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Pick-Up af Charles Willeford
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Pick-Up (original 1955; udgave 1990)

af Charles Willeford (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
284991,555 (3.61)21
Fiction. Literature. Mystery. HTML:Charles Willeford??s gritty second novel, a hardboiled California noir that is equal parts cynical and lovingly human, a tribute to its genre yet startlingly unique

First published as an unheralded paperback original, Pick-Up is an authentic underground classic, an explosive bulletin from the urban underbelly of mid-1950s America. It was Charles Willeford??s second novel, after a rough and wandering earlier life that had taken him from Depression-era hobo camps and soup kitchens to wartime battlefields.

The unblinking story of two lost and self-destructive drifters??a failed painter working as a counterman in a cheap diner and a woman in flight from domestic violence??trying to find a place for themselves in the back streets of San Francisco, Pick-Up is hardboiled writing at its nihilistic best: Willeford??s preferred title for the book was Until I Am Dead. Its bleak vision of life beyond the edg
… (mere)
Medlem:timkellly
Titel:Pick-Up
Forfattere:Charles Willeford (Forfatter)
Info:Vintage (1990), 166 pages
Samlinger:read, Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Pick-Up af Charles Willeford (1955)

  1. 00
    The Expendable Man af Dorothy B. Hughes (sturlington)
    sturlington: The conceit of these two books is similar, although the Hughes novel is a better read.
  2. 00
    The Burnt Orange Heresy af Charles Willeford (sturlington)
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» Se også 21 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
Superb! Utterly fantastic writing, character development, and plot. ( )
  kimberlyrivera1473 | Sep 23, 2020 |
Willeford was unique and this book is no exception. It reads more as an existential novel about two people who reject society and love each other deeply. His writing is strong as usual, but it didn't work for me, and the infamous twist ending is still twisting my mind. I can see it, except in how others reacted. But it's no more of a fantasy with the twist or without. ( )
  ThomasPluck | Apr 27, 2020 |
A failed artist, now a down-and-out alcoholic living in San Francisco, picks up another drunk and together, the two spiral down into despair.

This novel is billed as noir crime, and while it is just on the edge of being crime fiction, it is definitely noir. The San Francisco setting is a seedy one filled with bars, deserted streets late at night, greasy diners, and, inevitably, jail. Harry, the narrator, was once a promising artist, but after labeling himself a failure at painting, he takes to drinking, surviving on the scant money he makes from odd jobs. He meets another drunk in the diner where he works, picks her up, and starts a relationship that seems to accelerate them both straight to rock bottom. It's easy to see where this is going, although in the end, I think Harry got off lightly.

The thing about Harry is that, despite all his failings, most people he meets seems to treat him pretty well and like him. He's drunk most of the time, looking for alcohol the rest, constantly starting and quitting jobs, and even gets in a couple of very violent bar fights, but he comes off all right. Truthfully, he's harder on himself than the people he knows are. There is a twist at the end, which makes Pick-Up something of a mystery, but I thought it was a gimmicky twist, and it didn't add much to Harry's character for me. I certainly didn't see how it made any difference in his story, which I found somewhat unbelievable. Harry constantly denies he's an alcoholic, which is fine, but when he is forced to stop drinking by his circumstances, he suffers no ill effects, which I didn't buy. I also didn't think he would get out of his fix as easily as he did. Perhaps the point of this novel is that Harry is such a failure that he even fails at failing. Regardless, it's a slight book that didn't make a huge impact on me. ( )
  sturlington | Jul 29, 2014 |
Flawed but interesting story about an alcoholic couple - one a depressed painter, the other an errant woman. The much-discussed surprise at the very end came across as an afterthought, and didn't do much to alter the story (though it does make you wonder whether Black Lizard's editors even read the book when they chose the cover for their edition). With a little careful editing this could have risen from pulp fodder to existentialist classic. ( )
1 stem giovannigf | Jan 26, 2014 |
Harry Jordan, 32, is a down-and-out alcoholic working as a counter man in a diner when he meets 33 year old Helen Meredith. There is an instant attraction. While Harry doesn't relish the idea of being a drunk, he can spot one a mile away, and Helen is just his type. They soon strike up a pitiful relationship. Both are out of work, both have severed ties with family and friends. The only thing they have together is a love for the bottle. When Harry decides suicide is their only way out things go from bad to worst. Deep down, Harry is a decent man who feebly attempts to do the right thing and never succeeds. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Oct 29, 2013 |
Viser 1-5 af 9 (næste | vis alle)
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Fiction. Literature. Mystery. HTML:Charles Willeford??s gritty second novel, a hardboiled California noir that is equal parts cynical and lovingly human, a tribute to its genre yet startlingly unique

First published as an unheralded paperback original, Pick-Up is an authentic underground classic, an explosive bulletin from the urban underbelly of mid-1950s America. It was Charles Willeford??s second novel, after a rough and wandering earlier life that had taken him from Depression-era hobo camps and soup kitchens to wartime battlefields.

The unblinking story of two lost and self-destructive drifters??a failed painter working as a counterman in a cheap diner and a woman in flight from domestic violence??trying to find a place for themselves in the back streets of San Francisco, Pick-Up is hardboiled writing at its nihilistic best: Willeford??s preferred title for the book was Until I Am Dead. Its bleak vision of life beyond the edg

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