Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sand's Game -- Ennis Willie

You should buy this Ramble House collection of Ennis Willie's stories (and one novel) about a former gangster named Sand. Not just because I wrote the intro to one of them, as did other writers (James Reasoner, Bill Pronzini, Gary Lovisi, Wayne Dundee) to other stories. Not just because there's a fine essay on Willie's work by Lynn F. Myers, Jr. Not just because it contains a complete Ennis Willie bibliography. Not just because of Steve Mertz's dandy interview with Ennis Willie that's included. And not just because Willie was a huge influence on Max Allan Collins, who says in his intro to the collection that "Among the American writers, only one caught Mickey [Spillane's] magic -- only one managed to create a fever- dream world of sadistic gangsters, willing women and larger-than-life tough guys." (You can read more of that intro here.)

So why should you buy this book? Because of all those things, and because a single Ennis Willie novel bought from some on-line dealer will cost you a heck of a lot more than this volume, which is a huge bargain. And because it's great reading of the kind you can hardly find any more. Buy it now.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous11:31 AM

    I can't find information on the contents of this book beyond the table of contents on Ramble House's site.
    The novel titles aren't the same as any of Willie's old paperbacks. Are they the author's original titles? If so, to which published novels? They aren't (dare I suggest it?) previously unpublished novels, are they?
    And I didn't even know Willie wrote any short stories. Were they published before? If so, where?
    This is great news-- Willie is one of the most under-rated, little known hardboiled writers of all time.
    But the lack of info on this release is giving me the screaming fantods.

    John Hocking

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