Saturday, October 21, 2006

The Last Match -- David Dodge

This is the most recent book from Hard Case Crime. Written in the mid-1970s but not published till now, the book is set in the '50s and has the sensibilities of that era. Which is to say that if you're a fan of Gold Medal Books, you might like this one. I'll admit that it's loosely plotted (James Reasoner says the plot "meanders," and I can't argue with that), but the narrative voice was so engaging and seductive that I was caught on the very first page.

The plot, such as it is, deals with the adventures of a con man called Curly (or Carly, depending on who's calling). His escapades take him from France to North America to South America and back to France, as he engages in various schemes to make money. Not that he cares about the money. The schemes are what matters, and, as he confesses, he wouldn't want to do anything else or be anything other than what he is.

Besides the novel, there's an entertaining afterword by David Dodge's daughter. She clearly inherited a bit of her dad's writing ability.

This book's just one more reason why Hard Case Crime deserves everyone's support. Check it out.


Aldo said...

What a great read. SOme parts seemed dates, but I didn't mind. I, too, alos enjoy the after word and the new information that I learned.

Peter said...

I thought the afterword was especially interesting because of the possible clue it provided to the book's rambling structure. (That rambling is part of why I liked Plunder of the Sun a bit better.) Dodge wrote The Last Match after he had stropped traveling, and he pulled together recollections from many different journeys. That could make for a rambling story.

I've posted about both Dodge novels on my blog at Drop in and leave a comment!
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Bill Crider said...

I didn't mind the rambling. The writing carried the day for me.