Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ed McBain and the 87th Precinct

I remember scavenging through the detritus of secondhand bookstores for those priceless gems that meant so much to me in my late teens and early 20s.

At that time the gems were a mixture of dog-eared Donleavy titles from the 60s and 70s, Henry Miller, Hemingway and Ed McBain....

You might think this is an odd mixture. I don't. What you have here is wit, pathos, pace, prose and perfection. It suited my sensibilities back then. It still does.

Ed McBain's Steve Carella and his cohorts mean a lot to me. These books taught me about police procedurals, taught me how to keep the dialogue sharp and moving and how to profile my characters in a realistic manner. They were always one or two-sitting books - hard to put down, hard to forget.

I read over on the official Ed McBain site that the 87th Precinct novels might be turned into a TV series by Stanley Tucci and Steve Buscemi of Lion's Gate Productions. This would be great news. I had slightly higher hopes for the Blue Bloods series that just began recently. I'm hoping that Lion's Gate could do the right kind of magic with McBain's works - do his novels justice, for want of a better pun...

For a very interesting read on Ed's life and times, click here.

R.I.P. Salvatore Lombino, a.k.a. Evan Hunter, a.k.a. Ed McBain.

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