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Epitaph for a Tramp and Epitaph for a Dead Beat: The Harry Fannin Detective Novels [Paperback]

David Markson

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Book Description

Dec 12 2006
Before achieving critical acclaim as a novelist, David Markson paid the rent by writing several crime novels, including two featuring the private detective Harry Fannin. Together here in one volume, these works are now available to a new generation of readers. In "Epitaph for a Tramp, " Fannin isn't called out to investigate a murder -- it happens on his doorstop. In the sweltering heat of a New York August night, he answers the buzzer at his door to find his promiscuous ex-wife dying from a knife wound. To find her killer, Fannin plies his trade with classic hard-boiled aplomb. In the second novel, "Epitaph for a Dead Beat, " Fannin finds himself knee-deep in murder among the beatniks and bohemians of the early 1960s, where blood seems to flow as readily as cheap Chianti. Intricately plotted and rife with wisecracks, David Markson offers suspenseful and literary crime novels.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Shoemaker & Hoard; 1 edition (Dec 12 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593761341
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593761349
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 11.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #919,663 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Booklist

It's been a good season for rediscovering pulp fiction, first with reissues of early crime novels by Max Allan Collins (The Last Quarry) and Lawrence Block (Lucky at Cards) and now with a pair of noirish thrillers from experimental novelist Markson (Vanishing Point, 2004). In the early 1960s, before Markson made a name for himself with more literary fare, he turned out these two Harry Fannin novels, both of which observe all the hard-boiled conventions but do so with a head-turning flair for language and a surprising amount of emotional depth. The first concerns the murder of Fannin's ex-wife (the tramp of the title) and gives Markson plenty of opportunity to display the cracks in his hero's tough-as-nails exterior. Epitaph for a Dead Beat is the show-stopper, though, offering a thoroughly entertaining--campy but never out-and-out silly--look at what mainstream society considered the outrageous behavior of Greenwich Village beats. Readers expecting tolerance for alternate lifestyles will be sorely disappointed, but pulp fans will have a ball. Bill Ott
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A Rare Gem Indeed Nov. 7 2013
By M. Phillips - Published on Amazon.com
Markson's writing is moody dark and cynical. However, it has a flair for language often missing from the genre. Fannin isn't the aloof type of PI that Chandler envisioned or the blood thirsty angel of death that Spillane trotted out. He is an intelligent and caring man turned cynical by watching the world operate.

Overall the stories seem to be a missing link between the sometimes self parodying work of the Spillane generation of noir writers and the modern navel gazing (or over intellectualized) strains of detective stories. There is no lack of atmosphere or action and no excess of self analyzing. These stories are rare gems that deserve to be shared more widely.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moody noir stories July 6 2008
By Irma Wolfson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
David Markson wrote two noir novellas, the first of which is the best: moody, dark, cynical, just what one wants in a Manhattan noir story.
4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this guy for real? Sept. 23 2009
By Grumpy Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When I started reading this, I thought it must be a parody. Nobody but characters in bad TV shows and movies ever talked the tough-guy lingo the narrator and others in the book talk (I'm only reviewing "Tramp." Couldn't take any more.) But then I realized he intends for readers to take this silliness seriously. Swallowing his lumpy style is what I imagine it must be like to try to drink oatmeal. There's a detective story cliche (or 12) on every page, and at least one major plot twist in every chapter (and the chapters are short). And yet beneath it all throbs some kind of life that kept me reading to the end. However, I don't care to spend my reading time on more of this foolishness, even if it was a hoot when I first started.

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