, ed. Robert Randisi

8 comments:

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

I see there is supposed to be a film version of the Amis with Patricia Clarkson playing the lead.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, thanks for reminding me of Amis' work, Patti. I need to spotlight it at some point. And thanks for including my post.

Todd Mason said...

I'm up and at 'em. Too much sadness and anger, in the face of so many gifts to us as readers.

Kit Reed and some of her peers...

Yvette said...

I've just posted my entry on the blog, Patti. Sorry to make more work for you but I've discovered that I'm better off polishing up my post on Friday morning after a good night's rest. I don't know why that should be, but since it leads to better writing on my part, I'm going with it for now. Thanks for your patience, kiddo.

Steve Oerkfitz said...

Amis is a big fan of Elmore Leonard. I wonder if that influenced his writing this novel.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes, it said that on the back. I don't think any book since is crime-oriented though.

Mathew Paust said...

The only Amis I've read was an excerpt from The Information, which I found fascinating. Yet the voice--brilliant tho condescending and, well, essentially nasty--soured me from reading anything else by him. Night Train, tho, does intrigue me.

Charles Gramlich said...

another book that is on my list to read