Monday, January 16, 2017

Angel's Flight -- Lou Cameron

I've had the Gold Medal edition of Angel's Flight on my shelves for probably 50 years and never read it.  Laziness, I guess, and it's too bad I didn't get to it earlier because it's really good.  Now Black Gat books has reprinted it in a fine new paperback edition, and everybody has a chance to find out just how good it is.  You don't have to take my word for it.  If you read Gary Lovisi's enthusiastic introduction, you won't be able to resist.

Angel's Flight is a decades-spanning novel, ranging from the late 1930s to the late 1950s, from the era of small jazz bands to the time of payola and industry-wide corruption in the recording business.  It's mainly about Ben Parker, a mostly honest guy, who begins his career in one of those small jazz bands and winds up owning his own record company and in trouble with the Mob, and in particular with a guy who calls himself Johnny Angel, who's the opposite of Parker, and certainly the opposite of an Angel (as is made all too obvious in what I thought was the book's only real flaw).

There's a lot to like here: sweeping storytelling that never forgets the personal, music history that seems real and accurate, characters who meet and part and meet again, colorful writing -- great stuff, and highly recommended. 

7 comments:

Richard Robinson said...

A strong recommendation. I'll get it.

Richard Robinson said...

Unfortunately, the library doesn't have it. I've made a request.

Richard Robinson said...

Okay, it's not even out yet, but I pre-ordered it.

Gerard Saylor said...

Someone had this on a Friday's Forgotten Books. Was it Reasoner?

Bill Crider said...

Yes.

Fred Blosser said...

Cameron's gritty WWII novels from Gold Medal (and one from Lancer that I'm aware of) are worthy of new life too.

Don Coffin said...

Crider, I have to quit reading your blog. That's 7 books (OK, 6 were in a single kindle file) and 1 movie today.