Thursday, May 29, 2008

Forgotten Books: THE HOT-SHOT -- Fletcher Flora

"My old man was a bum, and my old lady was a slob, and chances are I'd be a slob and a bum both if it wasn't for this God-damn crazy game."

So says Skimmer, the narrator of The Hot-Shot in the book's opening paragraph. This is sort of a crime novel, and in a way it's sort of like Revenge, the book I mentioned last week. It's narrated by a sociopath who thinks he's a fine person and who uses others any way he can to further his own ends. The difference is that he's a basketball player, a guy who discovers more or less by accident that he has a remarkable talent for the game.

And another difference is that Flora, in a move that amuses me now as much as it did when I first read the novel, pretty much steals the voice of Skimmer directly from Holden Caulfield, a neat trick if you can do it, and Flora pulls it off.

The book's only 127 pages long, but it has the tiniest print I've ever seen in a paperback. Avon did this a couple of times, including once in a Henry Kane novel. Don't let the print stop you, though. This one is black-hearted fun.

Patti Abbott will have a list of other folks blogging about forgotten books today.

9 comments:

pattinase (abbott) said...

Print keeps getting smaller and lighter. Thanks, Bill.

Anonymous said...

I really liked Flora's Strange Sisters.

Anonymous said...

I bought this great book at a comic book convention for $2! Immediately reminded me of Catcher in the Rye, my all time favorite book. Best book ever written by Flora, and I've read most of them. Highest recommendation!

Bill Crider said...

So that makes two of us.

Anonymous said...

I'm reading Hot-Shot now. Fletcher Flora was a great writer, his character studies are always interesting. Park Avenue Tramp is his masterpiece in my opinion. Wonderfully sick!

Peter Rozovsky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Peter Rozovsky said...

I've turned into a bit of a Flora-head thanks to those Prologue e-book reissues. (With e-books if the print gers smaller, you can press a button and make it bigger.) Most recently, I was knocked out by (and put up a blog post about) The Brass Bed.
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Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com

Bill Crider said...

Yes, I have that one. Need to read it!

Peter Rozovsky said...

I'll be curious to see if The Brass Bed seems as novel to you as it did to me.