I'm going to freeze your face
FOR

THE

LOVE

OF

GOODIS


BY

KEN BRUEN

I love David Goodis

Love and Goodis are rarely in the same sentence

More’s the Irish-ed pity

In fact, He and love are seldom on the same page

The usual responses to his name are

Bleak

Noir

Deranged

Demented

A lot like love really

Ask most mystery writers for their influences and it’s the same tune, Chandler, Thompson

Yada yada

Yet few throw a darker, more influential shadow than Goodis.

Though he has his advocates

Lou Boxer, Greg Mills [Gillespie], Duane Swierczynski, The Philly boyos and way over in Scotland, the multi talented Al Guthrie

Their admiration, like his writing is ferocious

More power to them…….and to their labour of sheer love

Goodiscon

Few writers live’s are the very essence of noir

But Goodis, you couldn’t invent it

After a prolific career in New York as major pulpist, he returned home to Philly

…………………….to live with his parents

Jesus wept

And became a virtual recluse

He rented, in California, not a beach house but a sofa

I shit you not

Four bucks a month

In a friends house

That figure intrigues me; I would love to have heard that deal go down

Then he’d prowl

Using the sofa as a crash pad

His taste ran to fat black hookers

He paid them to humiliate him

They obliged

And not for four bucks either

His wardrobe, not there’s a story

He wore suits till they were threadbare, then dyed them blue and went right on wearing

Them

John Belushi would have loved him

And figure this, he’d carefully take the red cellophane from cigarette packets, jam it up his nose and feign nosebleeds

Then howl in pain

Jesus, who wouldn’t

The breath of his success tends to be overlooked

He published his first novel at 21 and secured a six year contract with Warner Brothers

He was only 28 when his most famous book, Dark Passage, was sold as the Bogart/

Bacall vehicle.

His fragile grasp on reality slipped with the death of his father

Then his mother died and the bell tolled, darkly

He sued the producers of The Fugitive, claiming they’d stolen his work

Next stop…………………..the asylum

By the age of 49, he was dead

What a fucking shame

I wont say waste as his writing is his testament

Most commentators on Goodis sling out, paranoia, madness, delusion

In Irish, we have the word, Bronach…………..it’s beyond sadness, beyond depression or melancholia

It is truly a soul sickness

He epitomizes that concept

His final Novel

“Somebody’s done for.”

Was published after his death

The resonance of that title is as knowing as it is heart wrenching

Few bodies of work convey urban life during the heyday of pulp as vividly as his do

Pulp began to lose it’s popularity and the sixties were for him I think, pure hell

When he died in 1967, the end of pulp was truly sealed

To watch Dark Passage………..or better…………..to read it, is to marvel at his sheer shining talent

Goodiscon is a fitting and wondrous celebration of a man, who’s mind, plagued by every malevolent spectre you can conjure, wrote, I believe, not because of them………………but despite them

I have one suit and you know…………..it might not be so bad in blue

The cellophane I’ll keep on hold

I’ve howled enough

The old people in the West of Ireland pray

Codlamh samh mo cara agus dia leat

Sleep peaceful my friend and god mind you well

Goodiscon is ensuring this is so.


Ken Bruen was a finalist for the Edgar, Barry, and Macavity Awards, and the Private Eye Writers of America presented him with the Shamus Award for the Best Novel of 2003 for The Guards, the book that introduced Jack Taylor. He lives in Galway, Ireland.

FOR

THE

LOVE

OF

GOODIS

BY

KEN BRUEN

I love David Goodis

Love and Goodis are rarely in the same sentence

More’s the Irish-ed pity

In fact, He and love are seldom on the same page

The usual responses to his name are

Bleak

Noir

Deranged

Demented

A lot like love really

Ask most mystery writers for their influences and it’s the same tune, Chandler, Thompson

Yada yada

Yet few throw a darker, more influential shadow than Goodis.

Though he has his advocates

Lou Boxer, Greg Mills [Gillespie], Duane Swierczynski, The Philly boyos and way over in Scotland, the multi talented Al Guthrie

Their admiration, like his writing is ferocious

More power to them…….and to their labour of sheer love

Goodiscon

Few writers live’s are the very essence of noir

But Goodis, you couldn’t invent it

After a prolific career in New York as major pulpist, he returned home to Philly

…………………….to live with his parents

Jesus wept

And became a virtual recluse

He rented, in California, not a beach house but a sofa

I shit you not

Four bucks a month

In a friends house

That figure intrigues me; I would love to have heard that deal go down

Then he’d prowl

Using the sofa as a crash pad

His taste ran to fat black hookers

He paid them to humiliate him

They obliged

And not for four bucks either

His wardrobe, not there’s a story

He wore suits till they were threadbare, then dyed them blue and went right on wearing

Them

John Belushi would have loved him

And figure this, he’d carefully take the red cellophane from cigarette packets, jam it up his nose and feign nosebleeds

Then howl in pain

Jesus, who wouldn’t

The breath of his success tends to be overlooked

He published his first novel at 21 and secured a six year contract with Warner Brothers

He was only 28 when his most famous book, Dark Passage, was sold as the Bogart/

Bacall vehicle.

His fragile grasp on reality slipped with the death of his father

Then his mother died and the bell tolled, darkly

He sued the producers of The Fugitive, claiming they’d stolen his work

Next stop…………………..the asylum

By the age of 49, he was dead

What a fucking shame

I wont say waste as his writing is his testament

Most commentators on Goodis sling out, paranoia, madness, delusion

In Irish, we have the word, Bronach…………..it’s beyond sadness, beyond depression or melancholia

It is truly a soul sickness

He epitomizes that concept

His final Novel

“Somebody’s done for.”

Was published after his death

The resonance of that title is as knowing as it is heart wrenching

Few bodies of work convey urban life during the heyday of pulp as vividly as his do

Pulp began to lose it’s popularity and the sixties were for him I think, pure hell

When he died in 1967, the end of pulp was truly sealed

To watch Dark Passage………..or better…………..to read it, is to marvel at his sheer shining talent

Goodiscon is a fitting and wondrous celebration of a man, who’s mind, plagued by every malevolent spectre you can conjure, wrote, I believe, not because of them………………but despite them

I have one suit and you know…………..it might not be so bad in blue

The cellophane I’ll keep on hold

I’ve howled enough

The old people in the West of Ireland pray

Codlamh samh mo cara agus dia leat

Sleep peaceful my friend and god mind you well

Goodiscon is ensuring this is so.

The above poem appeared in the GoodisCON program book.

n157584

Ken Bruen is an Irish writer of hard-boiled and noir crime fiction. His works include the well-received White Trilogy and the Shamus award-winning The Guards. In 2006, Hard Case Crime released Bust, a collaboration between Bruen and New York crime author Jason Starr. Other works of note include The Killing of the Tinkers, The Magdalen Martyrs, The Dramatist and Priest, all part of his Jack Taylor series, which began with The Guards. Set in Galway, the acclaimed series relates the adventures and misadventures of a disgraced former police officer working as a haphazard private investigator whose life has been marred by alcoholism and drug abuse. It chronicles the social change in Ireland in Bruen's own lifetime, paying particular attention to the decline of the Catholic church as a social and political power. Themes also explored include Ireland's economic prosperity from the mid 1990's onwards, although it is often portrayed as a force which has left Ireland as a materialistic and spiritually drained society which still harbours deep social inequality. This is the side of the Celtic Tiger best portrayed in Bruen's Irish-based novels. Immigration is also a theme to be found in these works.

His novel Her Last Call to Louis Mac Niece (1997) is in production for Pilgrim Pictures, his "White Trilogy" has been bought by Channel 4, and The Guards is to be filmed in Ireland by De Facto Films.

n60187

Ken Bruen was educated in St. Joseph's College in Galway city and later at Trinity College Dublin, where he earned a Ph.D. in metaphysics. Bruen travelled extensively, teaching English in many countries.