Thursday, December 29, 2016

Ten top slangy crime novels

Max Décharné is an author, songwriter and musician. His latest book, Vulgar Tongues: An Alternative History of English Slang. One of his top ten slangy crime novels, as shared at the Guardian:
American Tabloid by James Ellroy (1995)

The blistering opening salvo in what for me is Ellroy’s masterpiece, the Underworld USA trilogy, in which all manner of clandestine operators converge on Dallas in 1963 for JFK’s assassination. Genuine historical figures blend with fictional characters, many of them talking a scattershot mixture of trade terms and creative profanity, where tough guys have stones (balls), drug addicts pop bennies (benzedrine), and dodgy deals are concluded with, “Don’t shake my hand, you’re too greasy to touch”. No one else has done it quite like this, before or since.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue